At some point America is going to have to man up to its part in the "War on Drugs" - a war that, like almost every other war that it's launched since WWII, it's loosing .... badly.
The moderator of a Mexican social network has been tortured and ritually murdered by local drug lords in the latest cartel-related killing in the country. The victim, identified in an accompanying message as "El Rascatripas" (The Fiddler/Scratcher) was tortured and decapitated before his body was dumped in the early hours of …
Err America has spent $Billions trying to combat drug trafficking into the country. There is only so much money available to fight this enormous problem.
The cartels get there money from America, but last time I looked, the issue is only their problem once the runner crosses the border. The Mexican drug cartels are under Mexican jurisdiction. America has no powers their.
Your statement is a little unfounded.
"Err America has spent $Billions trying to combat drug trafficking into the country. There is only so much money available to fight this enormous problem."
Isnt that a hint that it is spending its money badly?
America *appears* to operate under the principle that if something doesnt work, then doing more of it is the only solution. Again, this may be unfounded as it is only based on external assessment but it seems like Americans are so shit scared of looking "soft" that they will take the hard, painful and aggressive option every single time - no matter how ineffective, or even detrimental, it may be.
The Mexico government know very well that if they don't act as a proxy for the US by fighting the US drugwar within their own borders that they will go the way of countless other Central and South American governments destabilised and replaced by regimes more in keeping with US policy.
They could start by legalising a substance that is less addictive than tobacco, less harmful than alcohol and has had thousands of studies that show many positive therapeutic effects and close to zero negative ones when compared to over-the-counter or prescription medicines. That alone will cut out more than half the cartels' revenue streams.
Otherwise, yes, it's for the mexican government to sort out, not really much that can be done when half the politicians and police in the country are employed by the cartels
Indeed, but you have consider the fact that banning less harmful substances makes them more expensive on the black market, especially smelly bulky things like weed. If weed is hard or expensive to come by, people will move on to other drugs which are cheaper because they are easier to hide and transport ... such as crack.
The harder the War on Drugs has pushed, the more people have started taking the more harmful drugs.
For the same reason, teenagers denied the right to drink a beer are sniffing solvents or abusing prescription painkillers.
"The harder the War on Drugs has pushed, the more people have started taking the more harmful drugs.
For the same reason, teenagers denied the right to drink a beer are sniffing solvents or abusing prescription painkillers."
WTF? You can't legally buy a beer so you sniff a bottle of glue? Errr, no. You get someone to buy it for you. I'd argue that anyone that sniffs solvents was predisposed to doing that over drinking alcohol. Likewise weed and coke - two very different highs. You either want to have a heartbeat like a hamster on a wheel or kick back like a sloth.
> They could start by legalising a substance that is less addictive than tobacco, less harmful than alcohol and has had thousands of studies that show many positive therapeutic effects and close to zero negative ones when compared to over-the-counter or prescription medicines.
I didn't realise crack cocaine was so benign.
Yes march south and taking the stinking cess-hole of murder over before the problem gets worse.
Who gives a rats ass what the Mexican government thinks, they are just a bunch of suck-ups and toadies for the drug lords anyways. Its not like the violence stops at the border, and the US has invaded countries for less.
That said, ending the current stupid prohibition #2 on smoking would totally take away all the drug lords major fudning and relegate them back to drinking and fighting chickens in some dirt hole no one cares about.
The purpose of these wars, from the Cold War onwards, is not to deal with a threat but to use the threat as an excuse to pay massive amounts of cash to the military and the companies that support it. No one involved cares who dies, so long as they're foreign, black, or just poor. If there is no threat, one is created.
Iran is a classic example where the US did everything it could to give the hardliners the only realistic chance of taking and holding power. Now they're securely in, the US has a new bogey man to scare their taxpayers with, which means more money for the military aristocracy that runs the country.
The war on drugs is just another money-making scheme along the same lines. The family of the dead blogger can console themselves with the knowledge that he died so that super-rich Americans can afford a new SUV.
"Man up"... LIKE THIS?
"The US response to such drug-related violence has been to crackdown and weaponize local armies. But this is counterproductive, as the Zetas gang is tied to US-trained and supported Guatemalan militias notorious for various human rights abuses. Similarly, the Sinaloa Cartel, which US authorities have cooperated with in the past, is involved in the smuggling and distribution of Colombian cocaine, where the US has funded various drug-trafficking militias as well as a corrupt government which has provided protection for such groups."
