Pubdate: Mon, 08 Jun 1998
Source: Evening News (Norwich UK)

In your Opinion column (June 4) "Forget Such a Foolish Tribute" you say it
is "crass" to lay wreaths at a war memorial to memorialise the dead and
living-dead victims of the drug war.

I must disagree.

What is crass is to have my parents' generation fight a war against German
fascism in the name of freedom, only to have the governments of the western
democracies turned into fascist police states - which would make Hitler
beam with pride - over the bogeyman of "drugs".

What is crass is to arrest 641,000 Americans last year for violation of
cannabis prohibition and build America's prison population to over 1.7
million, most of whom are prohibition victims.

While the phrase "drug war" started out as a cheap political metaphor, it
is no longer so.

This is a "real" war with real casualties.  But it is not, as it is
sometimes represented, a war "on drugs".  It is, like all wars, a war
against people.

It is a war against the people of the US, the people of the UK, and,
indeed, a war against all the peoples of the world, by all the governments
of the world.

Those who languish in the prison camps operated by the perpetrators of this
war (not to mention those killed in its atrocious battles) are just as much
prisoners of war as any held by the Germans or Japanese fascists 50 years

The horror and injustice of their captivity is just as real.  The grief of
their families is just as real.

So it is "entirely appropriate" for those of us with enough sense, decency
and compassion to oppose this bloody war to lay wreaths to honour its many
victims anywhere where they will be noticed.

And it is also entirely appropriate for us to invoke the spirit and
goodwill of those who were told they were fighting in an earlier era to
defeat fascism and make the world safe for individual freedom.

Patrick L. Lilly
Normandy Circle,
Colorado Springs

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