Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wars, Winners and Losers

Back in the 90’s a friend and I used to contemplate the War on Drugs. In order to keep our jobs, we would need to submit to random drug testing. We noted how the War on Drugs was always a good excuse by the right wingers to frighten the public into accepting new laws that were designed to undermine their privacy, civil liberties and Constitutional rights.

Any resistance by a liberal or moderate person to the new police state tactics was always met with the old “soft on crime” accusation. Anyone else see a familiar pattern here?

I would point out that the War on Drugs would be a dress rehearsal for the coming War on Terror. A lot of people listening to our conversations would quickly dismiss us as the paranoid lunatic fringe for thinking such foolishness.

This was not to be the last time that I really wished I was wrong.

As history teaches those of us who pay attention, we can see how both the War on Terror and the War on Drugs operate by similar methods with similar results.

Both are over-reaching militarized operations against problems best addressed by other strategies and tactics.

The War on Drugs is militarized law enforcement used as a tool to address what is best described a medical and public health issue. Drug users are generally non-violent citizens. The War on Drugs exacerbates the damage of drugs and destruction of life.

The War on Terror is an over militarized reaction to what can be best dealt with as a law enforcement problem. Terrorists are criminals. The War on Terror exacerbates the death and destruction from terrorists.

But, since we do not have publicly financed elections, Congress and the Executive Branch owe their souls to the big money boys of the corporate military/industrial complex. They wield the metaphorical hammer. And they see every problem as a nail to be fixed by their only tool.

The public’s perception of these problems is formed by the corporate media. The media love to sensationalize crime and terror. They also love their cozy access to political power and corporate advertisers. Truth and fairness always take a back seat to these interests.

This is why the War on Drugs and the War on Terror are, by nature, endless. So why do we fight endless wars we know we cannot win?

Because someone does win. And it’s not the public. We pour our tax dollars into the black holes of secret police and military budgets. And for all the financial cost and loss of civil liberties, we are promised safety and law and order that we will never see.

The winners in the War on Terror are the war profiteers like Halliburton, KBR, and Blackwater. Armament industries and weapon and ammo manufacturers are doing quite well. Other winners are the terrorists themselves. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda gained more recruits and funds after Bush’s invasions than they ever could have before.

The winners in the War on Drugs are the pharmaceutical, tobacco and liquor corporations. You know, the partnership for a drug-free America crowd. The drug testing, surveillance, and corporate prison industries are also quite happy profiting from the misery of others.

Billions of dollars of Drug War loot are being sucked up by corrupt cops and violent drug dealers. They love the War on Drugs.

The losers are the same in both wars. The taxpayers are duped by politicians and the corporate media. We are throwing more and more money at a problem that will never be fixed by the institutions that profit from the status quo.

And the real victims of the two wars are those innocents caught in the crossfire by the opposing sides. All the cruel and senseless bloodshed could be eliminated by ending the cruel and senseless policies.

The story is getting old, but hope is out there.

Americans are beginning to wake up to the Drug War con. So far, thirteen states have voted to allow medicinal marijuana use. This is good news. It shows that we the people still have some power over the political and corporate interests.

The established power brokers will always resist progress, so the people must always continue to press their struggle for justice and fairness.

American democracy depends on the activism and participation of the common folk of this country. This is why the Reich Wingers are always working to suppress the voters in any way they can.

They will probably renew their efforts more than ever because they are already at war with the Obama Administration. We can look forward to increased dirty tactics from the racists, war mongers, Bible thumpers, mercenaries, and corporatists from the far Right.

If the Clinton era was the breeding ground of the Fox/Limbaugh reactionary right wing media, we can expect a similar outpouring of artificially whipped up rage from the same actors to disrupt and derail any initiatives from Democrats.

We need to push for the enlightenment of the public by illuminating the realities of the failed right wing policies. Our counter-propaganda efforts need to be as unrelenting as their false propaganda has been through the years.

The renewed propaganda surge is already here. I once again received one of those conservative viral e-mails. I’ll show you the message and my response.

***

I HAVE TO PASS A URINE TEST FOR MY JOB... SO I AGREE 100%. Like a lot of folks in this state, I have a job. I work, they pay me. I pay my taxes and the government distributes my taxes as it sees fit. In order to get that paycheck, I am required to pass a random urine test with which I have no problem.

