Pubdate: Mon, 11 Feb 2002
Source: Naples Daily News (FL)
Copyright: 2002 Naples Daily News.
Contact:  http://www.naplesnews.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/284
Author: Bill O'Reilly
Note: Publisher prints several newspapers - please indicate which newspaper 
in LTEs.
Note: O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor"

BUY DOPE, FUND TERROR

In between the patriotic displays, and Bono and Mariah, there was a very 
interesting commercial during the Super Bowl. And that spot cost us, the 
taxpayers, almost four million dollars because it ran twice -- frightening 
the heck out of Britney Spears.

The advertisement linked the buying of illegal drugs with supporting 
terrorism. It basically accused Americans who support the traffic in 
illegal narcotics of being anti-American. Of course, the ad was scoffed at 
by many Americans who see drug-taking as legitimate recreation.

But I thought the ad made a valid point, even though I believe that with 
the way the war on drugs is being fought now it is a loser. A 
$30-billion-dollar-a-year loser.

Let's break it down: The main point of the commercial is that if an 
American puts money into the hands of dope pushers, that money can make it 
possible for terrorists to operate, for assassins to get paid, for more 
drugs to pour into the streets of America.

That is all true. The Taliban supported itself on opium sales. Drug cartels 
throughout the world routinely murder and commit incredible violence 
against their opponents, and illegal narcotics flood the poorest 
neighborhoods of America. In every ghetto in the USA the most dangerous 
drugs are readily available to children and everyone else. Even in more 
upscale neighborhoods, drugs are not hard to find.

The kicker is that if no one bought illegal drugs, none of the above would 
be happening. So, if you do buy dope, you are hurting your country. It is 
simple logic.

But simple logic doesn't dent the minds of many dopers who want to get 
high, and their country be damned.

The primary rationalization, of course, concerns alcohol. Many Americans 
who buy dope say that they have the right to do that because alcohol is 
legal. If booze can be served, than society is hypocritical for outlawing 
drugs.

However, our society is not stupid. According to every poll taken on the 
subject, the overwhelming majority of Americans are against the 
legalization of drugs. Americans are even against legalized marijuana. A 
Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Poll taken last year showed 66 percent of 
Americans do not want pot made legal. Only 26 percent do. The rest were 
possibly too high to take a stand.

The reason, I believe, that so many Americans are against making drugs 
legal is that they have seen what intoxicants can do. There are more than a 
million drunk-driving cases each year. Nearly 10 percent of the adult 
population is heavily involved with alcohol. Why make more mind-altering 
substances available? Why send a message to children that intoxication is a 
birthright?

It is not. And supporting criminals who sell addictive substances is 
anti-American. Public intoxication hurts us all, and private intoxication 
hurts the individual. Nothing good can come of this. Why are so many 
Americans blind to the truth?

The answer comes back to selfishness. Drug users think "I want to get high, 
so I will. It is my body, so if I give money to a pusher who sells crack to 
kids, so what? I'm not responsible."

Well, yes, you are. Again, if nobody bought the drugs  the evil that they 
bring would not exist.

So, move over, Britney. The best commercial during the Super Bowl was the 
one that confronted Americans with the damage that dope buying does. It was 
a gutsy move. I applaud it.

Veteran TV news anchor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show "The 
O'Reilly Factor" and author of the new book "The No Spin Zone," in addition 
to last year's best-selling book "The O'Reilly Factor: The Good, the Bad, 
and the Completely Ridiculous."
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens