Wars unwinnable by design

Glenn Greenwald hits one out of the park with The Wars on Drugs and Terror: mirror images

He is one of the brightest and most passionate defenders of civil liberties from government overreach out there, so you can imagine that he’s not a fan of the war on drugs.

I’m convinced that drug prohibition, and especially the “War on Drugs” which enables it, is going to be one of those policies which, decades from now, future generations will be completely unable to understand how we could have tolerated. So irrational and empirically false are the justifications for drug prohibition, and so costly is the War waged in its name, that it is difficult to imagine a more counter-productive policy than this

Most of his daily writing is more likely to connect to administration dealings with the war on terror, but he sees the powerful connection between the two (something we’ve discussed here before).

the War on Drugs is a mirror image of the War on Terror: sustained with the same deceitful propaganda, driven by many of the same motives, prosecuted with similar templates, and destructive in many of the same ways.

The similarities are obvious. Both wars rely upon cartoon depictions of Scary Villains (The Drug Kingpin, Mexican Cartels, the Terrorist Mastermind) to keep the population in a state of heightened fear and thus blind them to rational discourse. But both wars are not only complete failures in eradicating those villains, but they both do more to empower those very villains than any other single cause — the War on Drugs by ensuring that cartels’ profits from the illegal drug trade remain sky-high, and the War on Terror by ensuring more and more support and recruits for anti-American extremists. And both, separately and together, endlessly erode basic American liberties by convincing a frightened public that they can Stay Safe only if they cede more and more power to the state. Many of the civil liberties erosions from the War on Terror have their genesis in the War on Drugs.

The whole piece is worth reading. I could get great quotes from every paragraph.

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7 Responses to Wars unwinnable by design

  1. Just me. says:

    Absolutely ! The very core of whats wrong with our country. Men creating the very things that empower them to control all in their sight, never mind the misery and destruction it causes. As long as thier lust for power and greed in satisfide….at our expense. The only problem, thier future generations will be subjected to the very monstrosity they have created, in effect, ruining the world for thier kids….and ours.


  2. Ben Mann says:

    Glenn puts out some great stuff. I often say things very similar about what future generations will think about our current drug war policies.

  3. ezrydn says:

    Nam must have been the “test bed” of that theory because we weren’t allowed to win but we never lost a battle. We wouldn’t let the powers that be push us back that far. Maybe that’s why “be afraid” doesn’t compute with us.

  4. Chris says:

    It’s really no wonder why active police officers oppose legalization of drugs:

    The proposed grant, in the amount of $550,000, would pay for the following:

    – Salary and benefits for a full-time Tulare County Investigator’s aide;

    – Overtime by Tulare County detectives;

    – Salary and benefits for a full-time detective with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office;

    – 50 percent of the salary and benefits for a deputy District Attorney with the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office;

    – 50 percent of the salary and benefits for a deputy District Attorney with the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office;

    – Specialized training and investigation equipment for the project team.

    According to staff, there will be no cost to the County to operate this grant program

    Look at all those jobs for pulling weeds! Might as well have the police dig holes in the ground and refill them, it accomplishes as much. And they’ve likely been brainwashed long enough to hate drugs that they actually think that this is more important than going after real crime, like murder and robbery. Which, of course, they will likely have to commit to accomplish any of their goals with this eradication program, as is usual.

  5. schiachperchten says:

    It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificially induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear.
    Douglas MacArthur

  6. Tim says:

    Read what Glenn had to say to the Canadian Senate on mandatory minimums.

    The bastards are at it again – there is a new bill up for committee debate tomorrow!

  7. All of this is true but only a part of the larger picture of market control of commonly used agrilcultural products/drugs.


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