It's a tough one and not really that simple - legalise dope, MDMA, mushrooms, Nitrus, probably not a problem, there are good arguments for each, but when you get up to Meth, cocaine, crack, heroin and speed, it's really not as clear cut.
Add to that the new "legal" highs... These are a serious issue, at least cocaine and ecstasy have undergone clinical testing, they're pretty well understood, but these new substances are not well understood at all and could be causing serious problem we'll not find out about for years.
Legalising drugs, and even prostitution, won't cause these criminals to simply evaporate into thin air. They'll simply diversify into other areas - protection racketeering, numbers, fraud, embezzlement, extortion, loan sharking, slavery, gun-running - the list is endless.
While I support legalisation of marijuana for general purchase, and other drugs available on prescription, it isn't a solution to rid the world of the crime cartels. The only way to do that is to understand and then rectify the social conditions that enable and empower them. But that would mean reducing poverty and wealth redistribution, so it isn't going to happen.
But then they would need a taxation regime to cope with the increased medical costs and still need regulation (like alcohol does). It's an interesting debate, for sure, and I'm not sure how much ground you gain by legalisation or whether you merely shift the battleground into new areas like the regulation and taxation. After all, people smuggle booze and cigarettes.
While taxes are as inevitable as death and carry a similar smell, I think you must admit that the burden of taxes, smuggling and regulation concerning decriminalised or legitimised drugs relatively minor social problems in comparison with problems with criminalised drugwars.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Drug_War quotes 43,000 deaths over the last 5 years - which makes the bodycount resulting from 3 decades of troubles in Northern Ireland of 3568 (about half being civilians) pale in comparison:
Disagree with Version 1.0's assessment. It is not the USA that carried out these murders. And, with assistance from its allies, USA "won" gulf war one, gulf war 2, stopped the genocide in the Balkans, and contributed towards the democratization of the the USSR and its satelites.
It's not black and white of course, and USA does plenty of bad/stupid stuff too. But if the USA had been like China or the USSR the world would be a much darker place.
Much of the modern day geopolitical mess is the result of stupid decisions by various superpowers over the past 100 years or more. US foreign policy during the cold war has a direct bearing on the events in places like the Middle East (following on from the good example of the Brits before them), South America, Mesoamerica, North Korea and so on.
They've done a fair amount to make the world a much darker place. I don't see this being fixable any time soon, especially using force.
The thing about illegal cartels is they never have to prove their assertions. They say they killed this guy because of what he posted. Where they right? Do they even have the skills to find out who says what where? who will ever know if they are wrong?
No. When I buy my drugs I make sure I buy them from a reputable dealer and that they are ethically sourced and fair trade if poss.
...doing the right thing is all well and good, and sticking up for justice is all well and good... but if I were living there? Screw justice and the good thing. Justice and truth can go after the Zetas themselves, and I'll keep my head on and my guts -in-. There's a point where the enemy has so much power that throwing yourself against a wall of knives is just absurd.
From the locals' perspective, it's fundamentally different than, say, an Arab Spring style uprising. In a rebellion, those being rebelled against have a vested interest in retaining control over the people - in fact, that's their only function. Their function is precisely the thing that the rebellion is fighting. But Mexican gangs don't give a shit about the locals - they don't care anything beyond, "Are they preventing us from doing our business?". Their reason for being is *external*, so you can't resist them, per se. You can't possibly defeat them by standing together and saying, "We refuse". They don't care.
A government, no matter how brutal, has to consider the attitude of citizens; at some point they have nothing to lose. But the gangs don't care if they outrage the people because their business is elsewhere, and they have enough power that they can just keep on killing people no matter how bad their reputation is. Unless the cartels are physically destroyed, they'll keep going - unlike governments, which tend to fall long before the entire army is defeated and every bit of infrastructure destroyed.
Unfortunately, I really can't see how valiant efforts like those of the unfortunate blogger can have any positive impact... Maybe I'm wrong, and I kind of hope I am, as it would mean that the people risking their lives aren't doing so for a lost cause, but I can't see another way out. Legalizing drugs in the US might help a bit, but the cartels are so powerful that I doubt it would make a difference - do you really think that the cartels would suddenly sell stuff for less? They've got a monopoly. The various cartels aren't going to have a nice double coupon day to compete with each other; they're going to go to war and raise prices to pay for it.
The free market ain't gonna fix this one, guys.
