God Help Us If We Start “Winning” the Drug War, Too

Friday, February 13th, 2009

The Wall Street Journal reports that three politically conservative former heads of state in Latin America have declared the U.S.-led drug war on that continent a failure that is “putting the region’s fragile democratic institutions at risk and corrupting ‘judicial systems, governments, the political system and especially the police forces.'”

But it’s U.S. officials’ reaction that’s mind-blowing.

[Former U.S. Drug Czar John] Walters said increased violence in border areas of Mexico was partly a result of criminal organizations compensating for reduced income from the supply of drugs by turning to other activities, such as people-smuggling, and continuing to fight over turf.

U.S. law-enforcement officials — as well as some of their counterparts in Mexico — say the explosion in violence indicates progress in the war on drugs as organizations under pressure are clashing.

“If the drug effort were failing there would be no violence,” a senior U.S. official said Wednesday. There is violence “because these guys are flailing. We’re taking these guys out. The worst thing you could do is stop now.”

Awfully big of Walters to so boldly sacrifice Mexican lives in order make it marginally more difficult for Americans to get high.

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37 Responses to “God Help Us If We Start “Winning” the Drug War, Too”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    That’s it. My last subatomic-sized morsel of hope for the future has finally been snuffed out.

  2. #2 |  Hunter | 

    So it ought to be pretty hard to buy weed in the next few months, eh? Fat chance there…

  3. #3 |  Tim C | 

    Like I’ve said about many issues recently, it’s appalling but understandable when people are misguided philosophically (read “The Ominous Parallels” by Peikoff for history there)(note: I’m not Objectivist, but agree with them on many fundamentals) and thus make bad, pragamatism-guided decisions – it’s doubly appalling, however, when regardless of philosophy, people can’t look at HISTORY and see what failed and not try it again (ok, so the answer to that is, see above, but still). Bailout/stimulus – FDR prolonging Great Depression. Drug War – Prohibition. And on and on.

  4. #4 |  David | 

    “If the drug effort were failing there would be no violence,” a senior U.S. official said Wednesday.

    Yes, they’re now defining “failure” as “a situation where we don’t get to kill people.” These assholes make me sick.

  5. #5 |  PogueMahone | 

    Philadelphia’s Murder Rate Climbing Rapidly.

    Clearly a sign that the Philly police is winning the war on crime.

  6. #6 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Sounds reminiscent of Vietnam war where the body count was the measure of our success. The outcome will probably be similar as well.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    That caught my eye, too- how can a war be successful without violence?!!!

    History’s irrelevent, because they didn’t do it right back then, our leaders understand the issues better…

    It’s the 21st century and we’re still allowing closed-minded fundamentalists to push the inquisition onto all of us, trying to drag us back into the dark ages.

    ‘These assholes make me sick.’

  8. #8 |  texx | 

    sounds like Iraq too. “last gasps of a dying rebellion” and all

  9. #9 |  Mike T | 

    Not to mention the fact that traditionally, conservatives weighed morality on a basis of proportionality, and that proportionality goes out the window here.

  10. #10 |  z | 

    We’re fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here.

  11. #11 |  ktc2 | 

    Violence is up! We’re winning, give us more money!

    Violence is down! We’re winning, give us more money!

  12. #12 |  billhilly | 

    So what happens when the folks south of the border say screw it, we’re tired of our folks dying in the vain attempt to keep the gringos from getting high? What happens if they legalize drugs down there?

  13. #13 |  Aresen | 

    I’m glad that some government officials from Latin America (even if they are only former government officials) are finally pointing out what has been obvious for years:

    If the US Government had deliberately set out to destabilize all the governments of Latin America, they could not have done it more effectively than by their present drug war policies.

  14. #14 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #12 billhilly

    What happens if they legalize drugs down there?

    The U.S. would probably give them the Cuba treatment.

    If they didn’t, Mexico would suddenly see a huge increase in tourism from the U.S. and a booming economy. Soon Mexican companies would start buying up U.S. real estate and U.S. citizens would become hysterical about how Mexico is taking over (sort of like when we were taken over by the Japanese).

    War would be the only option. That’s becoming a broken record, isn’t it. War seems to always be the only option anymore.

  15. #15 |  Tim C | 

    Marty, right, that’s what I meant by “see above” – that pragmatism as a guide means you can ignore cause and effect, ignore reality, ignore common sense, ignore history or any other evidence, and come up with your own reason. “If we don’t we’ll have a worse crisis.” “The reason a failed was because of b, c, and d trivial details, but our b, c, and d will be different.” “My plan rocks because I’m fucking prettier.” Your “[we] understand the issues better” fits right in to this pragmatic mode of thinking, absolutely.

