US Drug Policy and the Border Child Immigration Crisis [FEATURE]

The mass migration of tens of thousands of children and adolescents from Central America festered for months before exploding into a full-blown border refugee/immigration crisis in the last few weeks, as images of hundreds of children warehoused in temporary holding facilities competed with equally compelling images of crowds of angry Americans loudly protesting their presence.

At the border. (COHA)
The finger-pointing is in full swing. Much of it centers on the need to "secure the border" and the Obama administration's alleged failure to do so. Other Republican critics blame the administration's alleged "softness" on child immigrants as a factor pulling the kids north. Democrats counter that the GOP's blockage of long-pending immigration reform is part of the problem.

A lot of the discussion centers around the "pull" factors -- those policies or social or economic realities that draw these immigrants toward the US, but equally at play are "push" factors -- those policies or social or economic factors that impel these emigrants to seek new, better lives outside their homelands.

And there is finger-pointing going on about that, too, with some loud and prominent voices placing a good share of the blame on prohibitionist US drug policies in Latin America -- their emphasis on law enforcement and military responses, their balloon effects, and their other unintended consequences.

The majority of the child immigrants are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America (the isthmus also includes Belize, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama). Those Northern Triangle countries suffered not only devastating civil wars in the 1980s, with the US supporting conservative, often dictatorial governments against leftist popular guerrilla movements (or, in the case of Honduras, serving as a platform for counterinsurgency against the leftist Sandinista government in Nicaragua), but also chronic poverty and income inequality.

They are also the countries feeling the brunt of the expansion of powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations -- the so-called cartels -- who, in response to increased pressure from the Mexican government (assisted by US aid under the Merida agreement) began pushing south into the region around 2008. And they are countries where transnational criminal gangs, such as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) have taken on an increasingly high profile, bringing high levels of criminal violence with them. (San Pedro Sula, Honduras, bears the dubious distinction of having the highest murder rate in the world.)

Honduran President Juan Fernandez is one of the prominent voices placing the blame for the crisis squarely on the war on drugs.

"Honduras has been living in an emergency for a decade," Hernandez told Mexican daily newspaper Excelsior. "The root cause is that the United States and Colombia carried out big operations in the fight against drugs. Then Mexico did it. This is creating a serious problem for us that sparked this migration. A good part of (migration) has to do with the lack of opportunities in Central America, which has its origin in the climate of violence, and this violence, almost 85% of it, is related to the issue of drug trafficking," he said.

Former Clinton administration labor secretary Robert Reich has been another prominent voice pointing to the role of the drug war -- and earlier militaristic US interventions in the region. He let loose in a Facebook post last weekend.

"I've been watching media coverage of angry Americans at our southern border waiving signs and yelling slogans, insisting that the children -- most of whom are refugees of the drug war we've created -- 'go home' to the violence and death that war has created, and I wonder who these angry Americans are," he wrote. The "United States is not a detached, innocent bystander" when it came to the refugee crisis, he explained.

"For decades, US governments supported unspeakably brutal regimes and poured billions into maintaining them ($5 billion in El Salvador alone). Implacable opposition to communism -- often defined as virtually any reformer -- gave these regimes a blank check," Reich continued. "The result is a legacy of dealing with opponents through extreme violence and a culture of impunity. Judicial systems remain weak, corrupt, and often completely dysfunctional. After the cold war ended, the United States lost interest in these countries. What was left was destruction, tens of thousands dead, and massive population displacement. The percentage of people living below the poverty line is 54 % for Guatemala, 36 % for El Salvador, and 60 % for Honduras. More recently gangs, organized crime, and drug cartels feeding the US market have become part of this unholy mix."

While the president of Honduras and Democrats like Reich could have political incentives in what is an increasingly ugly and partisan debate over the crisis, a number of experts on the region -- though not all of them -- agree that US drug policies in the region are playing a major role in the affair.

"Although there are many factors, clearly the drug war is one of them," said John Walsh, senior associate for drug policy for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). "There can't be any doubt that drug trafficking and efforts to repress it are part of the criminality and violence in Central America," he told the Chronicle.

"It's not the only explanation, of course," he added. "There are decades of weak institutions and long histories of violence in the area. But if you take into account the shifting trafficking patterns resulting from the US helping other governments in the region put pressure on the industry and shift routes through Central America, it has certainly added to the problems."

"We've been engaged in a drug war for 40 years, and everywhere we put pressure, it bulges out somewhere else," said Nathan Jones, fellow in drug policy at Rice University's Baker Institute in Houston. "In the Miami Vice era, we put pressure on the Caribbean, and the trade moved to Mexico. We dismantled the Cali and Medellin cartels in the early 1990s, and in hindsight, we know that also empowered the Mexican cartels."

The pattern keeps repeating, Jones said.

"Through the Merida Initiative, we put more pressure on the Mexican cartels -- and for very good reasons -- but that resulted in their dispersal into Central America. The Zetas and the Sinaloa cartel established alliances and began carving out chunks of Central America. They shifted to two-state and multi-stage trafficking operations and tried to minimize their risk by having their loads stop in various countries."

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez (
At the same time the Mexican cartels were pushing (and being pushed) into Central America, Central American gangs were rearing their tattooed heads. Ironically enough, gangs like Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) had their origins in another US war in the region: the Reagan-era effort to thwart the rise to power of popular leftist guerrillas.

"Deportation got us into this mess in the first place," said Jones. "We had immigrants coming from Central America during the wars of the 1980s. Some of them formed their own gangs after being rejected by Mexican street gangs in places like Los Angeles, and when they showed up in the criminal justice system, we deported them back to their home countries. We transnationalized those gangs in the process, and now the violence from those very gangs is resulting in another mass migration flow. And now we are proposing the same solution of deportation. This doesn't deal with root causes."

"I'm not a big proponent of the drug war as an explanation for everything," countered Eric Olson, associate director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC. "We need to stop thinking about the violence in Central America as a drug problem. It's a factor in the violence but not really a primary factor. Community based criminal networks involved in extortion, kidnapping, and other forms of criminal activity -- including retail drug markets -- are more of a factor," he told the Chronicle.

"There is virtually no state presence in most of the areas of highest violence so it's a little hard to blame the drug war," Olson continued. "Where the drug war has been the biggest problem has been when there are mass operations and mass detentions, but even those arrests have less and less to do with drugs and more and more to do with the criminalization of gang membership, extortion, and other things. We've got to stop seeing everything through the drug war lens."

"Criminal groups have diversified their business models," WOLA's Walsh conceded. "Drug trafficking is only one aspect, but the revenues are so huge that there is more money to buy weapons and corrupt officials, so it contributes to crime and impunity. There is no doubt this is part of the problem."

"This is a very complicated issue, with lots of causal factors, and blaming it solely on US policy has lots of shortcomings," said Alicia Magdalena Duda, a researcher with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs (COHA). "But the drug war and the violence is a big issue."

Assigning blame for the status quo is a backwards looking exercise, but what is to be done moving forward? There are divergences of opinion there, too.

"We have to recognize that just equipping these countries to chase drugs around in the interest of interdicting them for our purposes isn't contributing much to reducing violence and increasing public safety," said Walsh. "Drug enforcement as measured by how much they're interdicting has no impact at best, and probably makes things worse. Rather than foster the illusion that we can eradicate the drug trade, we need to steer law enforcement there to reduce violence by going after the worst, most violent actors rather than measuring success in tons seized."

"How to end the violence is a long-term issue," said COHA's Duda. "Those countries are facing extreme violence and poverty. To address this immigration crisis, we have to actively engage with them, and not just with monetary packages. One of the contributors to poverty is corruption, and corruption is rampant there. Ignoring that and just continuing with the present approach is not effective, either," she said.

Duda even broached a very controversial response, one that has also been heard in regard to Mexico and the prohibition-related violence there.

"Maybe they have to engage in peace talks with the gangs and cartels," she suggested.

"One of the great frustrations about Central America is that we supported those right-wing regimes during the Cold War, but we didn't deal with any of the underlying conditions, the grievances, the extreme income inequality, the crushing, grinding poverty," said Jones. "We need a sustained engagement with Central America, but we also have to leverage those host governments to do the right thing. We can't have a situation where wealthy elites are not paying their fair shares of taxes. We have societies fundamentally structured along wrong principles. It will take decades to turn things around, but it needs to happen."

"Our focus should be on reducing violence and addressing the factors that are actually driving the violence," said Olson. "This should include targeted law enforcement, but also prevention programs as well as gang intervention and reintegration programs. Only by reducing violence and the stranglehold criminal networks have on communities will people consider staying in place."

This is a complicated problem with no easy solutions and a lot of different suggestions. Whether prohibition and US drug policies have played a key role or only a supporting one, it does seem clear that, at best, they have not helped. At worst, our drug policies in the region have increased violence and corruption in the region, enriching the worst -- on both sides of the law.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Stop Looking Thru Drug War Lens.... ???