(And in case the poster in the original Anonymous thread, who wrote something to the effect of, "ha ha not so tough now, are you!" .... I don't think hackers generally claim to be tougher than cruel, knife-wielding militias that will torture you and slice your bowels out. I think there's kind of an implied difference between taking on bloodthirsty, unaccountable drug-cartel thugs, and taking on Gawker Media.
Are the people in the USA who are buying the cocaine and indirectly paying the Zetas and similar scumbags to commit atrocities such as this.
Pictures of the murdered victims should be shown in clubs and other 'trendy' places where those who think snorting cocaine is just a bit of naughty fun.
This is why I stopped taking coke, I couldn't justify the actions of the people who produced it. That and realising that I acted like a massive twat every time I took it.
However it's not that simple - I could easily criticise people who buy their milk from Tesco/Asda et al for contributing to the alarming suicide rate of dairy farmers, due to the supermarkets' atrocious hardball purchasing techniques. Everything you do has a moral impact, even buying something as innocuous as a semi-conductor contributes to the dreadful treatment of certain people mining required minerals.
I like the occasional allusion to "American exceptionalism", when what would actually happen if the US intervened would be these psychotic drug gangs, who recruit other psychotic gangs as soldiers, would probably band together and wipe out the US invaders.
These aren't your momma's tribals running on IEDs and Kalashnikov-clones, these are special-forces-trained mercenaries with cultlike-mentalities (seriously) and resources that are not too far off that of a modern army with a lot of money, and the backing of several of the biggest organised crime groups in the world (these are guys who can afford to throw money away on researching how to build DIY submarines), who have ties to terrorist organisations and other fun people who use drugs to finance their badness.
There is, unfortunately, no "cure" for this situation. It's happened now, and we cannot simply take it back; the real world does not have the option to go back to an earlier draft.
I would hope that bloggers in Mexico criticizing such groups are smarter than to be found by these people; there is an abundance of effective anonymity software out there and guides on how to obscure one's identity. If you're going to sling filth at people who commit ritual murders, you might want to not be a moron.
And I mean all disrespect here, too. This is a life or death situation, involving people who've been known to clean out villages of life when irritated.
Let's not congratulate or martyr someone who was stupid and could have easily put the lives of his family, friends, and general neighbourhood at risk as a result.
-AC, because expressing unpopular opinions about the value of human life versus the value of not being an idiot.
Sadly, I can attest that many bloggers and/or Anonymous wannabes actually have the idea that:
- The Government is too stupid to trace bloggers to RL people
- The Cartels are too stupid to trace bloggers to RL people
- The internet is truly an anonymous place.
One particular brother-in-law actually told me he was going to put up a "crime whistleblower" site for people to post stuff like "LOOK! SOMEONE'S SELLING DRUGS HERE!" or similar organized crime stuff. He told me that it was OK because ... wait for it... "the internet is anonymous".
No dude. The internet is pretty much traceable and doing that might get you killed.
These recent blogger executions seem to prove the point that people are actually getting killed for believing just that.
Anon for VERY OBVIOUS reasons.
Colombia, Peru, Mexico or Afghanistan with their coca leaves, marijuana buds or poppy sap are not igniting temptation in the minds of our weak, innocent citizens. These countries are duly responding to the enormous demand that comes from within our own borders. Invading or destroying these countries, thus creating more hate, violence, instability, injustice and corruption, will not fix our problem. We need to collectively admit that we are sick. -- Prohibition is neither a sane nor a safe approach; left unabated, its puritanical flames will surely engulf every last one of us!
When governments prohibit drugs they effectively and knowingly hand a monopoly on their sale to dangerous criminals and terrorists. Without a legal framework in which to operate, these black-market entities can always be expected to settle their disputes violently while terrorizing many peaceful and innocent citizens in the process.
The definition of insanity is great folly, madness, extreme senselessness, lunacy. Prohibition can be described as being all of the above and may therefor, along with all it's supporters, be deemed insane.
Each day we remain silent, we help to destroy the Constitution, fill the prisons with our children, and empower terrorists and criminals worldwide while wasting hundreds of billions of our own tax dollars. Prohibition bears many strong and startling similarities to Torquemada’s Inquisition or Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge, it’s supporters are servants of tyranny and hate who’s sole purpose is to make the rest of us suffer their putrid legacy of incalculable waste and destruction.
Prohibition Prevents Regulation - Protect our Children - Legalize, Regulate & Tax!
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