America's fault

In the aftermath of the recent horrific attack on a Mexican casino, which killed around 60 people, Mexican president Filipe Calderon is blaming the U.S. for the tragedy.  Mexicans murder Mexicans in Mexico – and it’s the Gringo’s fault.  Reuters reports:

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – President Felipe Calderon declared three days of mourning on Friday and demanded a crackdown on drugs in the United States after armed men torched a casino in northern Mexico, killing at least 52 people…

Lashing out at corrupt officials in Mexico and “insatiable” U.S. demand for drugs for fomenting the violence, Calderon urged Congress to stamp out drug consumption and stop illegal trafficking of weapons across the border into Mexico.

“We’re neighbors, we’re allies, we’re friends, but you are also responsible,” a somber and angry Calderon said to the United States in a speech after meeting his security advisers.

We should ask, just how many more resources does Calderon expect the U.S. to pour into the black hole of the War on Some Drugs?  According to the Drug War Clock, the U.S. has already spent almost $20,000,000,000 this year alone.  Does this take all the costs into account?  Definitely not!  When I needed an effective antihistamine, I was forced to drive to Washington State to get it – because Oregon requires a prescription for those, and that would involve a lot of time and a copay.  The clock certainly does not take into account the extra gasoline I had to purchase for the drive, the extra wear and tear on my car, the extra time and the pollution involved in the trip.  The clock does not take into account the lost productivity of the many people who languish in prisons and jails due to drug charges.  It doesn’t take into account the taxes those people would have been paying if only they were allowed to work as free people.  It fails to take into account the children who must grow up without parents, the divorces, the lawsuits, the extra expenses companies must spend for drug testing, the people who suffer for want of enough pain pills, the people who die for lack of a “controlled substance”, the cash and property forfeitures that innocent citizens suffer at the hands of police – justified by suspicion alone – or the general erosion of liberties we’ve experienced as a byproduct of this war.  All this is not enough for Calderon.  Does he expect the U.S. government to conduct surprise raids on random houses, stop random people in the street for urine analyses, execute drug users on the spot with no trial?
But Calderon is right.  It is the fault of the U.S. – because the U.S. pursues this insane war and pressures other countries, including Mexico, to do so as well.   It is also Calderon’s fault for lacking the kahunas to tell the U.S. to take it’s War on Some Drugs and shove it.  If he did do this, there is little doubt that the drug cartels would be after his head – but sixty people, who were just trying to make a living or have some fun, would still be alive today.  If you have time, please watch this video.  The historic role of the U.S., in coercing the rest of the world to join its War on Some Drugs, is laid out starting at position 22:30.  Because the video is a long one, and I’m recovering from a long day at work, I’ll wait until later to finish viewing the whole thing.  Hopefully some of y’all will beat me to it and give your feedback and tomorrow will bring part two of this post.

This entry was posted in libertarian thought. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to America's fault

  1. David says:

    According to President, the USA is responsible for all arson crimes in Mexico. Go figure….

  2. tommy says:

    $20B would build a $1M per mile wall along the US-Mexican border.

  3. destructure says:

    I agree with Calderon. The Mexican drug war is America’s fault. Back in the 1920’s the US prohibited alcohol and organized crime soared. It plummeted the day after prohibition was overturned. No amount of prohibition can stop the suppliers. Think about it, They’re already killing each other in turf wars. So even the death penalty won’t stop them. Penalties only raise the price of drugs and make them more lucrative. There are only two options. One can legalize drugs which will stop the violence. Or the US can make drug use a capital crime. I vote option #2. It works in the countries who execute addicts. They don’t have to kill many. Just a few. Then everyone else quits and the supply chains collapse.
    *Compared to the number of people dying from drug cartels/gangs and overdoses a handful of executions would be nothing.

    • tommy says:

      The countries that execute addicts are almost all Southeast Asian countries that are rather traditional in culture, and most are underdeveloped. I doubt most of these Asian countries would have raging drug problems in the absence of the death penalty. I suspect the future-time orientation of an average Indonesian is going to be better than that an average black in Detroit or an average Hispanic in East Los Angeles. Even in hotspots like Mexico and Colombia, personal drug abuse simply isn’t as much a problem as it is in the United States.

  4. eugenicist says:

    War or no war, drugs help people act with breathtaking irresponsibility. Same with legal drugs like alcohol. I support marijuana legalization but I’m not sure that legalizing, say, methamphetamine would have a good effect.
    If there was an effective treatment program for drug addiction, which was both empirically tested and widely implemented, the path forward would be clear. But there isn’t one. So, outside of a few drugs like cannabis, “what is to be done?” doesn’t have a clear answer.

