I reported Tuesday about a videotape showing Sunni Muslims executing a drug dealer.
Now we have a report in the LA Times that US officials are claiming that Sunni Muslim insurgents are not only smuggling drugs to finance the insurgency, but using drugs to allow them to keep fighting after they’ve been mortally wounded.
Top military officials consider the discoveries to be evidence not just of drug use among insurgents, but also of smuggling operations that they say the Sunni Muslim rebels in Fallouja may have been using to finance the insurgency.
“They are just as likely to be indications of drug smuggling as insurgents being doped up to provide stamina or have the courage to fight and die,” a senior military official in Baghdad said. …
“One guy described it as like watching the ‘Night of the Living Dead,’ ” corpsman Peter Melady said. “People who should have been dead were still alive.”
Of course, this may all be true. Sometimes it’s just a matter of whether the drug activity is OK’d by your leaders.
The U.S. Military has its own contradictory and complex relationship with drugs (and has historically as well).
You’ve got situations like the Iowa National Guard story, where guardsmen who tested positive for drugs were sent to Iraq anyway, and then kicked out when they returned. And you’ve got the military’s need for speed in order to keep pilots on edge. And don’t forget Afghanistan, where the drug war is conflicting with the war on terrorism.
Anybody know if there’s been a good scholarly work done on this complicated military/drug relationship? Seems like there’s some fascinating material there.