Pubdate: Thu, 14 Feb 2002
Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)
Copyright: 2002 The Christian Science Publishing Society
Author: Tom O'Connell


America is currently engaged in two "idea wars" - a drug war dating back to 
1972, and a war on terror declared right after Sept. 11. The former is very 
unpopular; 73 percent of Americans - according to a recent Pew Research 
survey - reject government's claims of drug-war success and consider it a 
failure beyond fixing. On the other hand, support for the war on terror is 
still strong and seems to be sustaining President Bush's near-90 percent 

As the Enron scandal generates heated discussions of conflict of interest, 
it may be appropriate to suggest that the expenditure of millions for TV 
ads, as witnessed during the Super Bowl, represent an attempt to link the 
unpopular drug war to a winner. At what point should elected officials be 
restrained from using tax dollars to defend their failures and forced 
instead to seek policies that work?

Tom O'Connell, San Mateo, Calif.
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