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March 2006
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Why it’s called the war on (some) drugs

So in the latest Colombian news — Due to extensive government corruption, wealthy drug traffickers have opened a new door to transporting their drugs… … from the U.S. to Colombia.
“How’s that?” you ask.
The U.S. has complex negotiations regarding what preferential treatment Colombia has to give the United States in exchange for turning their country into a wasteland, and there have been free trade negotiations as well. Here’s one of the outcomes:

Colombian negotiators also caved on the issue of intellectual property rights. As a result, patents held by U.S. pharmaceutical companies will now be more comprehensively protected in Colombia, which means that cheaper generic drugs will likely be replaced with the more expensive U.S.-produced versions. Stephanie Weinberg, a policy adviser for the aid organization Oxfam International, said that the trade agreement “could dangerously hinder Colombia’s access to important lifesaving drugs at affordable prices.”

House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who is heavily funded by drug traffickers, thought it was a good deal.
Interestingly, in a country where we are spending taxpayer money to convince farmers to switch to crops other than coca…

The Bush administration succeeded in getting Colombia to agree to initially lower, and eventually remove entirely, tariffs on U.S. poultry, corn and rice. Consequently, heavily subsidized U.S. farmers will be able to flood the Colombian market with these products, threatening the livelihood of their Colombian counterparts.

Oh, that makes sense.
However, at least the Colombian flower growers will get some help.

The deal also allows U.S. companies to purchase privatized public utility companies and allows more Colombian flower exports to the United States. Interestingly, the greatest benefactor of increased Colombian flower exports will be the country’s largest flower producer: the Dole Food Company, a U.S. multinational that controls 25 percent of the Colombian flower industry.

Boy, we sure know how to play the drug war, don’t we. Use taxpayer money to rape a country, destabilizing it without actually affecting the flow of drugs, and then pick up some of the choice leftovers.

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