"There is virtually no state presence in most of the areas of highest violence so it's a little hard to blame the drug war," Olson continued. [REALLY? A LITTLE HARD? WOW...} "Where the drug war has been the biggest problem has been when there are mass operations and mass detentions, but even those arrests have less and less to do with drugs and more and more to do with the criminalization of gang membership, extortion, and other things. {YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING...SERIOUSLY?} We've got to stop seeing everything through the drug war lens."
OMG. JUST WHO NEEDS TO STOP LOOKING THROUGH 'DRUG WAR' LENSES IS A REAL DAMN GOOD QUESTION... Of all the fucking nerve. We are told for decades that we need to see everything in terms of 'Drug War'. Then, when the damage done by this heinous War becomes obvious to EVERYBODY, or SHOULD BE OBVIOUS, these pundits start SPIN CONTROL by telling us to 'Stop looking through the Drug War lens?' Ex-fucking-cuse me? Some of us never put those lenses on to BEGIN with!

More on this one....

I have a lot to write about this. Thank you, for the xlnt coverage of this, and for allowing me to post comment(s) here.
What Pres. Hernandez is saying has the ring of truth, even if he does have a horrible record. Certainly he, if anyone, ought to know what makes the clock tick! Think of it: 'An emergency for the last decade'! These children and their parents have lived with lots of poverty for a long time; perhaps their families have for generations. Poverty fuels much immigration. Of this, there is no doubt... NAFTA & CAFTA and related policies are taking their toll. This on-going, disturbing event is a real message from our Southern neighbors that speaks volumes. But let us not fail to read the message clearly: The more direct cause is the dramatically increased levels of violence, and the escalating insecurity associated not only with the predatory operations of drug traffickers, but with the increasing and finally total corruption of authority figures in government and police forces ALSO as a direct result of Prohibition. (i.e., the 'Drug War'). Further, also think: why rush into either permanently taking in these refugee children or deporting them without first asking any questions? But you can bet they don't want to ask any questions. It's obvious to any thinking person why they don't want to... Because our government is addicted to Drug Prohibition. This horrendous damage is just a small slice of what it costs the masses of people. But the real impact of poverty here is for those who don't have any way to buy a ticket out of the on-going Prohibition insanity.

    For, with Prohibition, we are effectively setting fire to their house from the back, while turning a hose on the front, with all these heroic-seeming rescue/ military-like efforts. As long as the TV cameras focus on the water-spraying hose in front, I guess its a good PR move for sociopathic arsonists who like to pose as a firefighters... But I can't be blamed for wanting no part of such a process!  It is high time to AT LEAST address the most BLATANT of the underlying causes of this unrest: Prohibition! Perhaps more precisely, the gov't policy makers and their cronies who endorse Prohibition cannot be seperated from this either, tho, I grant you that... WHY ARE THEY ALL SAYING EVERYTHING BUT THIS?! WHAT THE FUCK IS IT GOING TO TAKE TO SMASH THROUGH THE DENIAL?

Yet More

 For e.g., I found the comments of Professor Dana Frank "who argues it was the coup — more than drug trafficking and gangs — that opened the doors to the violence in Honduras" (see interview on Democracy Now! last week @ to be disingenuous. Such a knee-jerk acceptance of the idea that drug criminality ought to be a 'given' is really disturbing, because it continues a policy of denial.  Uruguay is trying to change this paradigm, for e.g. Why are Frank and so many other mainline media pundits trying to shift the focus?  There have been lots of coups in Central America. When you have a coup that puts 'drugs lords' into political power, what 'crime' is it that allows them to directly finance their operations and keep such devastating corruption in place? Duh, HELLO? HEEEELLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOO!!???? Saying that it is the coup and not the drug war policies is tantamount to turning an effect into a cause. I find this approach particularly insidious, because it is NOT pointing to Who & What CREATED so-called 'drug criminality'. China, the U.S., U.K. & other government's policies in turn, NOT GOD & MOSES came up with DRUG PROHIBITION. Taking Frank's approach is like saying that someone who died in a car accident 'died because they were in a car'. If drugs were de-criminalized, how would such a 'criminal' regime continue to finance itself?  I don't think it would be so easy.  People WANT cops they can trust. Most cops, I believe, want to be good, trustworthy guys who are doing a public service. When unreasonable policies make temptation to manipulate situations too great, it is going to happen; this is demoralizing, and can eventually make good policing not just difficult, but impossible.

In Summary

We are seeing, even in this country, finally, what is painfully obvious now in Honduras, and similar places: Prohibition sets up corrupting forces which eventually gain the upperhand, just as they did in 1920's-30's Chicago during the years of the Volstead Act. (Note also: The Great Depression started WELL AFTER the violence in Chigaco did. When the Great Depression DID begin, is was more important than ever that the Volstead Act be repealed! Think about THAT one!).. It is not a question of whether this demoralization and corruption will happen.  It is rather a question of how long it will take it to happen. Honduras is simply one of the first countries to succumb so completely, and for a number of reasons. One of these is undoubtedly because it is one of the poorest. But it can no longer be denied that the 'Drug War' policies---spearheaded and pursued by the U.S., especially---has been the single most powerful factor in the successful destabilization of Central America; a thing, btw, which the U.S. has consistently sought for a long time. (See documentary 'Harvest of Empire' by Juan Gonzalez, et al). What happens in Honduras is thus the beginning of a MAJOR HEADS UP for the entire world: The ONLY effective way forward for these countries is to opt out of the Drug War dogma, and begin to change their policies, as Uruguay is attempting to do. What other sensible option do they have? If the U.S. won't stop Prohibition, they will have to begin to do it themselves. Are you listening, America, No, So & Central? If there is a better idea, we are all waiting to hear what it is! Especially the refugee children!  Those poor children all deserve better than to find that their best option is to 'escape' to the very country whose policies have given their homelands so much grief…only to be given 'the business' one more time…

RIGHT! "Prohibition sets up corrupting forces ..."

The article above concludes with the awesome UNDERSTATEMENT:

"This is a complicated problem with no easy solutions and a lot of different suggestions."

Various comments above were more perceptive than the featured article, in my opinion!

My typical blah, blah, blah about the psychotic breakdown of pot prohibition is as follows:

This story indicated some more points regarding the ways that pot prohibition, which was the majority of the "war on drugs" goes through psychotic breakdowns. "Prohibition sets up corrupting forces which eventually gain the upperhand ,,," Marijuana laws were never based on anything but huge legalized lies, backed up with lots of legalized violence, for decade after decade, through evil deliberate ignorance towards the available rational evidence and logical arguments that the prohibition was causing far more harm than the pot. Tragically, the psychotic breakdown of pot prohibition is merely one small component of the overall psychotic breakdown of Neolithic Civilization, whose development of agriculture was fundamentally based on "human farming" or slavery systems, maintained by deceits backed by destruction, especially through the history of warfare. Upon that basis, of the murder systems being operated through the maximum possible deceits, was built the monetary systems operating on the basis of the maximum possible frauds, as in the current form of a public "money" supply which is a privatized fiat "money" made out of nothing as debts, which debt slavery systems have driven its numbers to grow exponentially, to become debt insanity.

The funding of the political processes was always the central core to those developments, as the points of maximum leverage in the combined money/murder systems. The war on marijuana was merely another extreme particular example of the general pattern of social facts, whereby wars based on deceits backed up the debt slavery social pyramid systems. It is perversely appropriate that the biggest lies work the best as propaganda. Therefore, rebranding hemp, which is the single best plant on the planet for people, for food, fiber, fun and medicine, as being "marijuana which is almost as bad as murder," was a classic kind of war based on HUGE LIES. However, since the violence to back up lies never makes those lies become true, eventually the whole system of enforced frauds becomes more and more insane, until it goes through some sort of psychotic breakdowns, like pot prohibition is now doing. It fits into the madness of Neolithic Civilization becoming a train wreck, that has jumped the rails of history that made and maintained it, that the single best crop for agriculture, cannabis, was completely criminalized for decade after decade, in order to continue to operate slightly more sophisticated social slavery systems.

In general, it is NOT possible to have any rational public debates about any important issues, because the basic REALITIES are that our human ecology operates its death controls through the maximum possible deceits, while our political economy operates its debt controls through the maximum possible frauds. Furthermore, not only do the established systems do that, but also, their controlled opposition groups do that too! By and large, it appears ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE, from a practical political point of view, to "stop the drug war" in any saner ways, because the overwhelming vast majority of people deliberately refuse to face any of the basic social facts regarding the history of human death controls, or the history of the murder systems, which was manifested in the supreme ideology, which is militarism.

Although it is practically pointless to assert the deeper social facts, which almost everyone, including BOTH those running the established systems, as well as those in their controlled opposition groups, deliberately ignore,  there is no reasonable doubt that the only genuine solutions to our real problems must depend upon better death controls systems. However, since the actual death controls in human ecology have developed to be based upon the maximum possible deceits, and the controlled opposition operates from inside of the same frame of reference as the established systems originally promoted, there is no realistic ways to doubt that that the war on drugs will end by going through a series of psychotic breakdowns,

I like to day dream about the irrational hopes for enough people understanding the deeper issues at play, however, there are no reasonable grounds to expect that series of political miracles would be allowed to happen. Instead, the war on drugs, which was another case of wars based on deceits, in order to back up the debt slavery systems, basic to the established social pyramids systems, are necessarily headed towards severe social storms, and collapses into crazy chaos. We have not seen nothing yet, since the psychotic breakdowns of the drug wars have now become merely more minor components of the overall psychotic breakdown of Neolithic Civilization.

