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August 2008
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Exporting democracy… or something

A picture named vietnam.jpg
Vietnam:

Wearing black helmets and police T-shirts, their handguns levelled, a drug raid team inches along the outside of a compound, throws open the door, spots a man with a gun and opens fire.
With the pop-pop-pop of a Glock 9mm an armed suspect is shot and hits the floor as seven counter-narcotics officers fan out and clear the adjoining rooms, checking for any more armed and hostile drug runners.
The training operation over, the team leader had some stern words for his men.
“We must aim better and make every shot count so no one is injured unnecessarily and we go home safe to our families,” he bellowed as some of the law enforcement officers stared at their boots. […]
This Hanoi paintball op is part of a US-Vietnamese training exercise in which Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents pass on some of the skills of their dangerous trade to their local counterparts.

Yes, this is what we, as Americans, have to share with the world. How to bust down doors and shoot the residents. (No indication as to whether they had workshops on shooting dogs.)
This is part of our global contribution. The drug war has become the preferred foreign policy approach toward controlling much of the world. We export our drug war, our tactics, and, most of all, our DEA.

(Now with offices in Belize, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico, Canada, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Paraguay, Colombia, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Aruba, Netherlands Antilles, Suriname, Jamaica, The Bahamas, Turks & Caicos Islands, Haiti, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname, Dominican Republic, Cambodia, Thailand, Mongolia, Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, New Caldeonia, New Zealand, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis & Futuna, Western Samoa, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Malaysia, Kiribati, Nauru, Philippines, Burma, South Korea, Brunei, East Timor, Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Laos, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Greece, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Romania, Bahrain, Chad, Dijibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kuwait, Libya, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Oman, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Russia, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo, Western Sahara, Channel Islands, Ireland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Azores, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Gibraltar, Portugal, Principality of Andorra, Spain, Spanish Enclaves (Ceuta & Melilla), Algeria, France, Monaco, Morocco, Tunisia, Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Netherlands, Poland, Austria, Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Slovak Republic, Ukraine.)

With that kind of presence, we insure that the rest of the world follows our lead. And if they don’t toe the line in the way we want to fight the drug war, we threaten to cut foreign aid, or in the case of Venezuela, which kicked out the DEA for spying, we accuse them of allowing drug trafficking.
Most countries are hesitant to buck the system, and would rather appear eager to participate

Phnom Penh: The National Authority for Combating Drugs has asked the US Embassy to create an office for the enforcement of the anti-drug law in Cambodia, in order to train the Cambodian anti-drugs authorities in different skills, and in order to help them to combat drugs worldwide.

Why can’t we go back to exporting Big Macs and “Baywatch”? Sure, they may not have been very fulfilling, but at least they generally didn’t kill you in the middle of the night.

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