What I do have a problem with is the distribution of my taxes to people who don't have to pass a urine test. Shouldn't one have to pass a urine test to get a welfare check because I have to pass one to earn it for them? Understand, I have no problem with helping people get back on their feet. I do, on the other hand, have a problem with helping someone sitting on their BUTT, doing drugs, while I work. ... . Can you imagine how much money the state and country would save if people had to pass a urine test to get a public assistance check? Pass this along if you agree or simply delete if you don't. Hope you all will pass it along, though. ... Something has to change in this country -- and soon.

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Urine tests are unjust because the war on drugs is a wrongheaded failure. It is stupid to impose hardship on anyone for victimless crimes. Rush Limbaugh and Cindy McCain didn’t have to lose their privileged positions and income for their drug addiction. Why should the poor and working class be held to harsher standards?

Too many good employees lose jobs, not because of impaired work performance, but because of politically incorrect recreation on the weekend. Punishment solves nothing. If there is a real problem, treatment is the cheaper, more humane solution. All those anti- tax fiscal conservatives should understand the drug war is a huge waste of our tax dollars compared to a sane policy of treatment and rehab.

Substance abuse will never be solved as a Big Government law enforcement problem. It is a health issue and needs to be addressed as such.

Americans are brainwashed to be eager to give up rights to their privacy. The idiots who say “tap my phone, I’ve done nothing wrong” have just given totalitarians the right to dictate everything else over their lame asses.

Who are more dangerous to human life; dry-drunk, lying war mongers, or peaceful hippies minding their own business?

Right Wing Authoritarian personalities will never understand. They are so much better than everyone else, you know. They love seeing brown folks and other “inferior” people suffer. The drug war is their perfect tool to impose their intolerance on others.

There are many sane reasons to de-criminalize cannabis, or other drugs for that matter. If cannabis was used for textile, fuel, medicinal, and other applications, it could be taxed and actually help our economy recover.But, corporate/police state interests are against it. It is the profiteering by narrow interests that keep it illegal. The same kind of narrow interests are tearing our economy apart. You'd think someone would learn. But since the US corporate government is NEVER wrong...

***

We Americans still have the choice. We can take a reality-based look at the issues of drug use and terrorism. We can respond with a reasoned approach, free of the influence of those who would profit from ill-considered policies. We can choose health, life, progress and a better economy.

Or we can give the bloody terrorists, murderous drug cartels, and the cold-blooded nexus of corporate government all the money and power they could ever desire. We can choose to continue down the paths into failure, bankruptcy and the certainty of more loss of life. All we need to do is keep waging our wars on drugs and terror, and stay the course.

Let’s hope the new administration takes a sane look at the policies that do not work and have never worked. Saving our economy and our Bill of Rights is the kind of change we can all believe in.

8 comments:

The Future Was Yesterday said...

"Drug users are generally non-violent citizens."
I'm curious where you got that information, and if they had any cocaine or angel dust users in their population? "Mary Jane" users are generally non-violent.

You obey stop signs when you drive, you obey google's tos on here, what's so big about pissing in a jar? The libertarian mumble jumble of invasion of personal liberties rings hollow and hypocritic unless they don't have a drivers license, a computer on the web, an ATM card, a credit card...et al. Because they all come with TOS (terms of service). Pissing in a bottle is just another TOS, to get something called a job.

You create an interesting libertarian verbal jungle in yet another attempt at blowing the libertarian plank past the public, albeit covered in bullshit.

It's still the same old sad libertarian monologue I've heard for at least 50 years, and it's went no where faster than anything else I've evere seen!:)

Any war that's titled "The War On _____" is contrived solely for somebody's gain, and lost before it starts.

Kulkuri said...

Have you noticed whenever they declare "War on Drugs; Poverty, whatever" the problem gets worse.

As for pissing in a cup, I wouldn't mind it so much if those that came up with the fucking laws had to piss in a cup to keep their jobs. Congress has very neatly exempted themselves from having to piss in a cup. Supposedly they are required to do so, but they have not come up with the rules on how to go about having the members of Congress do the piss test. Guess who had control of Congress from '95 to '07?? Somehow they never got around to making up the rules for piss testing themselves!!!! I say piss test all the fucking suits because,1. they can really cause a lot of damage to the public good if they are fucked up on drugs, 2. they can afford the really good drugs, not the cheap shit that the average worker at Wally-World can afford.

