Pubdate: Sun, 19 Feb 2006
Source: Star, The (IL)
Copyright: 2006 The Sun-Times Co.
Author: James Gierach


One critic of the drug war is wrong. In a recent newspaper story, the
Washington Office on Latin America - a liberal think tank based in the
town that thought up the drug war - announced that the war on drugs is
failing. Why is it wrong? Because what never had a chance to succeed
can never fail. Plan Colombia is now passing the $4 billion mark and,
yet, the price of illegal drugs in the U.S. continues to fall.

Jodie Sweetin of "Full House" fame summed it up when referring to her
methamphetamine addiction while married to a cop, "He had no idea,"
she said. America has no idea either. And we need intervention. The UN
reports that cocaine production will remain flat through 2005.

Nevertheless, U.S. drug forces continue to bombard the Colombian coca
plant with herbicide day and night by aerial attack. Despite the
absence of any light at the end of the half-mile long drug tunnel just
discovered on the Mexican border, herbicide stockholders and Wall
Street insist that it is better to fight the coca plant in Colombia
than here at home.

The U.S. Congress is about to debate Plan Colombia, the U.S. drug plan
for our neighbor. And when the debate dust settles, and more drug war
is stuffed up the nose of Americans, Plan Colombia and the dusting of
the Colombian coca plant will continue, maybe under a new name,
because drugs are bad. Because the American people want it. Because
this is a democracy, and what Americans want, Americans get. Four
billion dollars for Plan Colombia is peanuts to the American economy
anyway - whether the drug war works or whether it doesn't.

As President George W. Bush often says, "We have the strongest economy
in the world." Certainly, Americans can afford drug war even if it is
a useless placebo. It's Medicare-Part D that's a budget buster. Four
billion dollars represents less than four days of deficit spending.
That amount is only a twentieth of the promise to rebuild New Orleans
or the cost of lunch for U.S. soldiers in Iraq. (All right, the cost
of lunch is slightly exaggerated.)

The drug war can never fail, because there was never any hope it could


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