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  1. SmokeTwibz

    Surprise: The Drug War Isn’t About Drugs

    On the morning of November 6 the US Federal Bureau of Investigation trumpeted its takedown of the Silk Road 2.0 website and the arrest of alleged operator Blake Benthall.

    In so doing the FBI demonstrated, once again, that the War on Drugs has nothing to do with anything its propagandists claim it’s about. If drug criminalization is a public safety issue — about fighting violent crime and gangs, or preventing overdoses and poisoning — shutting down Silk Road is one of the dumbest things the feds can do. Silk Road was a secure, anonymous marketplace in which buyers and sellers could do business without the risk of violence associated with street trade. And the seller reputational system meant that drugs sold on Silk Road were far purer and safer than their street counterparts.

    This is true of all the other selling points for the Drug War. Hillary Clinton, in possibly one of the stupidest remarks ever uttered by a human being, says legalizing narcotics is a bad idea “because there’s too much money in it” — referring, presumably, to the lucrative drug trade and the cartels fighting over it.

    But there’s so much money in it, and the cartels fight to control it, only because it’s illegal. That’s what happens when you criminalize stuff people want to buy: You create black markets with much higher prices, which organized crime gangs fight to control. Alcohol prohibition created the gangster culture of the 1920s. It’s been with us ever since. When Prohibition was repealed, organized crime just shifted to fighting over other illegal markets. The more consensual, non-violent activities are made illegal, the larger the portion of the economy that’s turned into black markets for gangs to fight over.

    In related news, the Mexican drug cartels are reportedly making less money since the legalization or decriminalization of pot in several American states. I wonder why.

    Perhaps the biggest joke is that the War on Drugs is fought to reduce drug use. No doubt many people involved in the domestic enforcement side of the Drug War actually believe this, but the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand’s doing. The narcotics trade is an enormous source of money for the criminal gangs that control it, and guess what? The US intelligence community is one of the biggest criminal drug gangs in the world, and the global drug trade is a great way for it to raise money to do morally repugnant stuff it can’t get openly funded by Congress. It’s been twenty years since journalist Gary Webb revealed the Reagan cabinet’s collusion with drug cartels in marketing cocaine inside the United States, to raise money for the right-wing Contra death squads in Nicaragua — a revelation he was gaslighted and driven to suicide for by the US intelligence community and mainstream press.

    Now we hear that the US is “losing the drug war in Afghanistan.” Well, obviously — it’s a war that’s designed to be lost. The Taliban were so easy to overthrown in the fall of 2001 because they really did try to stamp out opium poppy cultivation, and with a fair degree of success. This didn’t sit well with the Afghan populace, which traditionally makes a lot of money growing poppies. But the Northern Alliance — which the United States turned into the national government of Afghanistan — was quite friendly to poppy cultivation in its territory. When the Taliban was overthrown, poppy and heroin cultivation resumed normal levels. Putting the US in charge of a “war on drugs in Afghanistan” is like putting Al Capone in charge of alcohol prohibition.

    Besides, actually “winning” the drug war would mean ending it. And who in US domestic law enforcement wants to cut off the source of billions in federal aid and military equipment, militarized SWAT teams and unprecedented surveillance and civil forfeiture powers? This is a war meant to go on forever, just like the so-called War on Terror.

    The state always encourages moral panic and f “wars” on one thing or another in order to keep us afraid, so we’ll give it more power over our lives. Don’t believe its lies.

    November 08, 2014
    Kevin Carson | The Libertarian Alliances Blog
    http://thelibertarianalliance.com/2014/11/08/surprise-the-drug-war-isnt-about-drugs/

Comments

  1. Damocles
    Been waning to mention something about this, especially Afghanistan and all the news stories about how opium production is at all time highs there.

    The mission of the United States, other than to over throw the Taliban who were alleged to have played a role in the September 11, 2001 attack on the New York City, The Pentagon and potential other targets in the United States along with providing a safe haven for Osama Bin Laden.

    Hamid Karzai who became President of Afghanistan held ties to the oil industry, I forget which company specifically, as a member of the Board of Directors. The oil companies had an interest in pacifying the area for the installation of a large natural gas pipeline through the country. This was the primary reason he was installed as the President.

    Among other things, removing the Taliban was to allow the United States to occupy the country as "peace keepers" along with a multinational force authorized by the United Nations. But there was no charter to eliminate opium and marijuana cultivation in the country. In fact, the troops were told to leave the growers alone as it was their source of income for supporting their families.

    There is a great piece of investigative journalism done by the United States Public Broadcast System and a program they produce called Frontline. They did a program about the War in Afghanistan which originally aired in Fall of 2009 called "Obama's War" and what he inherited from the Bush Administration. It actually shows soldiers on patrol passing poppy and marijuana growers who they are charged with protecting from civil unrest, without a charter for eradication of these crops. One might even argue that they were placed there to protect the crops, thereby ensuring a steady flow of opium to supply the world heroin market.

    It's a good piece of documentary journalism and I highly recommend watching it. Doing so will help to remove some of the spin being placed on the situation today. There's much more to the story than just the actions of the troops and how they are battling insurgents to help keep the peace.

    A link to the Frontline documentary site where the whole episode may be viewed free of charge:

    PBS Frontline: Obama's War

    Been wanting to let others know about this for a while.

    Be responsible...
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