Bush's War on Drugs 

Bush's War on Drugs 
Posted by FoM on January 05, 2002 at 22:22:39 PT
By Roger Franklin
Source: The Age
As speeches about drugs go, the terse message that President George W. Bush recently delivered to America's junkies began on a familiar note. Drugs were bad, he said while signing a nickel-and-dime bill to fund rehab clinics. Bush went on to break new ground, however. Adopting the stern tone and grim visage normally reserved for pronouncements about the justice awaiting Osama bin Laden, he continued: "It's important for Americans to know that trafficking of drugs finances the world of terror, sustaining terrorists; if you quit drugs, you join the fight against terrorism." 
Lest reporters conclude that Bush was simply minting fresh cliches, aides were at pains to stress that, unlike previous administrations, this President was in earnest. From now on, they said, the drug war would be treated as a second front in the campaign against terror.These were bold words indeed, and not simply because all previous efforts to stop Americans getting high have been costly failures.Any serious war on drugs will demand Bush find an answer to an issue that has bedevilled policymakers since the 1960s: Just how blind an eye should Washington turn to the drug-dealing activities of those it counts as friends?In Vietnam, the CIA placed Air America, its wholly-owned subsidiary, at the service of anti-communist opium growers in the Golden Triangle. In Reagan's clandestine war against the Sandinistas of Nicaragua, it was the Contras' turn to run drugs while the US sheriff looked the other way. In Panama, dictator Manuel Noriega's control of drugs flowing through his country on their way to the eager noses of el Norte did not crimp the CIA's affection for him, at least not until his relations with Washington soured under Bush the Elder.Now, if Bush the Younger is serious about treating drug producers as terrorists, he must decide what to do about Afghanistan, where history appears poised to repeat. Hitting drug-dealing enemies like the Taliban and al Qaeda is one thing. But how is he to handle comrades-in-arms like the Northern Alliance, which deals in the same Afghan opium?According to UN estimates, about 70 per cent of the world's heroin begins as Afghan opium. News reports attributed to US intelligence sources over the past three months have said that much of that crop was grown, packaged and shipped under the Taliban's auspices, with some claiming that bin Laden had tried to trade huge consignments to the Russian Mafia in return for arms, perhaps even nuclear and biological materials.The Taliban's role is only part of the picture, however. With a hot war winding down and the more delicate business of nation building about to begin, the opium that Afghan peasants sowed in last year's autumn planting season will be ready to harvest in May. "All our information is consistent - they're replanting poppies in a major way," says Bernard Frahi, regional director of the UN's Geneva-based Drug Control and Crime Prevention program, of the provinces controlled by the Alliance. "In a country that's been bled dry, it's the easiest way to get cash quickly."Frahi and other UN experts expect this year's Afghan crop will be the biggest since 2000, the last year of unrestrained production before the Taliban made a great show of uprooting poppy fields in an attempt to win favor with the West. What the mullahs didn't do, however, was destroy a vast stockpile of opium, perhaps as much as 4000 tonnes.Like bin Laden, that stockpile is nowhere to be found, though it is easy to deduce where a large part of it might have gone. According to the Economist, a kilogram of raw opium was bringing about $US700 ($A1345) in the drug bazaars of northern Pakistan on September 10. Two weeks later the Taliban flooded the market to raise cash and the price dropped to just $US100.With the fugitive Mullah Mohammed Omar believed to be holed up in Helmand province, the traditional seat of Afghanistan's opium industry, the mountain cultivators are likely to be too busy dodging American bombs to bring much of that southern district's coming harvest to market.Good news for America's drug warriors? Well, not quite. According to the UN, the Northern Alliance has been, quite literally, digging in to meet any shortfall. While the Taliban was last year cashing a cheque for $US43 million from the Bush administration as a token of Washington's gratitude for Kabul's pronouncement that "opium growing is against the will of God", the Northern Alliance was shipping out by way of Russia and neighbouring ex-Soviet republics what the UN estimates was 200 tonnes of opium.Even the US Drug Enforcement Administration conceded that, while the Taliban's opium prohibition temporarily reduced supply, they were being played for suckers. By publicly destroying crops while simultaneously making sly sales from their stockpiles, the Taliban's drug brokers were able to exploit a hungry market that Washington had paid them to create.Now it is the Northern Alliance's turn. The Bush administration has been making optimistic noises about switching the Afghan economy to more innocent cash crops, but experts see little hope of that policy achieving tangible results - particularly in the short term, when Washington's primary focus will be on shepherding the country's feuding factions into something that resembles a form of consensus democracy. That rules out the approach being taken against cocaine in Colombia, where US Special Forces advisers are joining local troops on search-and-destroy missions aimed at coca plantations and processing facilities. Try that in Afghanistan, and America can expect today's allies to be tomorrow's enemies.Source: Age, The (Australia) Author: Roger FranklinPublished: Sunday, January 6, 2002Copyright: 2002 The Age Company LtdWebsite: letters Articles:US Should Follow Europe’s Lead in Drug Reform Turn To Old Friend: Opium To Americans: Quit Drugs, Join War Effort
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Comment #15 posted by DdC on January 06, 2002 at 14:16:42 PT
It Is Time For America To Wage Peace on WoD!
