Propaganda Prop


Mike Alissi notes that the current (December 30) issue of The New Republic contains a full-page ad from the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The same ad appears on the back cover of the December 31 National Review. Ostensibly aimed at teenagers, it defends the idea that drug users are responsible for the "intimidation, bribery, torture and murder" associated with the black market created by prohibition. Since the ONDCP is probably not trying to protect TNR and NR readers from the perils of drugs, the ad actually serves another purpose: legitimizing a rhetorical strategy that even supporters of the war on drugs have condemned as illogical and over the top. It is probably not good news for the drug warriors that they feel compelled to run ads in political journals defending their ads on TV.

NEXT: Reader Mail, 12/23

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  1. Now diamonds really support terrorism but you don’t hear a shadow fo a suggestion that that might be the case. Diamonds come from Africa, Sierra Leone, The Ivory Coast; areas under direct control of Muslim fanatics! So buying diamonds puts money directly in Osama’s pockets. way, waaay more so than drugs. Diamonds are a terrorists best friend!

  2. I agree with you that people can’t be guilted out of doing drugs, many of us “reasoners” do. But drug legalization is acknowledgement for self-discretionary use. This is a nation where we have to muzzle our fat teens so they won’t sue our companies. What kind of legislative and judicial nightmare do you think will happen if the U.S. was to legalize drugs?

  3. FYI – ONDAP also ran a full-page ad in the West Coast edition of the Wall Street Journal, page A11. Header: “Are you willing to kill someone to protect your drugs? Or would you rather leave that to someone else?” Wow, I didn’t realize so many business folks bought so many drugs.

  4. I also like their latest TV ads, with Jimmy Olsen from the Superman movies playing a pompous yuppie who responds to his buddy’s skepticism about the drugs/terrorists connection with “It IS true” and “Oh, so it’s okay to support terrorism A LITTLE.”

  5. Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t both The New Republic and The National Review been harshly critical of the drug war? I distinctly remember reading an essay by William F. Buckley supporting the legalization of drugs a while back. This would probably be a serious breach of journalistic ethics, but it seems like the perfect opportunity to run lengthy pieces on the idiocy of our drug laws directly opposite those ads.

  6. I read in INTERNATIONAL SPLIFF WEEKLY that those who purchase and use drugs are twice as likely to think “West Wing” is a reality TV show.

  7. If we accept our Drug Czar’s assertion that drug money does end up in terrorists’ hands, then it puts the Drug Czar in a serious dilemma. He needs to decide which is more important: the war on drugs or the war on terror. Unfortunately, he seems to be choosing the war on drugs as more important. In other words, he would — by his own theory — expose America to greater danger of mass death in order to raise the price of marijuana.

    Of course, he’d like to lay the blame entirely on drug users. But since the continuation of drug use is predictable, our Czar is taking an action that predictably will aid and abet the terrorists. A sobering thought.

    Expect more terror, thanks to our Czar.

  8. How many teenagers do they really expect read The New Republic and National Review?

  9. Many good comments here. I’m a youngin’ so I still can’t believe that a generation of people that grew up in the ’60s and ’70s is still supporting the War on Drugs at all. Don is right when he says that the WoD and the WoT are completely opposite if there really was a link as they suggest. Considering how governments run companies (The California energy debacle always raises a chuckle when I think of it) I don’t like the idea of my bud being government controlled but on the other hand, isn’t arresting a million non-violent offenders a year, that much worse ?

    — Dave

  10. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/20/2004 03:59:09
    We are as God made us, and often a great deal worse.

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