There were perfectly good reasons why warfare was the oldest and best developed social science, which are necessary to understand the background to the ways that the war on drugs developed. However, almost nobody wants to go through the profound paradigm changing processes necessary to understand that better. Therefore, the war on drugs is going to "end" as that becomes an aspect of the psychotic breakdown of civilization. Theoretically, anything better would require intellectual scientific revolutions, going back to the roots of the errors made during the development of Neolithic Civilizations' concepts of time and space, etc. ... However, from a personal, practical point of view, I have no good grounds to expect that is actually possible, as that would require a series of political miracles. Instead, my view now is that "ending the drug war," which primarily means ending the war against marijuana, is too little, too late, and too trivial to really matter much anymore.

Too Trivial for Hope Fiend?

Wow. That is quite a lot to think about; very insightful... Although I have not seen the unfolding of civilization in quite the same terms, what you are saying does make a lot of sense... It _is_ hopeless looking, on the face of it. I concede that instantly. But I think that one thing which allows me to find a reason to have hope is that I truly believe that these substances like marijuana, and other sacramental drugs, like peyote, can help humans to find a re-outline, if you will, of their spiritual paths. Because, if I am not mistaken, the ultimate 'battle' for the future, or the changing of the train-wreck of a militaristic society is a SPIRITUAL battle. I recall what happened with LSD some decades ago, for example, and how people started to OPT OUT of the murder-as-usual-corporations-are people-that-you-must-die-for-too paradigm after tripping. I recall how threatening drugs were to the 'Powers That Be'. Yeah, well, it _was_ threatening! They were right to be in a panic. The murder machine was not incorrect to fear it. In a very disturbing, uncanny fashion, it instinctively knows what it has to do to perpetuate its predations. Like a fucking vampire.
     One thing that I was _shown_ from my own psychedelic sessions in the early 1970's was that there is tremendous hope in various ancient shamanic spiritual paths of humanity. So, even though it may look impossible, it may not be too late. I will go so far as to say, even, that of all the hope out there, that ending the Drug War may be one of the most important chances, or most important places to _begin_. (Vid. work of Timothy Leary, Sasha Shulgin, et al, for e.g.). Personally, it seems to me to be one of the most important epicenters of dysfunction which may well represent the ONLY nexus we have to destabilize and shake the hold of the insanity which grips humanity. By ending Prohibition, I do not simply mean ending 'pot prohibition' (---which is a yawn, in my opinion). Rather, I mean ending the prohibition on all drugs; i.e., at the very least 'de-criminalizing' them.  <----As I write this I realize that when one says 'de-criminalize', one is tacitly accepting the idea that they _can_ BE 'criminalized' to begin with... Actually, they can't! Unjust or irrational law is not law. A gov't can PROSCRIBE or prohibit certain behavior or certain things, etc. But the idea that substances can be 'criminalized' is actually a radical, bizarre and even laughable idea, when you really think about it...  It is nothing but a rationalization for magnifying tyranny. And a hollow one, a grimacing scarecrow, at that... One soon stops laughing...
   You write: "The funding of the political processes was always the central core to those developments, as the points of maximum leverage in the combined money/murder systems. The war on marijuana was merely another extreme particular example of the general pattern of social facts, whereby wars based on deceits backed up the debt slavery social pyramid systems." --- If I understand what you are saying, I think I agree with you in that I believe that this (radical) concept that a gov't can 'criminalize' drugs is an extension of the predominant 'paradigm' of so-called civilization. Just one more extension of deceit in that sense, i.e. I also believe it is more than just a 'follow money' thing. (Not that you _are_?,  I'm just saying that...) to me, it is a spiritual dilemma. (Not a religious or economic one, in the final analysis). I first became aware of the outrageous nature of the 'debt-slavery' methods of which you write back in the 1960's. It is appalling, the Royal Scam is... But the desire to opt out of that scam---at least, in part--- was, according to a comment made by Ben Franklin, one of the major reasons the Revolutionary War that gave rise to the U.S. was fought. Thus, we see that the struggle against insanity is, in part, what gave birth to this country. Even if it did start off as an apartheid system. (Hemp fan, freemasonic George Washington, for e.g., saw how unfair the system was, etc., and wanted to free his slaves, and set up his will so that this would eventually happen, for e.g.). But, in the end, what choice do we have but to continue the struggle against insanity as we can by the light we have? I mean, if we want to make sense out of our time here...?
   The idea of 'death controls' and other things of that sort are also very important concepts, as part of the larger picture.... Personally, I am a 'friend of Athens'----as the ancient Egyptians used to say, i.e., they who admired the Athenian model of ancient times, wherein the population of the environs of Athens was not allowed to exceed 10,000 in number. It is paradoxical and counter-intuitive perhaps, but agreeing to limit our population is actually the Real 'Pro-Life' attitude!
     What can one do with a society which has gone insane and is train-wrecking itself? Well, one approach is to shake it up and say 'SNAP OUT OF IT'! Or, for e.g., one can stand idly by and eat popcorn and watch the fireworks of the crash. For a couple of ideas, anyway. True, we all get tired of saying 'Snap Out of It' to someone who won't listen. Boy, do I know _that_ feeling. To me, _one_ way of saying 'Snap Out of It' is to say "Stop the Drug War'. Period. Not Just 'Legalize Pot'. Stop it Now. And---We _could just do that_, right? I know it is asking for a lot. But if we don't ask for it, then it seems to me that we abdicate our spiritual responsibilities; such a course of omission drags us into the loss of our own integrity, only to become a further part of the train wreck ourselves. In such a case, we are not the popcorn-eating observers. We _become_ the train-wreck, so to speak; not just part of it. It is probably too late to make any meaningful difference. True, that. But if just one ember can still be fanned into a flame of sanity, this hope fiend will continue...

