Monday, March 24, 2008

How to make friends and influence people

Peasants in Peru and Bolivia have been chewing on coca leaves for thousands of years. This practice literally dates to the beginning of recorded human history. Experts say it is less harmful than caffeine.

But since there are ungodly folks here in the U.S. who like chemically refined coca leaves (i.e., cocaine), and since the only way to stop U.S. consumers from getting cocaine is to entirely eradicate coca from the face of the planet, then these peasants are just going to have to change their ways. Or so says ONDCP, the DEA, and their lapdogs at the U.N.'s International Narcotics Control Board. They have recommended that coca-chewing be banned and that, presumably, the dirt-poor countries of Bolivia and Peru should build billions of dollars worth of prisons in order to incarcerate the millions of peasants who, due to flaws in their characters, refuse to quit chewing coca.

Bolivia is risking tens of millions of dollars in annual U.S. humanitarian aid by refusing to go along with this modest proposal. Bolivian President Evo Morales, who, just incidentally, happens to remain the head of Bolivia's largest union of coca growers (!), has stated his intention to fight any ban coca. It seems that taking an action that insults, degrades, and infuriates a large portion of his country's citizens is not very palatable to Mr. Morales.

Via The Agitator, who adds:

The sad thing is, our scorched earth drug policy in Latin America is a big reason why the entire continent hates us, and has turned to electing hostile political leaders like Chavez and Morales. Who can blame them? We send armed agents down there to march through their backyards, poison their fields with industrial-strength herbicides, and foment dangerous black markets and fund organized crime syndicates, all because our government can’t bear the thought its own citizens getting high. And of course, anyone who wants to can get high, anyway.

The tragedy is that poor countries like Bolivia, Venezuela, and Peru then lump all U.S. policy in with our shameful coca eradication efforts. So they reject free trade, privatization, and other liberal reforms, too. Which keeps them poor.

The amount of widespread destruction effected by the drug war is really mind-boggling.


Denney Crane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denney Crane said...

Remember this when start bitching about Bush and Republicans f@@king with other countries economies!!!