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U.S. Puts Fresh Cash Into the Drug War

Posted on Dec 4, 2008
Wikimedia Commons

While the rest of the world has been preoccupied with a financial meltdown, a handful of wars and a terrorist attack or two, Mexico has been waging war on its homegrown drug industry, and the death count is mounting. U.S. Ambassador Tony Garza announced that El Norte is sending a couple hundred million down south to aid the cause.


A $197m (£133m) aid package to help Mexico fight drugs cartels has been released by the US government.

It is part of the Merida Initiative, a $400m (£270m) scheme to assist Mexico’s efforts to take on the drugs trade.

Mexican newspaper El Universal says at least 5,000 people have been killed in drugs-related violence this year.

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By mud, December 5, 2008 at 10:03 am Link to this comment

A properly run tyranny requires a scapegoat. Using fictitious gods and spirits doesn’t cut it anymore. Using religions such as Judaism is no longer an option. We lost the right to blame women for everything when we gave them the vote. And most recently we are not even allowed to demonize same-sex partners, much. There isn’t really much left for a tyrannical system to demonize other then certain plant substances and those “not quite like us” people who imbibe them.

It’s true that some illegal drugs can be harmful. It’s also true that legal prescription drugs end up killing far more people than all the illegal drugs put together. We all grew up in the wake of the reefer madness PR campaigns begun after Prohibition was repealed. So it’s not hard to understand why so many buy into this good drug bad drug craziness.

How can an absolutely non-toxic herb with a 5000 year old history of medical benefit, suddenly become the killer weed in the 20th century? The same way science was able to determine that African-Americans had smaller brains than white folks. The same way women were determined to be incapable of “manly” decision-making. The same way practitioners of Judaism were scientifically found to be inferior and untrustworthy Homo sapiens.

It’s 2008 and we (once) wealthy, educated Americans are still burning witches.

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By saywhat, December 5, 2008 at 8:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

No way, I’m not convinced by the arguments here, that just legalizing drugs will make all the problems disappear.

If recreational drugs were legalized, then corporations would be selling drugs, instead of street dealers. Corporations would be protected by our government and have their various “rights” as they do in the US. Truthdig justifiably always has quite a lot of reports here about corporations’ abuses. To imagine that corporations and/or private companies would be more responsible drug marketeers, or even sell recreational drugs cheaper, is a mistaken notion in my opinion.

Oh, taxes on drugs would help pay for drug addicts’ rehabilitation, you say? Taxes on alcoholic beverages sure don’t do that. My city pays hundreds of millions/year, picking up homeless alcoholics and caring for them in hospitals and shelters. Taxes on alcohol don’t support that cost at all. Even the tobacco lawsuit money has been used by states in ways that do little to prevent smoking addiction, and do practically nothing to care for people made ill by smoking.

So you guys dream on. The War on Drugs has had many failures and negative repercussions, I’ll agree. But making recreational drug selling a completely legal and government-protected enterprise would only lead to having more substance abusers unconscious on our communities’ sidewalks and in our street gutters. Drug recovery programs for heavy crack or heroin addicts costs about $40K per addict, and still isn’t very effective (relapses). If drugs were legalized, we would just be spending lots of public and personal money on programs to prevent, cure, or lessen the impact of mass addiction,  instead of spending it on ‘The War’.

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By coloradokarl, December 4, 2008 at 9:10 pm Link to this comment

$ 2.00 worth of heroin gets you wasted for six hours Today. Pure cocaine is $30.00 per gram today. If you take into account Inflation the prices are 1/10 the price of 1980. Who’s Winning the WAR!?!

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By Paolo, December 4, 2008 at 8:27 pm Link to this comment

We need to consider the libertarian approach to the Drug War.

What is the quickest way to get criminals out of the drug trade? Obviously, legalize drugs. All of them.

The cost of producing a dose of heroin or cocaine, if these drugs were legalized, would be a few pennies a dose. Well, maybe a few bucks a dose, seeing how Bush has mucked up the economy in general.

In a free society, using concentrated doses of recreational substances, like heroin and cocaine, would tend to die out, because there is no need for such concentration of dose to hide the stuff from the police.

People have used the raw forms of these drugs—coca tea and laudanum—for centuries, with no ill effects.

