Sunday, July 16, 2006

Plan Colombia

Happened to see this one by accident in the library in the documentary section. I've been cynical about the "Drug War" for as long as I can remember. Maybe it's my demeanor, but it always seemed more about projecting power against our citizens and against other countries and less about any sort of "solution" to the "drug problem". What other country can so blatantly announce a war against its own citizens and have those citizens go along with it? After all, it's not drugs you are locking up and/or murdering (in other countries), it's people.

I've actually read and heard most of the arguments here, especially Chomsky's argument for how no one would abide China invading America to spray defoliate over our tobacco fields, for example. Since tobacco actually kills more than all drug use combined, that would actually have a bit more "logic" than our actions in Colombia.

Another great soundbite that you'll hear is that Congress can revoke all sorts of laws, but they cannot revoke the law of supply and demand, and that these actions are really useless (besides being criminal). Chomsky will of course point out (maybe in the extras) the usual argument he brings up about the various cost effectiveness evaluated by one of our departments, I forget which. The action they chose to take was the least effective, and the most costly, which seems to indicate that it's really about subsidizing the military-industrial-prison complex and less about any solution. Of course, treatment was the most cost effective, but that's generally ignored. Can't be too "soft on crime".

Another interesting bit was how the money for the drug runners works. Even if they can defoliate nearly all the fields, and drive the cost up, the drug runner still made ridiculous amounts of money.

Also, the discussion of how Congress didn't spend any time arguing over whether what they were doing was morally right or even effective, instead they argued over what state would get to produce the helicopters for interdiction. Sickening.

It was more powerful seeing the video, and much more accessible to folks who aren't into reading that much. As one of the Amazon reviewers remarks, every single American needs to know.

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