Monday, May 16, 2005

SNAFU: War on Drugs
When we finally come to look at the The War on Terror (TM) through the rear-view mirror, it will look similar to the War on Drugs. By this I mean an unwinable battle for control with little relation to its grand aims stated by the spin. For this we can look at the failure of Plan Colombia, the failed US plan to halt cocoa growing in Colombia, and on the way aid the extraction of oil and kill left-wing fighters, human-rights activists etc. Check this: "Washington’s 'war on drugs' in Colombia is collapsing in chaos and corruption, and the drug producers are winning." Funny, huh? It gets funnier...."On 1 January 2004 US satellite pictures showed that 281,323 acres in Colombia were under coca. The target was to reduce that area by half, so nearly 340,000 acres were sprayed with poison. But in vain. In January, the acreage of coca bushes had increased slightly to 281,694 acres..." And as if that was not enough, "...Drug profits have also corrupted US troops stationed in Colombia. This month a US Green Beret lieutenant-colonel and a sergeant were caught selling 32,900 rounds of ammunition to the right-wing death squads who are flush with drug profits..In March, five US soldiers – supposedly training local troops in anti-guerrilla and anti-narcotics techniques – were arrested after 16 kilos of cocaine were found in the aircraft taking them from a military base in southern Colombia back to the US."

(Guess who the company is who makes this toxic spray? Monsanto! The same people who brought you Agent Orange and GM crops. Yay!)

The War on Drugs is the classic global-2-local issue. The cocaine from over there will end up being sold on the streets here. Its a war whose battle-lines extend from the FARC to BSDS. It is worth noting that Bristol has a strong and active Colombia solidarity effort, they do lots of good work and deserve support for their efforts.

The drug war is one war we are all involved in fighting, its just that the state is not interested in winning it, just in escalation for its own reasons.

PS. SNAFU means 'Situation Normal: All Fucked Up'

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