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Obama and the Militarization of the Drug War


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#1    jugoso

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 02:23 PM

During his trip last week to Mexico and Costa Rica, President Obama sought to down play the U.S.’s security agenda in the region, emphasizing trade relations, energy cooperation and other more benign themes. Asked by a journalist about the potential use of U.S. warships to counter drug-trafficking, Obama said “I’m not interested in militarizing the struggle against drug trafficking.”

Human rights organizations from North America and Central America have a very different impression of the administration’s regional security policy.  In a letter sent to Obama and the other region’s presidents on April 30th, over 145 civil society organizations [PDF] from the U.S., Mexico and the countries of Central America called out U.S. policies that “promote militarization to address organized crime.”   These policies, the letter states, have only resulted in a “dramatic surge in violent crime, often reportedly perpetrated by security forces themselves.”  The letter presents a scathing indictment of the U.S.-backed so-called “war on drugs” throughout the region:

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Though Obama claims that he has sought to avoid “militarizing the struggle against drug trafficking”, the opposite trend has been observed throughout his administration.  As the “Just the Facts” database of U.S. military spending in the Western Hemisphere shows, military assistance to Central American countries has significantly increased under Obama, from $51.8 million in 2009, to $76.5 million in 2013 and an anticipated $90 million in 2014.

The U.S. sale of arms and military equipment to the region has also soared.  According to a recent Associated Press investigation by Martha Mendoza , “the U.S. authorized the sale of a record $2.8 billion worth of guns, satellites, radar equipment and tear gas to Western Hemisphere nations in 2011, four times the authorized sales 10 years ago, according to the latest State Department reports.”

The presence of the U.S military in the region, and the U.S. promotion of military tactics in law enforcement, has also increased under Obama.

http://www.cepr.net/...central-america

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Edited by jugoso, 10 May 2013 - 02:31 PM.

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Free your mind and you ass will follow.
The kingdom of heaven is within"
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#2    lightly

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 03:38 PM

It's nuts how extensive and massive all  these " military assistance " deals are.  It's a dirty, and out of control,  busine$$  and we shouldn't be paying for it.

How many examples of public money pouring into private pockets for all the wrong reasons  do we need to see  before we believe that the fox is running the hen house?

    ..... ""ohhhh lightly ...  we're making the world a safer place ..  and  think of the jobs ! ""   .  .   mhm.
  

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#3    Babe Ruth

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:02 PM

Obama governs like Bush on steroids.

The truth is that the drug war was militarized under Ronald Reagan, over objections from his Sec Def Weinberger.  It was at that time that Posse Comitatus was effectively nullified, in the name of the War On Drugs.

The increases in spending cited in the articles seem fairly well in line with increases in spending for every administration since Reagan's.

For the government bureaucracies, the drug prohibition is the gift that keeps on giving.  It is the bureaucratic equivalent of the Goose That Lays Golden Eggs.  They will never allow the status quo to change.


#4    Mikko-kun

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 07:16 PM

Drug wars... if you want to take the violence out of it, two options. One, become China and kill everyone who you even suspect to be a gang member without question. I doubt we see that even in the USA. Two, legalize everything that's a source of trouble and put it to retailers and make it's manufacturing more legal, as in less severe punishments for manufacturing and give lisences more easily. The effect of this is that the prices become so low gangs lose a good amount of interest to this and the youth doesn't see it as exciting, dangerous and prohibited as it was.

Three, use more spine to grow people to have a more straight-back attitute on things. I'm not against drug use in leisure time, but you shouldn't let it interfere with your life and ruin it's quality, that's not it's best use. You can't grow a spine if you're a hypocrite to begin with, it'll break at some point with some people as long as you keep it that way.

You just wont get the drugs out of the picture, there's always ways to avoid getting detected, new ways to avoid detection come the more new ways to detect you come up with. Unless you go China-style. All or nothing.

If you're in just for big bucks in this, keep status quo. It'll benefit everyone involved except the buyers more, and who cares about buyers right? Just like in the food market and medicine industry, keeping the money rolling is the big deal. This is why I dont buy drugs nor medicines and watch what food I buy, the game is rigged and stays rigged unless you're a rich or smart samaritarian who wants to make a change.

Edited by Mikko-kun, 10 May 2013 - 07:20 PM.

I'll be gone.

#5    Yes_Man

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 09:11 PM

if anything Colombia is recovering , was one of the dangerous countries in the world but with time, in areas yes there are dangers but it was way worse than it is now. There's too many corrupt governments in Central America.