  16. #16 |  Marty | 

    #12 | billhilly-

    they lose financial support from our taxes. that’s the ‘big stick’ our govt waves at countries that defy what we want them to do…

    too bad we can’t withhold financial support from our politicians when they do stupid shit!

  17. #17 |  Windypundit | 

    If they like this method of winning the drug war, then they’ll love my new method for curing cancer with arsenic…

  18. #18 |  Michael | 

    Great argument for success!

    “fewer people die=we are winning”
    “more people die=we are winning”

    That sounds like a win-win situation, to me!

    But I could never see more people dieing, as any semblance of success!

  19. #19 |  Chris K | 

    ^ #7: even the best inquisitors of the ‘dark ages’ wouldn’t have bothered with drugs or what members of their flocks consumed; ‘God-made: must be OK’, they’d argue.

  20. #20 |  Mister DNA | 

    If only John Waters could have been drug czar. What a difference one letter could make.

  21. #21 |  Mattocracy | 

    What’s crazy is that the violence isn’t between drug cartels themselves, its between the drug cartels and the governments. Stop waging war, and the collateral damage will stop.

  22. #22 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    If it is any solace, I hear America as a “nation of consumers” is about to end.

  23. #23 |  thomasblair | 

    Awfully big of Walters to so boldly sacrifice Mexican lives in order make it marginally more difficult for Americans to get high.

    Marginally? Not only is weed still very easy to get, but one can find more variety than the supermarket deli case has types of cheese.

  24. #24 |  ghjost | 

    Thankfully, this whacko is our FORMER drug czar. Only he could see the terrorism in mexico as a positive result of our meddling in their politics. I guess when american cities start seeing mexican cartel violence in their streets, we can finally declare the drugs defeated! Oh, wait…

  25. #25 |  Aresen | 

    @ Marty # 12

    The other countries can also face restrictions on their trade with the US, which could be economically crippling.

  26. #26 |  Burrow Owl | 

    Marty at #16:

    “too bad we can’t withhold financial support from our politicians when they do stupid shit!”

    We can- but we have to do it en masse.

    I think the time is ripe for a national debt repudiation effort.

    I, for one, am seriously considering ‘going off the books’ in the next 12-24 months.

    Just imagine the possibilities if even 10% of the population decided to do so as well…………………….

  27. #27 |  Marty | 

    Burrow owl-

    At this point, with police depts being used as armed tax collectors (asset forfeitures, traffic violations), we’re being actively hunted down for money. With a family, I can’t become mobile right now. My property’s being assessed at a higher rate, so there’s more cash extracted. Unless you make it a full time job and have lots of help (which they do!), I don’t see how we can fight this.

    If I would’ve been ‘off the books’ from the start, I’d be all in.

    I don’t see how this can’t collapse, then we might be able to make a change.

  28. #28 |  Lorraine Sumrall | 

    Violence is the sure sign to the czar that he is winning the dope war? What a freaking retard.

  29. #29 |  Cynical In CA | 

    There is no end to the lies the State will tell to preserve itself.

    Politics is war, and all is fair in war, especially lying.

    It is foolish to believe a word that comes from the lips of a politician.

  30. #30 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “We can- but we have to do it en masse.”

    Now that’s some subversive shit I can get behind!

    If no one voted and no one paid their taxes, there would be anarchy. That would be satisfying.

  31. #31 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    “Awfully big of Walters to so boldly sacrifice Mexican lives in order make it marginally more difficult for Americans to get high”

    Disgusting, but far from unprecedented. Small wonder why many in the third world believe that the U.S. considers the lives of non-Americans (especially non-white Americans) to be rather insignificant. Got to destroy the village to save it, right Mr. Walters.

    “If the drug effort were failing there would be no violence”

    Incorrect, Mr. “Drug Czar.” If there were no “drug effort,” as you put it, there would be a lot less violence. See you almost made sense.

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    […] God Help Us if We Start Winning the Drug War […]

  33. #33 |  livingpre911still | 

    In an article full of honest reflection and insight it is telling that the only DOPEy remarks were from U.S. officials.

  34. #34 |  ARCraig | 

    I do hope to win the drug war some day. I’m confident we’ll defeat the government eventually.

  35. #35 |  Cynical In CA | 

    “War seems to always be the only option anymore.”

    Empires need war like oxygen.

    “War is the health of the State.” — Randolph Bourne.

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    […] Mexican drug lord hit men dress up like a SWAT team to carry out an execution in Phoenix. The rest of the story is just damned scary. But remember, the violence means we’re winning! […]