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! Had I the ability, and could reach the nation's ear, I would today, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
-- Frederick DouglassPower concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
-- Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857Morality is always the product of terror; its chains and strait-waistcoats are fashioned by those who dare not trust others, because they dare not trust themselves, to walk in liberty.                              -- Aldous HuxleyAnyone can become angry - that is easy, but to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not easy.
-- Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) "They that start by burning books will end by burning
"Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen."
--Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), from his play Almansor (1821)"The struggle between the two worlds [Fascism and Democracy] can permit no compromises. It's either Us or Them!"
Benito Mussolini Address, from Palazzo Venezia balcony
October 27, 1930"The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.""Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise."
From Benito Mussolini contributing to the "London Sunday Express," December 8, 1935:"There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. A state that supresses all freedom of speech, and which by imposing the most terrible punishments, treats each and every attempt at criticism, however morally justified, and every suggestion for improvement as plotting to high treason, is a state that breaks an unwritten law."                                  - Kurt Huber [The head of White Rose], killed by the Nazis in 1943.It is time to get pissed off or continue getting pissed on!
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Comment #14 posted by Jose Melendez on January 06, 2002 at 11:01:37 PT:
The jig is up.
The jig is up. The path is now opened for authentic journalism to expose the white-collar narco-traffickers who talk a prohibitionist game while raking in the narco-proceeds behind the cocaine curtain. The battle to expose these crooks and tyrants with facts and speech now enters a new phase: the internationalization of the struggle.
The hour has now arrived to launch a frontal assault upon this lynchpin of so many evils that is drug prohibition.
To win this historic battle against this tired and defeated policy of imposed sameness in drug policy, we, the people, cannot remain wedded to the polite tactics and strategies of the past. Thus, we further adapt the indigenous model:
First: Organize on the local level and within the specific sectors of Civil Society.
Second: Internationalize the conflict.
Third: Legalize the existence of many worlds within our one world.
"Organize, Internationalize, Legalize."
What does this rhyme mean?
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Comment #13 posted by lookinside on January 06, 2002 at 10:28:01 PT:
i recommend the narconews link to's a shame that fox news and cnn cannot bring themselves to tell the truth like that...i guess their corporate masters have too much to the mainstream media journalists have a clear idea of how corrupt they are?
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Comment #12 posted by Jose Melendez on January 06, 2002 at 10:06:52 PT:
LTE: Prohibition Helps Terrorists
It IS "...important for Americans to know that trafficking of drugs finances the world of terror, sustaining terrorists;"... And NOTHING increases profit in such trafficking faster than drug prohibition. See: should ask politicians this question: "Do you support drug prohibition because it finances criminals at home or because it finances terrorists abroad?"
LTE: Prohibition Helps Terrorists
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Comment #11 posted by qqqq on January 06, 2002 at 07:56:14 PT
Right On Dark Star
qqqq admires your attitude.....It's about time we got really pissed off.
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Comment #10 posted by Dark Star on January 06, 2002 at 07:39:23 PT
Dark Star's Revenge
No, Dark Star is not sane. Dark Star is mad as hell, and hopes to help suck all the blasphemy of the War on Drugs into the abyss. Dark Star realizes that the war is an aim unto itself, but hopes that it will tumble under its own weight. Lies create a weak foundation, and gravity is one of the greatest powers in the universe. We need to discover if truth is equally powerful.
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Comment #9 posted by goneposthole on January 06, 2002 at 07:17:36 PT
sham and shame
The way to end the problem is to end the war.- Dark StarAre you sane?During the real prohibition (alcohol) federal law enforcement authorities hunted down booze runners, moonshiners, et al. It is so simple, outlaw a substance and then chase everyone on the run who is involved. Don't you know that having a war on drugs or anything is not the problem? It is the goal.The intended results are what we have.A sad tale of woe and what a waste.
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Comment #8 posted by dddd on January 06, 2002 at 06:21:27 PT
Thank you DanB...
...the NarcoNews statement link is outstanding......I join you in recommending it to all...dddd
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Comment #7 posted by Dan B on January 06, 2002 at 05:57:52 PT:
Narco News
I want to encourage everyone to read the editorial on the main page for Narco News. http://www.narconews.comIt contains perhaps the best description I have yet read of their stance against the war on drugs. I appreciate that they view the issue as part of the larger issue to reclaim democracy, rather than one simple issue that exists in a vacuum. The problem, as they see it, is not simply that drugs are illegal, but that federal governments are not letting state and local governments decide for themselves what is an appropriate way to handle drugs. They point to the current experience in California (Re: Prop. 215) where the state decided that marijuana is acceptable for medical purposes, and the feds declared that federal law supercedes state law (which, by the way, is a slap in the face to the U. S. Constitution), therefore the state cannot allow citizens to distribute marijuana for medical purposes, which sends medical patients to the black market. The problem is not just that the medical patients can't get their medicine, but that the federal government has succeeded in making formerly independent states into dependent colonies subject to federal (read: imperial) rule.Anyway, check out the editorial. It is far more comprehensive than what I have said here, and it explains everything a lot better.Dan B
Narco News
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Comment #6 posted by dddd on January 06, 2002 at 05:55:09 PT
.... the answer is not at all pretty.......
...not pretty indeed,Dark Star..." Maintenance of the status quo is good for the drug cartels, and for the bureaucracy-military-industrial complex....".......quite true,,in fact,the "bureaucracy-military-industrial complex",,,,could very well be called the,"bureaucracy-military-industrial cartel".It's a nationwide monopoly,,,and unfortunately,,I think it has gone beyond the point of being stopped...Big money is going to continue to call the shots,as our domockracy decays and rots futher,,turning into exactly what the founders of the same government tried to protect the citizens against....It seems to me,that this country has been taken over by dark and obscure powers.............Evil Empire....dddd
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Comment #5 posted by Dark Star on January 06, 2002 at 04:53:57 PT
The Heart of the Matter
"Even the US Drug Enforcement Administration conceded that, while the Taliban's opium prohibition temporarily reduced supply, they were being played for suckers. By publicly destroying crops while simultaneously making sly sales from their stockpiles, the Taliban's drug brokers were able to exploit a hungry market that Washington had paid them to create."That about says it, doesn't it? A concise indictment of Amerikan policy and the War on Drugs. The way to end the problem is to end the war. Obscene profits will disappear, violence will diminish, public health will improve, and people may gain some lost respect for law enforcement.When one starts asking why such policy changes have not occurred, the answer is not at all pretty. Maintenance of the status quo is good for the drug cartels, and for the bureaucracy-military-industrial complex (read: DEA, local SWAT teams, cops on the take, marijuana "treatment" programs, urine testers, etc.) that feeds upon it in parasitic gluttony.With luck, soon the trough will be empty.
