The drug war brought nothing but violence and poverty to farmers in the region, fueling animosity toward the gringos -- US drug enforcement and military experts who consult with Bolivian security forces on eradicating the coca plantations.We Americans have a way of pissing people off this way.
If the cause of this anger - the war on some drugs- served any purpose it might be justified, but it doesn't. Except, that is, to bolster the interests of drug producers, anti-drug bureaucracies and politicians exploiting the issue.
Meanwhile, the drug trade continues to boom.Well, of course it does. How could it not, with stratospheric profits driven by an artificially high value due to prohibition?
Tens of billions of dollars down the drain every year, erosion of civil liberties, corruption of officialdom, disrespect for bad laws bleeding into disrespect for the law in general, governmental misbehavior like Iran-Contra, on and on and on, all because we need to protect people from themselves.
In Guatemala, drug runners are fielding their own candidates for office and airplanes are disposable commodities. In northern Mexico drug gangs are armed like Iraqi insurgents. In the United States we jail a greater percentage of our people than any other country, and a higher proportion of black males than apartheid-era South Africa. All the while, we bless drugs with a forbidden-fruit allure.
But we are intransigent in our opposition to legalization which would, overnight, wipe out the profits fueling the trade.
We are so stupid.