PS Just Say No...

This is not to say that the economic practices have not taken their toll; we all know about the coup in Guatemala in 1954, for e.g., as one of the most egregious. We can cite many more of these. The Domincan Republic, El Salvador, etc., ad nauseam. I am not implying that the Drug War is some isolated thing disconnected and causitive in and of itself. Rather that it is one of the biggest tools in the arsenal of the repressive, destabilizing American economic policies. (Similar stuff goes on up here, too, guys!). I would be very curious to know what is taught about this (i.e., narco-financing) in the School of the Americas. If you could get the whole picture, the secret stuff, the high level ops, I think you will find that this is part of the doctrine: you have to have a source of cash to fund union busting thugs, for e.g., preferably LOTS of it; it's got to be as untraceable as possible. You then combine this with 'safety valve ' migrations, etc. This is all part of the deal. You can follow this stuff WAY back: A good read in this re: is former Time Magazine writer Elaine Shannon’s older book Desperados, about Kiki Camarena, and the DEA, etc. In the book (an expose, not fiction) she writes about the DEA, and how Oliver North tried to have los of money---money the DEA had recently confiscated from the Medellin cartel in a sting---given directly to the contras in Nicaragua. Etc. (When the DEA refused to do that, in apparent retaliation the White House, i.e.---Reagan HIMSELF, outed the informant, a Medellin cartel helicopter pilot whom the DEA had clandestinely turned, and literally signed the guy's death warrant in the process! i.e. Bobby Seal). (See esp. parag. 4. Note that the DEA does not tell you in that article that Reagan outed Seal on national television, in what was tantamount to an astounding betrayal! I heard Reagan do this on TV with my own ears at the time. I knew what he had done, but I didn't know why until much later. This connection was NEVER made in the national media, and very few people 'got 'it'. They don't WANT to when their heads are filled with anti-drug propaganda and hype... Bush and Reagan knew that; they knew they could act with impunity.  (Also vid., (Also, esp. WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU ABOUT UNCLE RONNIE, the 'former' Actor? It tells ya he never stop acting just because he got the White House job. Oh yeah, even tho he did some good things, true. Still... What does this also tell us about the Bush empire, et al. And what kind of pressures Obama labors under? People who really want to help make it more possible to have better economic and labor relations, and freer borders, less violence, etc., need to understand how these things have been playing themselves out. If we are going to try to make these better things possible, WE NEED TO KNOW WHO & WHAT WE ARE UP AGAINST. In the end you realize that it makes lots of sense to challenge this powerful tool in their arsenal, i.e., Drug Prohibition.  I.e., to dismantle, to neutralize it somehow.  Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think I am not alone in seeing the need for a whole new way of approaching things; perhaps a counter-intuitive one... Not simply, in other words, to JUST SAY NO. But rather, to JUST SAY NO TO DRUG PROHIBITION.