Marijuana, in a free society, would be really inexpensive, since anyone could grow it in their backyard. Actually, your grandmother or great grandmother probably DID grow it in her backyard—marijuana is a very useful pharmaceutical herb.

End the drug war!

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By Folktruther, December 4, 2008 at 2:50 pm Link to this comment

Good comments, especially by Crimes Blog.  It’s good to see people wising up to US policies.  The purpose of the War on Drugs is not to decrease the use but to INCRREASE THE USE OF HARD DRUGS AS A MEANS OF SOCIAL CONTROl.  As well as a means of gaining cash to buy weapons, and simply as a another commodity of Free Enterprise.

The two major narco-states that the US now maintains, both have INCREASED the production of drugs during hte fake War.  Afghanistan has enormously increased the production of heroin and Columbia has increased the production of cocaine.

But the US prisons are overflowing in the caging up of ussrs and there have been about a million arrests a year for marajuana crimes, mostly simple possession.  The new AG Holder is strongly against grass.  Grass can be grown locally and acts as a substitute for large organization hard drugs, while the War keesps prices high.

The British fought two wars against China to infect their population, which included 26% addicts when the communists took over.  It was only in 1960 that the last of the addiction was wiped out.  Just as US inherited British imperalism, it inherited its penchant for creating drug epidemics.  It is the major form of chemical warfare against populations.

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By mendez, December 4, 2008 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

That anyone actually believes there is an intelligent strategy in place that attempts even to stop drugs coming into this country is a testament to how stupid American citizens are today. This “government” is a criminal body openly robbing ignorant taxpayers and doing nothing to stop drugs.  Drugs today are available everywhere at much lower prices than ever before.  These forays into foreign countries and the concomitant treaties we sign with these countries are only to move money around and enrich those involved.  Get smart for crissakes.

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By Crimes of the State Blog, December 4, 2008 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

The “drug war” is a bigger fraud than the “terror war” which is based in part on it.

Why is so much unacknowledged here, important background that could actually educate readers? 

The CIA inspector general even admitted wrongdoing when the Contras were trafficking cocaine into California in the 1980s, in exchange for weapons.

You think this stopped, magically, just because?

When the Kerry commission got to the touchy subject of CIA subcontractors bringing in the coke—oops—no more public discussion.  Closed session only.

As for now, today, we have private jets loaded with cocaine dropping out of the sky in Mexico.  Only these planes were previously bringing people to Guantanamo and Bagram Air Base for the CIA.  Same planes.  No one is investigated and held accountable.  Daniel Hopsicker has been investigating this for a couple of years.  Not one syllable appears here at Truthdig (sic?).  NarcoNews corroborated the CIA planes connected to Mexican drug smuggling. 

A fleet of 100 of these planes has been purchased by the Mexican Sinaloa cartel.  How about an informative article covering the real story?

CIA drug planes: “Tip of the Iceberg”
Fleet of 50 American aircraft sold to Sinaloa Cartel

Mexico Attorney General: Busted American
Drug Planes Flown by Same Operation

Bush Fundraiser Linked to CIA Drug Plane

Dusty & ‘the boys’
The CIA, Narco-Republicans and 5.5 tons of cocaine

CIA Drug Plane Probe Targets 9/11 Figure
Does Dept. of Homeland Security Threaten Homeland Security?

Four More American Drug Planes Seized

Etcetera, etcetera…

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By JimBob, December 4, 2008 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

I knew as soon as I saw this that by the time I got through the first paragraph, I would see the words, “...the donation of helicopters and surveillance aircraft…” and by golly, I did.  The headline always makes it sound like we’re sending the poor Mexicans cash.  What we’re really doing is giving taxpayer money to the American companies who make helicopters and surveillance plans, then throwing the product over the border.  Kinda like war, where you make things and blow them up, only in this case you give them away.  And who knows, maybe the Mexicans will buy some spare parts later on. 
Welfare for corporations, at taxpayer expense.