    • I agree that drugs such as marijuana cause people to act irresponsibly sometimes and I do not advocate that people smoke marijuana but marijuana should be decriminalized. It being illegal causes more harm than would be caused if it were legal. The other illegal drugs should stay illegal though.

  5. The following is from wikipedia
    “On April 29, 2006, the Congress of Mexico passed a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of drugs intended for recreational use (up to 5g for marijuana).[46] The new bill was hoped to relieve cartel-related crime as well as reduce drug-related arrests. A possibly unintended consequence would have been increased tourism. The move caused many in the US government to question Mexico’s commitment to the “War on Drugs”. However, President Fox sent the legislation back, asking that the decriminalization be removed. This action showed the U.S. government’s influence over the Mexican Government’s decisions….”

  6. Legalization is probably a better strategy than the status quo, but I see two problems with it. (A) Increased usage and (B) domestic drug gangs with no other means of employment.
    (A) is clear enough. Unadulterated, regulated alcohol causes tons of domestic violence, road accidents, etc. I can’t really guess whether a given street drug would be worse or less virulent.
    (B) is worrisome. Currently there are plenty of people willing to work for peanuts in order to “stick it to the man”, “be a rebel”, etc. Drug gangs scare a lot of people, which is what passes for respect among the classless. Those guys don’t strike me as the sort who will just learn to type or pick up a mop and a broom when their income source gets cut off. Currently, drug prohibition creates a lot of physical evidence with which to convict and incarcerate people drawn to crime as a vocation. Allowing Philip Morris to distribute heroin isn’t going to make them willing to hire those experienced in the distribution of that substance. They’ll just hire ordinary people. (That’s what I would do.)
    I really have no idea what the Crips or the Negro Disciples will do with their time once their business has been given to legal distributors. Does anyone have a guess?
    Some bright person suggested that any newly-legalized drug should only be legal to sell by licensed people who are forbidden to advertise and who must pay a chunk of money for their license. I’d support that sort of legalization for marijuana and any hallucinogen with a big enough market, but for heroin and cocaine I’m ambivalent about legalization. Right now I’d support sealing the border with Mexico as the cautious solution.

  7. Californian says:

    JAY, good points.
    Another thing to consider: people who do not get employed because they refuse to take a drug test. I have known people who do not use drugs but still refuse to take drug tests because of the principle of the thing. So they lose a potential high salary. And then you wonder how many high-IQ people remove themselves from the employment pool because they do not want to take a drug test, and thus do not get a job in government or industry where they could solve real problems.
    Another point to be considered is, what if some of the law enforcement resources being used to fight drugs were used to fight violent crime (or, heaven forfend, to control the borders)? Last time I checked the stats, more people are arrested for marijuana possession than for violent crimes. How many violent crimes have been committed because the police were too busy arresting someone for smoking a joint?
    Another odd thing: no one on the PC side of things is talking about ending the drug war, or at least talking about it seriously. Yet they claim that the drug war is behind much of the incarceration rates of black Americans, and that the drug war is being used as an excuse for more US intervention abroad and more prison-industrial complex at home. Does the PC side get benefits out of the drug war–say by giving more power to Big Government?
    Lastly, it’s interesting how we often see a libertarian viewpoint on drugs among race realists. Or if not libertarian, at least a willingness to accept anti-authoritarian stances. Maybe there is a connection here among people opposed to the prevailing system?

  8. countenance says:

    You mentioned the prescription requirement to get pseudoephederine in OR. A lot of the big mouth sheriffs and police chiefs around here (St. Louis and Eastern Missouri) are pushing for the same thing, even though moving the cold pills behind the counter and putting in sales limits pretty much ended the trailer park meth cooking business. Yet, there are still a lot of meth addicts doing meth. Guess where it’s coming from — Mexico.
    Yet, you can’t get these sheriffs or cops to say word one about Mexico or Mexican gangs or syndicates or immigration. They keep popping off about “make cold pills prescription.” Yeah, to drive their costs up and to make you pay a doctor’s copay. The FBI should subpoena these sheriffs’ and cops’ personal books, to see if there’s some sort of quid pro quo (bribe) coming from the health care industry. People will spend a little money in order to make a lot of money. I bet that’s what happened in Oregon — The health care industry bought off enough politicians and cops and sheriffs.

  9. Pingback: Find the Money, Then Follow It « Countenance Blog

  10. Annoyed says:

    How about Mexico stop the flow of Mexicans into the US?
    Anyway drugs compel people who already make poor decisions(a large portion of the population) to make even worse decisions.
    I think marijuana should be legalized in pure form but more addictive drugs should remained banned.
    I do have a problem with the DEA, who IMO often abuses its power.

  11. Pvt. Maggot says:

    Legalize marijuana, crimilinalize Mejeecans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *