27 March 2015

The Wasting of Colombia: Profiting from the War on Drugs While Destroying Integrity and Civilization


I was spending some time on the Drug War with my kids and made use of this video. I found it provided a good overview but it's really just the beginning. The War on Drugs has largely proved catastrophic for not just American society, but for many in Latin America as well. They've been plunged into violence, civil war and in some cases a reversion to feudalism under the sometimes celebrated drug lords and in other cases the aristocratic landowners.

It's a complicated tale of government empowerment, the creation of new bureaucracies, massive expenditures, contracts for military hardware, the intelligence community. Then of course there are the mercenaries as well as the funding of foreign/proxy armies, and paramilitary groups.

It involves American corporations like Chiquita, Coca-Cola, and numerous oil companies. It involves banking and money-laundering and shadow budgets for groups like the CIA.

It is a massive racket, a grandiose scam, and the poor of many societies are paying the price.

The old Supply and Demand argument doesn't work here, except in this sense that it's been in the interest of some of these moneymakers to see the street price escalate. And I'm not necessarily referring to the drug lords. At the end of the day are we as a society willing to prosecute people for behaviour they conduct behind closed doors? We tried Prohibition before and it didn't work but instead led to a growth in corruption and organized crime. This is ten-fold or maybe a hundred-fold.

The amount of money being spent to fund domestic law enforcement, the private prison industry, the court system, all of it is just staggering. It has harmed all of us as we continue to lose basic rights and the police become more aggressive and draconian.

Outlawing street drugs forced the supply-demand chain into the shadows and causes it to function on the black market. The repercussions cannot be overstated as society and even the government is now caught in an endless self-destructive cycle. Broken families and communities feed the problem and the machine cannot be stopped. It's too big and has become self-sustaining. The War itself has become a self-sustaining element of the economy.

As Christians we are of course against intoxicating drugs but we have to ask if people are better served by being locked up? Are drugs their real problem? We can't support drug use but encouraging the government to take this course is a dreadful and naive mistake.

As I watch videos like this and comb through articles and other material I think of all the Christians involved in this work.

Are they building the Kingdom with their work? Does their ignorance of the big picture let them off the moral hook? Are they accountable? Can they do this with integrity? I couldn't. You have to wonder what interests you are really serving. Certainly not the American people. As a Christian we give no allegiance to any nation and instead must think in terms of humanity. For that reason, and many others I could not participate at any level in the war on drugs.

I also was reminded of the movie adaptation of Clancy's "Clear and Present Danger" which tried to present the American government's participation in the mess as the result of some misguided policy planners and maybe some rogue elements within the government. The Americans sent to Colombia are just a bunch of innocents, good upper middle-class types just trying to serve their country, defend our way of life and fight the bad guys. The way the American military action is presented is not only ridiculous in its isolated contextualization but frankly offensive considering the American footprint in the region and interference in Colombia's affairs. The story presents the American involvement as something shocking and hidden. The presence of American power is well known and has long been felt.

Jack Ryan CIA-hero to the rescue! As a lost person I used to love Tom Clancy and movies like that. Today when I watch them I have a very different response. Instead of giving the public something to think about and reflect upon we're handed another piece of propaganda. Sure, the US president is made to look bad. He's corrupt and immoral. We all know that. But it's the CIA guys, the soldiers, the good "working class" of the US government, these are the people to be admired, right?

Or are they the one's that really bear the most responsibility? The men sitting in offices are removed from the action. The bankers look at their numbers, the politicians live in a world of polls and media appearances. But who really knows what is happening? Who can put the pieces together if they choose to? It's all the people in between the top of the hierarchy and the drug runners and peasants they're fighting . They see the corruption and the suffering. Maybe they don't. Increasingly I am convinced people only see what they want to see.

Meanwhile the pesticides keep raining down on Colombia, people are sick and dying. They are disenfranchised and their lives are destroyed. In desperation they pick up a gun to fight the Yankee and their proxy whores based in Bogota. They fight the American corporations that from their perspective are inseparable from US governmental policy. But at least we as Christians can sing:

And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I'd gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
'Cause there ain't no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.

It just brings a tear to your eye doesn't it? Pardon my cynicism but I have to say that watching the video stirred some real indignation within me. I am well aware of all of these things. I've spent years reading and looking into this stuff. But there are times it really hits you. I suppose as I grow older and look at my children, especially as they're now teenagers, it all affects me more. I think of military recruiters and I get angry when I think of the lies... lies I once fell for. I guess I was one of the people in the thick of things that wasn't supposed to think about what I was doing and what I was a part of. I had to get out. It made me ill to wear that uniform. I was a stooge.

I think about lives uprooted and destroyed. Every day I increasingly realize the extent of corruption in our society and our world. When I listen to political leaders that doesn't really upset me. I know what they are and what they're about. But when I hear Christian leaders promote and defend this whole system which is little more than a paradigm of theft and death, it really upsets me.

I'm not a Dispensationalist. I'm not looking for a global government but look at all of these Christian leaders who in their foolishness think it's the United Nations and have missed the scope, power and evil of the US Empire... I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. They are such blind guides and if a Globalist Antichrist were to arise I am convinced that in their spiritual delusion they would be the last to see it. Rather they would be the first to sign up! Or they would join with Hitler to oppose Ban Ki-moon who in the end is just a pathetic figure who wields no power and is in reality a supplicant who lives off the crumbs the US government tosses to him.

There's a lot here, but if the video stirs you at all, you'll benefit from wading through some of these links. They're just a starting point. Obviously I cannot verify everything in every article. People say you shouldn't trust Wikipedia. In reality, don't trust any of it unless you can corroborate sources. It takes some time and effort but you can't start to put together a larger picture of how things work.

There are quite a few figures of interest in the video, from Ingrid Betancourt  and Noam Chomsky to Alfred McCoy. McCoy is an interesting figure who has done a great deal of research on Drugs and War in other capacities, viz. Southeast Asia and the famous French Connection. He's also convincingly argued what happened at Abu Ghraib reflected a decades old policy at work in the US government and the pictures themselves are proof that the torture was implemented policy, not the result of some rogue soldiers from Appalachia getting carried away. He ties in the recent torture revelations with Project Phoenix in Vietnam, the policies utilized by Marcos in the Philippines and the Shah in Iran.

Related to the story of the Israeli Paramilitary Yair Klein: