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Old 2015-03-23, 04:10   #1
kladner
 
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Default The "Drug" War

I will let editor and writer Tom Engelhardt introduce this article from his web site, tomdispatch.com.
(The composing function would not let me combine the first 2 quote boxes, for some reason.)

Quote:
Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, It Didn't Work in Afghanistan, So Let's Do It in Mexico
Quote:
One of the mysteries of our era is why there seems to be no learning curve in Washington. Over the last 13 years, American wars and conflicts have repeatedly helped create disaster zones, encouraging the fragmentation of whole countries and societies in the Greater Middle East and Northern Africa. In the process, such American wars, drone assassination campaigns, raids, and conflicts have acted as recruitment posters for and aided and abetted the growth of terror outfits. And here’s where the genuine strangeness begins to enter the picture: after all of this is absorbed and assessed in Washington, the response is regularly more of what hasn’t worked and a clamoring for yet more of it.


It turns out, as TomDispatch regular Rebecca Gordon reports today, that the same kind of process has been going on so much closer to home -- right across the border in Mexico, in fact, resulting in the kind of blowback that Chalmers Johnson would have appreciated. Yet while hysteria and panic reign over the barbaric acts of the faraway Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, U.S. involvement in the “war on drugs” in a neighboring country gets just passing attention here. Curiouser and curiouser, hysteria and panic over Mexico only seem to rise when ISIS is reputed to be involved (at least in the fantasy worlds of various right-wingers). Consider it all part of the true mysteries of our strange American age of repetitive war. Tom
Quote:
Can You Say "Blowback" in Spanish?
The Failed War on Drugs in Mexico (and the United States)

By Rebecca Gordon

They behead people by the hundreds. They heap headless, handless bodies along roadsides as warnings to those who would resist their power. They have penetrated the local, state, and national governments and control entire sections of the country. They provide employment and services to an impoverished public, which distrusts their actual government with its bitter record of corruption, repression, and torture. They seduce young people from several countries, including the United States, into their murderous activities.


Is this a description of the heinous practices of the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria? It could be, but as a matter of fact it’s not. These particular thugs exist a lot closer to home. They are part of the multi-billion-dollar industry known as the drug cartels of Mexico. Like the Islamic State, the cartels' power has increased as the result of disastrous policies born in the U.S.A.

Last fiddled with by kladner on 2015-03-23 at 04:40
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Old 2015-03-27, 01:24   #2
ewmayer
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"One of the mysteries of our era is why there seems to be no learning curve in Washington."

As with "why don't they ever learn?"-ism in re. to government response to (in very large degree self-inflicted) economic crises and the self-licking ice-cream cone known as the Global War on Terra(or), I think that is the wrong way to look at things, because it assumes our dear power elites actually have hoi polloi's interests at heart. The better-way to look at things is to ask "what would a bunch of power-and-money-addicted smooth-talking sociopaths in charge of [a] government policy, both foreign and domestic; [b] interpretation and making of laws; [c] the power to both tax and spend (with few practical constraints) and [d] the power to wage wars - both declared and increasingly undeclared-in-the-formal-sense - do?" In that light such "repeated failures to learn from past experience" suddenly resolve themselves.

In the case of Mexico, its government and ours are on friendly terms, so DC is willing to overlook almost any degree of corruption, at the same time the "joint fight contra los narcotraficantes" serves as a great source of money (by way of both seizures and convincing the citizen-dupes to continue generously funding it) and influence to the governments of both nations. Now were this, say, Libya, the US would instantly and massively have used the murdered students as a propagandistic rallying cry for regime change, and the resulting chaos and breakdown of civil order as a pretext for an "ongoing presence in the region."

=============

And in current drug-war-related-hijinks news:

Government Report Finds DEA Agents Had "Sex Parties" With Prostitutes Hired By Drug Cartels

Last fiddled with by ewmayer on 2015-03-27 at 01:35
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Old 2015-03-27, 04:04   #3
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Well put, Ernst.

Thanks for the link, too.
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Old 2015-03-27, 10:08   #4
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Here in the Netherlands, drugs are considered more a public health issue and not just a criminal justice issue.
This makes the response more practical and less ideological.
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Old 2015-03-27, 10:41   #5
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Being from The Netherlands myself too, I must say that neither society has found the best way to deal with this issue. Partly because of international interdependencies in setting up a coherent policy.

In my opinion it doesn't make sense to be harsh to people, organizations and governments that grow papaver, make heroin or cocaine. Neither does it make sense to go after drugs traffickers or local dealers. That will only help to establish a business case and hence a base for criminal organizations. Keep all these activities fully illegal so as not to create a situation like the alcohol business where everyone can brew beer and sell it in shops. Limit punishment for dealing and trafficking to forfeiting monetary and other assets, but keep these people out of jail. This alone will limit criminal gangs since the violence incentive will be much less.

Instead, direct a significant portion of our GDP to the management of the lives of addicted people. We can afford that given the resources we now lose in the current situation, just look at how Mexico affects Europe and the US alone.

When I say management of the lives of addicted people I mean to say that society takes full control over their abouts in whatever way is effective, with plenty of room for different approaches. The problem is the usage of the substances and that is also the best point where we can interfere.

I also believe the use of tobacco and alcohol as well as gambling addiction is problametic and should be effective minimized. I don't see any reason why someone who has given up control over his or her live partly or mostly should not be fully subjected to a program endorsed by society in which returning to a live without desire to use is the main goal. For some this could mean counseling, for many others it would mean living within a confinement.

Yes, I know prisons are drugs heavens, but that is because we lack the commitment and monetary resources to address that, whereas we could if we would do. I know how hard it is to deal with addictives.
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Old 2015-03-27, 11:10   #6
tha
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post

Quoted externally:
One of the mysteries of our era is why there seems to be no learning curve in Washington.
Mind the learning curve of the voters, the people in Washington follow them as they should. Democracy is far from perfect. But keep it anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
Over the last 13 years, American wars and conflicts have repeatedly helped create disaster zones, encouraging the fragmentation of whole countries and societies in the Greater Middle East and Northern Africa.
Don't worry about the US influence, conflicts in the Middle East are perfectly possible without that very new nation. Look up 4.000 years of recent history.

The US does try to do its best to help where it can even at great costs. George Bush did a perfect thing by going into Iraq and free the people there. It just would have been a lot better if he had realized that the ayatollahs had no other option for their survival than to invade Iraq by marching in 50.000 Revolutionary guards in civil dress following the US troops by two days and instill fear under anyone trying to set up a new free Iraq. The ayatollahs also set up the war between sunni and shi'a Arabs in Iraq.

The current Middle East policies of the Obama administration is the real bad thing. Not because Obama does not want to help out to the best the US can, but because of an ideological blindness that is perplexing in its magnitude. How can you alienate all your many allies in the Middle East and give fully in to your enemies who kill so many American and European lives? He makes Jimmy Carter look like an effective president.

There would have been no 'Islamic State' if Obama would have dealt with Syria properly and not handed it over to Teheran. Don't get me started how he wrecked Egypt and had to be saved by a Saudi led counter coup that has overwhelming popular support.

Fragmenting Iraq, by the way, was the only viable option from the very beginning. Look up its history.

Now over to the Middle East thread and leave this one for drug abuse policies.
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Old 2015-03-27, 11:17   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tha View Post
Now over to the Middle East thread and leave this one for drug abuse policies.
Yeah, you tell us! We'll all follow your example like good little forumites..
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Old 2015-03-31, 08:55   #8
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Originally Posted by Brian-E View Post
Yeah, you tell us! We'll all follow your example like good little forumites..
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Old 2015-10-29, 21:38   #9
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Default Mexican web site: NarcoData

I just heard about this on NPR. The site is in Spanish. It analyses the rise of the cartels during the last 40 years. In that time, they say, no national administration has put the least brake on the cartels, which have increased from 2 to 9 in the period studied.

Google Translate, of course, plays hob with formatting. My remarks are based on the NPR interview with someone in the organization. I haven't yet tried to dig into the chaos of the translated pages.
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Old 2016-11-03, 17:26   #10
kladner
 
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Default The more than 100,000 deaths in a decade cannot be blamed just on Mexico's drug cartels

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opi...122439604.html
It is much more convenient to blame the designated Bad Guys, the cartels, than to admit that cops, soldiers, the DEA, US military aid, and US drug laws are all part of the same ugly business as the narcos.
Quote:
Every November 2, Mexicans mark the Day of the Dead by honouring deceased loved ones.

Given the disproportionate number of deaths produced by Mexico's US-backed drug war, officially launched in 2006, it is starting to seem like an ever-more tragically appropriate tradition.

In a recent investigative piece for The Nation, Dawn Paley details the "spectacular violence" that has accompanied the drug war project.

"In 2014, Mexico ranked as the country with the third-most civilians killed in internal conflict, after Syria and Iraq. Bodies have been buried, burned, displayed in public places, hung from bridges and overpasses or beheaded and left at city hall."

Estimates vary as to the total number of deaths since the start of the war, but many observers put it at above 100,000.

And this isn't even counting the more than 27,000 Mexicans currently missing or disappeared - by most objective accounts an underestimate - or the 70,000-120,000 Central American migrants estimated to have disappeared while travelling through Mexico since 2006.
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Old 2016-11-03, 19:22   #11
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
It is much more convenient to blame the designated Bad Guys, the cartels, than to admit that cops, soldiers, the DEA, US military aid, and US drug laws are all part of the same ugly business as the narcos.
And that's the obvious thing about this insanity! Drugs don't kill people nearly as much as people kill people! There's money to be made there.

There's money to be made In the trafficking and the sale of drugs, for sure.

But there is also money to be made in the enforcement of trying to push water up a hill (read: trying to stop people from taking drugs).

How well did Prohibition work out for the US_of_A in the 1920s and '30s?

And that was before the chemistry and the business models got refined....
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