Don said...

I resent having my bloodstream sampled. TFWY's assertion that if you've done no wrong you need not fear enables the destruction of liberty. K's that it's okay if the leaders do it enables the same by an alternate path.

What interests me though is that me and the majority of my friends are more like right-wingers than left -- definitely not and never will be on the left -- and we are more concerned about the threats to liberty that come from Obama than from Bush (shorthand reason: Obama believes in positive rights). It's quite appropriate to worry about those in power. But I don't trust the "liberals" to keep me free any more than the "conservatives". Hate speech legislation, gun control, rent control, restrictions on business practice to "protect" the "rights" of defined classes of people, etc. These are bad things too and the right tries to prevent them.

The machine that feeds on the people is enabled equally by both sides of the house. Your contentions about the "Wars" on this and that are right. It's all a huge and deadly con game.

Don said...

Clarification, I don't mean the "War on Terror" is a falsity. The con is in pretending the problem is terrorism. The real problems are strategic shifts in global power that form real long-term threats, with terrorism being the thing the other side does that we can capitalize on. Boy, was that a simplification or what.

Daisy said...

Excellent post.

The further joke of the Drug War is that some of the most addled people I ever saw on the job were not toking, they were on LEGAL drugs like Oxycontin that they were abusing. They have a prescription, they are ALLOWED. And which is more dangerous, weed or Oxys? I mean COME ON PEOPLE.

"Flawed system"--barely covers it.

You obey stop signs when you drive, you obey google's tos on here, what's so big about pissing in a jar?

Do you care about fairness or justice, or are those just highfalutin-sounding concepts to you?

For example, marijuana is fat-soluble and therefore stays in the body a long time, often as long as 30 days. If you have a high fat content/BMI--it could be even longer. Meanwhile, cheapie speed/crank/meth exit the body in 36 hrs, max.

So, the meth-head who can hold off for 3 days will get the gig, and innocent flower-head hippie will NOT get the job, even after holding off for weeks.

Who would YOU rather work with?

What's wrong with this picture?

an average patriot said...

Dave
I am getting there! I just read this a couple times. In the BS lie we are living all these phony wars drugs or militarily cause major collateral damage. We fear monger to keep control over we the people and wage war.

I just can't get over it. It is pissing me off and I was just talking to one of my lifer sons today who has been watching a guy get messed over in the military and is getting very disgruntled.

I feel very bad for the likes of him civilian or military who are righteous and patriotic and being duped by the scum running this country for their own gain!

Ingrid said...

Dave, it is indeed an 'old' story. As I am reading your account, I am thinking that I 'know' what you're talking about. It's not even being in a mutually agreement society; I've mentioned and noted the vary same things; you don't fight a war in order to win the way it has been fought and YES, the real winners are Halliburton et al. True grassroots activism lies in the freedom of speech venues which means an independent media body which the US, but also other European Western countries do not have. Although 'over there' it's less monopolized I think than here. And 'here' it's so obvious. But..people either do not have the time to look online for independent news sources, or keep clicking through when Amy Goodman shows up with Democracy Now..people are so brainwashed, it'll take a generation (or two) of purposely countering mainstream culture and their 'pap' to perhaps even undo this.
That said, I am looking to become a citizen as my family (husband and children) are. The ideals of this nation is still 'the bar' as far as I'm concerned.
and funny re. perceived libertarian slant; when i did one of those online 'where are you politically' tests, even though it was frought with leading questions and not having many good choices for answers (I'm a poli sci major so those test and polls etc I see with scepticism)..I ended up being a very political free spirit but some kind of left-libertarian one. They haven't invented a proper category for me [g] which suits me just fine!

Ingrid

Dave Dubya said...

You don't have to be a libertarian to defend our rights.

Here's what's wrong with the picture. My bodily fluids and biological data are of my person and are my effects.

Remember this?

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

And TFWY, I happen to know a cross section of American drug users. Compared to alchohol abusers, they are quite non-violent. It seems your generalization about cannabis users aligns with my point.

Most drug related arrests are non-violent. Except for maybe the cops behavior being so out of proportion so often. NO innocent person should ever be killed in their homes by militarized police incusion. It happens too often.

Don and Ingrid,

Thanks for your input.

Daisy,

Exactly!