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Comment #4 posted by CorvallisEric on January 06, 2002 at 03:18:53 PT
BGreen - where does legal opium come from?
Here's an interesting sidelight to the only(?) legal source of opium.
Australia began considering a heroin maintenance trial project in the early 1990s. By 1996, it was a serious proposal being reviewed by several committees of health experts. 
That year, Bill Clinton's top international drug enforcer, Bob Gelbard, flew to the Australian state of Tasmania. Officially, Gelbard went to inspect the state's opium poppy industry, an operation licensed by the UN to produce morphine and codeine for medical use. While in Tasmania, Gelbard invited the members of a state committee considering the heroin maintenance trial to speak with him.
Dr. David Pennington, a respected Australian expert on drugs and the chair of the committee meeting with the American, recalls that Gelbard was "very courteous" but emphatic that it would be a big mistake for Australia to deviate from "the straight, hard-line position." Gelbard, says Pennington, made it "clear that the state department considered this issue an absolutely critical one." 
Gelbard, he says, also mentioned Tasmania's opium poppy industry, worth $140 million [Cdn] per year. He "pointed out that Australia was allowed by [the UN] to have its poppy industry in Tasmania," says Pennington. And "if [the UN] were to decide that Australia were not a reliable country, that of course that industry could be at risk." The American, notes Pennington, avoided saying explicitly that an unwelcome decision would jeopardize the industry. "On the other hand, it was a very heavy hint."
Nonetheless, Pennington's committee recommended the heroin trial go ahead. So did a federal committee made up of top health and police officials from across Australia. But in 1997, after heavy lobbying from the frightened poppy industry and the government of Tasmania, the Australian federal cabinet rejected the advice of the expert committees. The cabinet said it would "send the wrong message" about drug use.
Dan Gardner essay quoted here
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Comment #3 posted by qqqq on January 06, 2002 at 02:57:02 PT
...mouth watering.......
.......I try to avoid talking about wonderful types of weed,,,but BGreen reminds me of this story from the mid 80s,,,,I knew this guy who lived out in the desert just south of Palm Springs....Tom,,,or "Tom the hippie",as he was known lived with his Mom in a sort of cabin type house out in the middle of nowhere...To get to his house one had to navigate several miles of dirt roads.......Tom was seven feet tall,and he had a degree in physics from UCLA....he grew plants out out in the desert,and he was really into growing different strains of Indica...He grew one variety that was called Hindu Kush.....he had these huge foot long buds,or " kolas", of this robust and spicy was heavenly... .I can almost smell the rich aroma .....
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Comment #2 posted by BGreen on January 06, 2002 at 01:19:23 PT:
"It's important for Americans to know that PROHIBITION finances the world of terror, sustaining terrorists; if you quit PROHIBITION, you join the fight against terrorism."The problem with Bush, jr. is that somehow all this posturing and rhetoric will end up doing nothing more than increasing the attack on cannabis and its partakers.Although the basic premise of 'drugs = terrorism' is false, the "drug" that we're talking about is opium. I know a man in the hospital right now being fed morphine to control his pain, and nobody's accusing him or his health care providers of supporting terrorism. And where do they get all of that opium needed to produce morphine? I know our government couldn't be growing it, or it would be as worthless as the poor excuse for cannabis being given to the few dea approved med users.NO ONE has said anything about the cannabis and hashish that is grown, even though the nightly news report sounds like the menu at a Dutch coffee house. Marar-e Sharif, Hindu Kush, Jalalabad, Chitral, and Afghani, ... Dang, my mouth's watering.The only thing cannabis has to do with anything bad is the black market, a creation of our prohibitionist government and their false sense of morals.The frightening thing is that the Vietnam war got its bloodiest towards the end. Our government lost that war, too. The saddest thing is that nobody in charge of that pitiful catastrophe was ever held accountable for the lost lives and devastated families who were the real victims.Sound familiar?
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Comment #1 posted by MikeEEEEE on January 05, 2002 at 23:56:00 PT
if you quit drugs, you join the fight against terrorism."This is the lamest thing I've ever heard.Here's some more propaganda to read:
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