So, the mania of

So, the mania of Anonymous510000 continues:
     After re-reading my (rather manic rant) of yesterday, realize that my "Just Saying No To Drug Prohibition" is actually a rhetorical device.  'Just Say No to Drug Prohibition' is just as bad as Nancy Reagan's 'Just Say No' in that it oversimplifies the situation. It is a rhetorical device---a  shock tactic---a sort of reductio ad absurdam... What I really wanted to get across is the backwards, i.e., the wrong-headedness of the last 40 years of drug policy.  Not only in this country, but around the world. Impoverished nations in So. America have gotten hooked on drug lucre, just like ours; and in the So. in some cases one supposes it represents the only cash flow coming into some areas, etc. I think I _get_ that.  But we can't we begin to turn this around by LEGITIMIZING a market for the drugs that will be consumed by addicts or whoever, anyways? The addict ratio population of this country has remained the same, like an undulating sine wave, no matter how much the 'Drug War' is escalated, according to a study I just saw yesterday. (Tried to find it again but couldn't, darn it! I think it was on News.Mic). This study shows that the much maligned, hated and shamelessly exploited junkies and dope fiends (like your mother, brother, sister, father, etc. and maybe even _you_ ---gasp---down the street at some later date) have proven nature's point:. NAMELY, THAT THE PROCESSES THAT GO INTO DRUG ADDICTION are  NOT SO MUCH ABOUT MORALITY AND/OR GREED VS. SELF-CONTROL.  The PEOPLE who probably are the real greed-heads are more likely the unscrupulous dealers who do not use the drugs themselves, while the real people with 'moral' control issues are the cops and legislators and fearful, controlling urges of a naive public---if anyone. At least, the case can be made for this... WE HAVE GOT TO GET THIS THRU OUR COLLECTIVE HEADS. ADDICTION IS ABOUT ORGANIC PROCESSES GOING ON IN THE BRAIN. Thus, I hate to tell you drug lords, cops, bystanders... But you _ultimately_ have _no control_ over these organic processes.  They are more powerful than any of you. Mother Nature ALWAYS WINS. THIS IS GOOD.  BECAUSE IF _SHE_ DOESN'T, WE ALL LOSE. It is not about some moral debate. Once we understand this, we realize, that all we can do is try to reduce the potential harm inherent in these relations. That is the best we can do.  Anyways... Right. Thus, the truly desperate need for all of us to find a different approach. This has been needed by THE MASSES (not the rich and powerful, apparently, huh?) for going on 100 years. Unfortunately, as we all know, anything that works in favor of the rich and powerful people and their predatory corporate vehicles like Monsanto et al, and disinherits and destabilizes the ability of the masses (what people today call the 99% ---if you like that model) to respond to and challenge the excesses of said 1% will be VERY difficult to implement---if not nearly impossible.


OK. Currently in the area of pot legalization: I am leaning towards the idea of a state monopoly on pot sales, with home growing for personal use. The reason for this is that I would like to see THE PROFITS MADE FROM THIS SACRED HERB ARE EARMARKED FOR DRUG TREATMENT PROGRAMS. I think we should do the same with ANY SACRED PLANT: opium, coca, etc. This SANCTIFIES the 'profit' by TURNING IT TO SOMETHING SPIRITUAL, instead of MAKING IT JUST ANOTHER VEHICLE FOR CORPORATE GREED. And it also ALLOWS THE FUNDS GENERATED BY ADDICTS TO BE EARMARKED FOR HELPING TO ADDRESS THE PROBLEMS THAT ADDICTION CAN ENGENDER. This makes so much sense that it seems a no-brainer. Make it NON-PROFIT in that sense. Plow the money back into research, treament, etc. Now THAT would be the way to REALLY conduct a 'Drug War'. A judo-like method; a spiritual one! Not a billy club one.  We can always change this model or tweak it later. But it makes sense as a place to start. Like RAND's Kilmer has said elsewhere: once we let go of a state monopoly, it is harder to get it back.
     We have to keep the ball rolling. It occurs to me that perhaps the SMOKEOUTS in PA are an example of one of the most powerful tools--- i.e., one of the most effective tactics---that the 99% has [WHEN IT REACHES A CERTAIN LEVEL OF AGREEMENT WITH ITSELF] is a type of Civil Disobedience a la Ghandi. I.e., NON-VIOLENT NON-COOPERATION with unjust and tyrannical practices.  What I am afraid of, though is that everyone is going to turn from marijuana and begin some new wave of persecution mania with 'hard drugs'.  This is what society has a history of doing, unfortunately. Because if we do that, i.e., IF WE SIMPLY SHIFT THE WITCH HUNT TO ANOTHER ASPECT OF THE 'DRUG PROBLEM', then the 1% will win again; I do not think this will be a win for the 99%.
    Final thoughts: It would be nice to believe the 1% theory exemplified by Ronnie's 'Trickle Down' idea could work. I.e., when the 1% is successful, then the rest of us are successful.  But the predatory nature of Monsanto et al makes this theory an insult. It was an insult then, and it still is today. 'Trickle Down' is what's trickling down their legs as they stand over all of us and piss on us. Perhaps there is no way to change that. The problem is an ancient one.  For, the changes that we are asking for are for the 99%, and what the life of our planet needs to flourish, is the Supporting of Nature, encouraging individual expression of each thing to be what it is. Then, the 1% will reap the benefit of _our_ flourishing. True, indivual liberty is important as a concept. This is not a 'communist' or 'socialist' vs. 'capitalist' concept; Rather, it is just COMMON SENSE. It is good that we CAN and DO refuse to complacently accept injustice and predation where we find it, and, at least make our voices heard. From our voices, we can find our strength. The internet is a powerful tool for this process. Thank you, again,, for giving a place for people to comment and perhaps reach the minds of others with our open-handed thoughts on this challenging problem.

