Monday, July 2, 2012

This is NOT a War !

Mexico is our Southern neighbor and has been in a war that has cost more lives than our own Viet-Nam, and it is largely our fault. Yet we don't see the main stream media attention this nearby war requires.

In Viet-Nam we lost 47,000 Americans fighting a controversial war. Because we had a draft, there was much justified objection and outrage.

Two wars in the Middle East has cost over 5,000 American lives and even more returning wounded. Not to mention hundreds of thousands of native lives in those countries.

The main stream media - based on what sells soap - has focused our attention and grabbed our consciousness.  When we saw Viet Nam on our TV's, and a Life magazine cover displaying the weeks dead, opposition to the war increased.

In these latest wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, now in the back seat of media consciousness, Daniel Pearle gained widespread media attention when he was kidnapped and beheaded. The news media mourned the loss of one of its own, and spawned a Hollywood movie. Soon Sunday television shows were displaying the weeks dead.

Now, we learn that 50,000 have been killed in our own continent, and its largely our fault

Government telling us what we can, and cannot put into our bodies violates basic rights of the governed. This should stop.

It is America's demand for drugs that creates these illegal drug cartels. The United States should take responsibility for its action, by solving our own drug problem. Because of our desire for drugs, 50,000 of our southern neighbors have been wiped off the map in the last decade. Shame on us.

Since lessons of the past prohibition were not learned or apparently remembered, President Nixon declared a war on drugs. America entered the drug war and two years later, ended the war in Southeast Asia. We got more narcs, and jails and started putting people away. Classified the weed as Schedule I, no valid use, and Nancy said "just say no".

Now is the time to change our strategy and end the violence South of the border. Here is my best idea.

Change our strategic focus from enforcement to medical. Legalize all drugs through a system of certification and licensing similar to the way we certify and license our pilots. Distribution by specialized medical providers.

Written, oral and practical tests could be part of the licensing procedure.

With drugs now a medical rather than law enforcement problem, the 50% or so of prisoners in jail for drugs, could be released from our overburdened jails. We could keep violent offenders behind bars.

Will there be problems? Sure, and we can always go back to the current law and order approach.

But if we are determined to ignore the past, lets not forget that prohibition was abolished a few years after the depression started, and, coincidentally, about the same time Glass-Steagall, came into being.

Because we don't have the violence in our streets, or even much hear about the gory details, like the violence last week,  its still our responsibility to end this violence. It's certainly not very neighborly of us, to infect this violence to our Southern neighbor, as we are preoccupied in our own sandbox,  kicking sand at each other about health care, or the coming election.

Sure, we could focus our military attention to help our Southern neighbor, but both governments know, these cartels would be repopulated with days or weeks. The demand, and thus the money, is just too great.

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