Pubdate: Sat, 28 Apr 2001
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 2001 Los Angeles Times
Author: Sunny Kreis, Bob Constantine, Jake Prins, Michael A. James,
Nicholas V. Seidita, Gregory Lerner


* Whatever final determination ensues from the tragic attack in Peru
upon the plane carrying American missionaries, it essentially amounts
to one more ill-conceived undertaking in the so-called war on drugs.
We should have learned by now that focus upon the entrepreneurs of
drugs is futile and it is the consumers who should attract our concern.

A much more viable solution would be a nationwide program that
sponsors a thoroughly comprehensive film on the ill effects of drug
abuse--for the individual's health and long-term quality of life, for
an addict's friends, family and employers and for society as a whole.
This film should be a raw, take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred
depiction, complete with real-life case histories. Viewing this should
be mandatory at all grade levels. After viewing such a documentary,
what young person could then go out to the schoolyard and be persuaded
that drug use was "cool".

Sunny Kreis

Santa Monica

* * *

* Would we feel better if the plane were occupied by five drug
smugglers instead of missionaries. The facts are that the U.S. is part
of a heinous practice of interdiction carried out by the Peruvian
military simultaneously acting as cop, judge and executioner. The war
on drugs continues to destroy innocent lives, devastate our inner
cities, fill our prisons with nonviolent offenders and destroy our
individual liberties.

Bob Constantine


* * *

* Who is responsible for the death of the mother and child in Peru.
The people behind the failing U.S. government drug policy.

Jake Prins

Loma Linda

* * *

* The media coverage of the shooting down of the missionaries' plane
over Peru utterly fails to question the morality of shooting down any
unarmed plane, whether or not it happens to carry drugs. Whether or
not passengers on the plane are "innocent," shooting down an unarmed
plane is state-sanctioned murder, plain and simple.

Michael A. James

Los Angeles

* * *

* Quote from "Accidental Downing Was 'Worst Fear,' " April 24: "But
the Bush administration defended U.S. aid to the Peruvian air force in
shooting down suspected airborne drug runners as crucial to the
international war on narcotics, and [State Department spokesman
Richard] Boucher made it clear that the administration hopes to resume
intercepting suspected narcotics flights as soon as possible."

After an 11-year suspension of "interdiction" (like "collateral
damage," official double talk for shooting down suspected planes and
their occupants), it was resumed in 1994. This is legal law
enforcement and foreign policy. It took this act of official murder to
open our eyes to the morality of the undeclared wars of our foreign
policy, including the drug war.

Nicholas V. Seidita


* * *

* The armed forces of a Latin American country killing innocent
civilians with CIA coaching. What else is new.

Gregory Lerner

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