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By diamond, December 4, 2008 at 2:04 pm Link to this comment

The war on drugs is as doomed to failure as the war on terror. I’ll never understand the mentality of people who think ‘Well we’ve made that illegal, next problem?’ It must be blindingly obvious by now that turning the drug market into a black market by making drugs illegal has made the drug barons happy as pigs in mud. The cost of a hit of heroin should be the same as a painkiller like Panadal or Tylenol, about 5 cents. But because it’s a black market and they can charge whatever they want it’s around $20. That’s one hell of a markup. The profits to be made selling drugs are so huge that even the CIA has been drawn into this world. And of course when Jimmy Carter was President and refused to give the CIA money to give to bin Laden in Afghanistan who did the CIA turn to? Their good friends in the Columbian drug cartels and their friends in the Turkish mafia who sell Afghanistan’s heroin. They gave the CIA the money that went to bin Laden. This is from the testimony of a mafia whistleblower in the famous mafia trials held in Italy. Add to this the fact that the number one drug problem in the world is alcohol and you can see the moronic craziness of the war on drugs. No one gets arrested for drinking or for being an alcoholic, (unless they actually commit a crime) because everyone now recognizes that alcoholism is a medical problem and it’s dealt with accordingly. Then there are the health problems. I know people who have destroyed their health, not from using drugs but from using dirty needles and getting hepatitis, people who’ve died, not from using drugs but because someone ‘cut’ the drugs with drain cleaner, or who died from an overdose because the drug was too pure. All of this goes on because the drugs are illegal and who does it benefit? It benefits the criminals who sell the drugs to the tune of billions of dollars every year and it benefits the police who get paid huge sums of money to fight a war that can never be won and it benefits politicians who lie through their teeth when they say they’re ‘winning the war on drugs’ and get people to vote for them because of their courageous stand on drug use. The ‘War on Poverty’: failure. The ‘War on Terror’: failure. The ‘war on Drugs’: failure. Bush might as well take all that money and piss it up against a wall for all the good it will do.

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By saywhat, December 4, 2008 at 1:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Some of those cartels, by bribes and threats, control and run parts of Mexico. So if you say that we shouldn’t help their legally-elected president & government try to arrest & jail the narco-traffickers (because it’s an impractical drug war) , then you’re saying that you favor allowing Mexico to deteriorate into a thug-controlled dictatorship.

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By knute, December 4, 2008 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One constant with this administration is to gleefully spend away the treasury. Usually without any kind of oversite. I doubt very much that any of this money will do anything but fill the bank accounts of the corrupt political system that has always been mexico where everyone from the cop on the street to the president is on the take. There has never been any reluctance to waste the taxpayer’s money, and there’s nothing that wastes money like wars, especially the phony war on drugs. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that every “War on ( fill-in-the-blank ) has been a lie by our goverment that never accomplishes, even remotely what its supposedly intended for as far as we are told. Since the inceptin of the supposed war on drugs the problem has only increased geometrically, since the war on terrorism started their numbers have grown exponentially, how about the war on poverty ? remember that one ? their numbers are at their highest levels ever in america…On and on it goes. We all get in line for the politically correct line of bullshit while we increase the problem. All thru history its been the same. You can’t legislate against people’s vices. They are going to find a way to satisfy themselves, whatever the cost, and as long as its illegal, whether its drugs or prostitution,the criminal element will grow as a result of the wrongheaded laws. Our prison system is full, Dick Cheney is profiting from his ownership in the Vanguard group which is the umbrella our privatized jails are growing under…so keeping these arcane laws that fill up our prison system works to fatten his bank account. Its all part of the ideology this admin. follows of G. Norquist’s to drain the treasury of funds to the point that it no longer functions as anything but a support for the wealthy. This is just another small part of this administration’s continued effort to dismantle our democracy….something that in earlier times might have been considered traitorous, but in these times is just a part of a political system that is hopelessly broken, becasue most of us are still too damned apathetic to get involved enough to demand a change.

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By hippy pam, December 4, 2008 at 11:28 am Link to this comment

“ole bullshit” is trying his very bestest to SPEND ALL THE MONEY before he HAS to give up the “first seat”.....what else could WE expect of a coke using cheer leader?????

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By mud, December 4, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Joe B. would be pleased if he ever really gave a hoot about “the drug problem”. But Joe used the issue only for personal gain at the expense of everyone else like all the other slime balls we are allowed to vote for.

This push must be to strengthen the hand of one government sanctioned drug cartel over another. We know from past examples that the war on drugs has nothing to do with drugs and everything to do with unchecked power and untraceable tax free money.

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By Little Brother, December 4, 2008 at 9:08 am Link to this comment

Joe Biden, a hard-line proponent of the “War on Drugs” racket, must be so pleased!

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