Check out the beginning of this AP article:
Government spraying of coca plant killer is driving growers and traffickers out of their usual territory into national parks where spraying is banned. Here they are burning thousands of acres of virgin rain forest and poisoning rivers with chemicals.
Now the government faces a painful dilemma: to spray weedkiller would be devastating, but the impact of coca-growing is increasingly destructive. The question is, which is worse?
What’s wrong with this article?
First, the statement “Cocaine is killing the great nature parks of Colombia.” No. Drug traffickers are destroying the parks, not cocaine. And why? Because the eradication program has pushed them to these locations.
Now this doesn’t in any way excuse the actions of the traffickers, or make what they do right. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out this would happen. A child could tell you. It’s the traffickers fault that the parks are being destroyed, but we could have prevented it if we didn’t blindly follow the god of prohibition.
Now let’s take a look at another part of that quote:
Here AP invents a fantasy set of alternatives. In the author’s mind, there are two options:
- Have plentiful cocaine, or
- Spray destructive weed-killer
But those alternatives don’t actually exist. Years of “eradication” have shown that there has been no impact on cocaine availability. So in actuality, the alternatives are:
- Have plentiful cocaine or
- Spray destructive weed-killer and have plentiful cocaine
Now which one makes more sense?
On Sunday, US Ambassador William Wood urged Colombia to spray weed killer in the parks. No surprise there. If we don’t care about the lives of the farmers and their crops and ecosystem, why should we care about…
First we create a set of conditions that encourage traffickers to damage the parks. Then we go in and finish the job with weed killer.
Aren’t we the smart ones.