Meanwhile, in Colombia


Unfinished business in Iraq and Afghanistan apparently won't distract the Pentagon from resuming anti-drug air patrols in Colombia.

"Rumsfeld also said the United States is considering expanding its assistance to Colombia's counter-drug and counterinsurgency efforts…"

NEXT: Bush the Conservative Liberal

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  1. “Still, what’s with the guy in charge? Y’know, the Prez guy? Aren’t there more risks than gains to such ventures? Politically speaking, I mean? I can imagine Bush being talked into stupid stuff by subordinates, but Clinton (for all his faults) would have seemed too (politically) savvy for that. Or not…?”

    Given the prevalence of the _public_ attitudes against drugs (I’m thinking that in private, far more people are OK with drug use than one might think – in jest, I think, much truth is spoken on this issue), I would not rule out the possibility that Bush is as much a member of that given cultural group as any. He tends to be very much in favor of these sorts of Good Vs Evil crusades (though it is no longer considered proper to use the word “crusade”, because of it’s relation to The Crusades – different thing, really, but common discourse is not known for it’s precision), so I wouldn’t put it past him.

    The main problem with such things is that the negative effects are simply hidden away from most people’s view (thousands of miles away and all that, and it was just an “accident” about the missionaries, of course), and thus people will end up relying on the principle (“drugs are evil”) nearly 100% of the time. People can at least occassionally be expected to jettison a principle which proves to be pragmatically rediculous, or at least rationalize a resolution or creation of contradiction, but without a cold hard in-your-face reality most people just simply won’t; the effects are just too hidden and hard to pick out in common society, so most people just won’t notice it, or even know to look for it.

  2. Isn’t Donald Rumsfeld the same guy who admitted that interdiction will just move production somewhere else (implication of fruitlessness?)

  3. Here we have a classic case of an event taking place that could possibly ignite a backlash against US interests aka 9/11 style. When seeking answers to how such a backlash could have come about, those that point back to this event today would be marginalized as the “blame America first crowd” and certainly be convicted for treason by tall, blond headed women of politics.

    So I ask you, whats the point of learning from history when all it gets you is a tall stake amongst a pile of firewood?

  4. This is so fucking depressing, I can’t stand to think about it. I’ll just have to stay high until it’s legal.

  5. Is Lou Dobbs vacationing down there this August?

  6. What the hell is this Columbian “drug” intervention really about? Is there really some domestic constituency that really wants this crap? I mean, sure I know there plenty of upstanding types who sleep better at night knowing the government is doing all it paternally can “for the children,” but are there really lots of folks (somewhere?) stomping their feet for more involvement in the Columbian civil war? Or is this the result of backroom deals we mortals aren’t privy to? I wanna know!!

  7. There is a very interesting article in The Economist about “Iraqistan.” I can’t recall if non-registered users can access it or not.

  8. that is an excellent article — we in america certianly have amassed what functions as a coercive global “empire” at minimal expense and with little occupation. but don’t forget to read the special report further on that very effectively debunks the idea that the united states is anything more than that (at least for now).

  9. Fyodor – um. hmm. Well, I suppose the drug warriors like all bureaucrats will seek any opportunity to expand their little kingdoms. Running around in Columbia would provide that sort of opportunity. We need bigger budgets! We need more people! etc.

    Also, at least before 9/11, with the end of the Cold War, the military was having a hard time figuring out a job for itself and it started looking at the Drug War for stuff to do to keep busy. That seems silly now but this sort of thing is a legacy of that era.

  10. Just remember – I’d say most Drug Warriors actually believe what they are saying. As such, if they can use the United States military to fight drug production and distribution, effectively they think they are doing something like fighting The Third Reich; drugs are less chemicals than they are demons, in this view of the world. As there is a moral dictum in these philosophies (at least of some Drug Warriors) declaring that Good must fight Evil, no matter the costs, and drugs are Evil, it therefore logically follows that everything and anything must be done to fight drugs – including, apparently, fomenting civil war and supporting an all-around oppressive system where only the heads of the supported government and tippy-top druglords truly prosper.

    “The bottom always gets fucked.” It’s a saying, just created by me (naturally), worth remembering.

  11. Plutarck,

    I agree with you wholeheartedly that A) Drug Warriors generally believe their own rhetoric and that B) by any means necessary is the logical conclusion of that rhetoric.

    Still, what’s with the guy in charge? Y’know, the Prez guy? Aren’t there more risks than gains to such ventures? Politically speaking, I mean? I can imagine Bush being talked into stupid stuff by subordinates, but Clinton (for all his faults) would have seemed too (politically) savvy for that. Or not…?

    OTOH, maybe Columbia is just too far away for people to care much. Shoot down some innocents here or there, so what? So maybe there’s really not enough political risk to make it worth quelling the beaucratic zealots seeking bigger budgets (a la dude) and a reason to live……

  12. EMAIL:

    DATE: 12/11/2003 12:25:09
    Seekers of truth invariably turn to lies.

  13. EMAIL:
    DATE: 01/10/2004 04:34:55
    Dreams are made to be destroyed. Nightmares are forever.

  14. EMAIL:
    DATE: 05/19/2004 08:45:31
    I am a hobo in the house of the lord.

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