Here is link that study

Finally found it again. The chart is towards the end, so ya gotta read all the way thru, &c.

War for the sake of war

Entities actively involved in the drug war don't want to see the war end. So long as the war continues, they have a paycheck, can justify their budget and continue to lie about their justification. 

The Meridia Initiative, billions spent and thousands killed. 

The Merida Initiative:

Mexico's Drug War: 50,000 Dead in 6 years

At the same we poured billions of dollars into Mexico, and other Central American nations, which killed thousands of people, the government was hard at work either handing out drugs or contributing to the illegal import of drugs into the U.S. through preferred cartel(s).

Lawsuit: DEA paid New Mexico man with crack:   

CONFIRMED: The DEA Struck a Deal With Mexico's Most Notorious Drug Cartel:

Documents: Feds allegedly allowed Sinola cartel to move cocaine into U.S. for information:

Feds try to prevent LEGAL sale transactions through banks, but provide provide a slap on the wrist to a bank found laundering drug money?

Medical Marijuana Shops Struggle With Banks, Mounting Federal Pressure To Turn The Businesses Away:

Outrageous HSBC Settlement Proves the Drug War is a Joke:

It's clear that the government is both the drug dealer and enforcer. The present strategy is to have a plentiful supply of drugs entering the country illegally, and then justify the budget to continue the "drug war."

In any war, there are refugees, we are seeing that now. Kudos to the Stop The Drug War for this article, for trying to get the message out. 

Unfortunately, only the prohibitionist fails to understand why prohibition is a failed public policy.  

DRUG WAR -Hoffific Conditions in Countries Controlled by Cartels

It is merely an opinion but if we take in all the facts of this so called war on drugs, I'm sure the average intelligent American can see how the U.S. drug policies have caused the Illicit Drug Industry to be more profitable to Cartels and nations which export these drugs to the United States at the same time is has cost the American tax payers Billions fighting a war which never should exist and in all fairness is NOT  a War on Drugs at ALL. . . . but instead,   HUGE TURF WAR between illegal drug cartels, pharmaceutical companies, the U.S. controlled C.I.A. operatives and all who stand to make huge profits by keeping these substances illegal instead of creating a legal "controlled and taxed" means of distribution, rather than spending Billions of Taxpayer's dollars to make these organizations rich and powerful,

THE U.S. TAXPAYERS HAVE BEEN LIED TO AND CONDITIONED TO BELIEVE THE MONEY USED TO FIGHT A NEVER ENDING WAR OF DRUGS BY THIS MILITARY STYLE APPROACH CAN ACTUALLY STOP THE USE OF DRUGS --------------------------------------  Drugs or "pharmaceutical" mind / mood altering substances have been used by mankind sine the beginning of recorded history,,,,, do you REALLY BELIEVE  CREATING LAWS AGAINST SUCH USE WILL BE EFFECTIVE TO PREVENT THEIR USE?  I doubt it very much.

So as for the cause of the increase in problems related to this drug war I hold The U.S. Congress who created these OUT DATED Drugs Policies. 

'all I have to say for now..... 

God Bless All, and to ALL , may God Bless,,,,,,   Herb Anthony, aka Irp Snerple, Rabble Rousing Pleiadian Dragon Lion

SOME credit?

The war on drugs is the exact thing these children are stating as their reason for fleeing.They are either really clever little kids or they're actually being given no choice but to either join a cartel or,in the case of women,work as either mules or whores.Any parent that would put their most precious thing in this world on a bus to the border must be so desperate.America has the market that drives the bus and the weapons that both sides are using to kill each other.They at least owe the refugees they have created with their drug war a chance at a life.They send billions to these countries and train death squads to try to quell a market that only exists in America.This makes sense,how?

And after all those words ...

And after all those words ... the children are suffering with adults words and actions.



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