#6    Big Jim

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:05 PM

The War on Drugs is a war on Human Nature.  In every known society in every place on Earth people have sought to change the way they feel.  Whether through alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, coca, opium and others I don't know about, man has always sought solace from the stresses of life.  It has always been so and always will.  Using natural substances as food for the mind seems as basic a drive as using food to fuel the body.  The need or desire for such substances has been the impetus for much exploration and has influenced the spread of civilization.  The War on Drugs as it's been defined since the Nixon administration has been an abysmal failure.  Human nature will not be denied.  In that time many new and more dangerous manufactured drugs have come onto the market in response to temporary shortages of natural substances caused by interdiction efforts.  The result is that we now have even more drugs.  The original drugs that the government sought to eliminate from society are now more available than ever.  In spite of much progress in most other areas of modern life, the rate of drug confiscation has remained relatively constant.  The United States has more of its citizens in prison than any other developed nation, not because we are an evil people, but because our government has arbitrarily defined us as such.  This war cannot go on.  The law cannot win and human nature cannot lose.  It has been an exercise in futility resulting in wasted lives and wasted money.  Over what?  Because someone wants to feel at ease for a few hours?  Because we're human?  The crime that exists around drugs is a result of their illegality.  When alcohol was illegal people shot each other over beer.  It's the same now for drugs.  If marijuana, at least, were legal the drug cartels would be out of business.  There would be no need to import from Mexico what we could grow in Iowa.  No need to buy on the street what we could buy in a store.  In the end, the only way to win this war is to not be in it.


#7    Kowalski

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:28 PM

View PostBig Jim, on 10 May 2013 - 10:05 PM, said:

The War on Drugs is a war on Human Nature.  In every known society in every place on Earth people have sought to change the way they feel.  Whether through alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, coca, opium and others I don't know about, man has always sought solace from the stresses of life.  It has always been so and always will.  Using natural substances as food for the mind seems as basic a drive as using food to fuel the body.  The need or desire for such substances has been the impetus for much exploration and has influenced the spread of civilization.  The War on Drugs as it's been defined since the Nixon administration has been an abysmal failure.  Human nature will not be denied.  In that time many new and more dangerous manufactured drugs have come onto the market in response to temporary shortages of natural substances caused by interdiction efforts.  The result is that we now have even more drugs.  The original drugs that the government sought to eliminate from society are now more available than ever.  In spite of much progress in most other areas of modern life, the rate of drug confiscation has remained relatively constant.  The United States has more of its citizens in prison than any other developed nation, not because we are an evil people, but because our government has arbitrarily defined us as such.  This war cannot go on.  The law cannot win and human nature cannot lose.  It has been an exercise in futility resulting in wasted lives and wasted money.  Over what?  Because someone wants to feel at ease for a few hours?  Because we're human?  The crime that exists around drugs is a result of their illegality.  When alcohol was illegal people shot each other over beer.  It's the same now for drugs.  If marijuana, at least, were legal the drug cartels would be out of business.  There would be no need to import from Mexico what we could grow in Iowa.  No need to buy on the street what we could buy in a store.  In the end, the only way to win this war is to not be in it.

This was great post and very well thought out. I give it: :clap:

Honestly, we spend SO much revenue on the War on Drugs, and it has gotten us nowhere. People can get it very easily.
Also, people throughout history have done drugs also. It's just human nature.
There was a great documentary called "The Stoned Ages" that was aired on the History Channel. I'll post it here. A really good watch:





#8    Mikko-kun

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 10:41 PM

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Over what?  Because someone wants to feel at ease for a few hours?  Because we're human?  The crime that exists around drugs is a result of their illegality.  When alcohol was illegal people shot each other over beer.  It's the same now for drugs.

It's all the money that rolls in to the cartels and those who support or control them, that keeps them running. They ain't a charity. People also have a natural killer-fighter urge, drugs are a great excuse for that. And also, the more you have of those illegal things a lot of people do, the less bad other illegal things seem since illegality itself doesn't seem as bad anymore. So it's kind of a moral buffer for other offenders, like "oh, we dont need to respect the law so much so I might as well go rob some places or go violent". It helps to destroy the morality itself. And that helps everyone to get away with taking advantage of others.

It's money and fear of not getting forgiviness, both official and emotional forgiviness for what you've done, that drive this. People want to feel they're not more bad and sinful than the rest of us so it's nicer when everyone commits a little crime, instead of you being a bigger offender than the rest. If we learn to look at other crimes in more humane manner, in more forgiving and understanding (not necessary less penalizing) manner, learn to put them more to context with our nature instead of just stigmatizing them, then we'd not need all the filler-laws like drug laws. Filler-laws like these would be better off being mere warnings of their side-effects. It's a good way to get excitement and money to become involved with drug trade though, it's not often done just because it's fun but because it's either that or going to bank and getting your butt more in-debted for the fat cats, not a nice option either and they dont always give you a loan to begin with.

I guess it'd be good to keep the drugs illegal in the end, at least until we can make it so in society that people dont need to resort to crime to get out of poverty, nor to make a living. Because until then, there's bound to be crime for money no matter how spiritual and ethical we'd become. It's plain survival, and survival is not just about staying alive but also about living a life worth living, a life more comfortable and secure, where you dont have to fear about getting what most consider our basic needs taken away. So until then, I'd rather see pushers than robbers and other, worse crime-for-money things. When people get pushed to the corner, they can resort to things they otherwise wouldn't.

I'll be gone.

#9    Jeremiah65

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Posted 11 May 2013 - 01:05 AM

Ridiculous......this is from a guy that seemed to like getting stoned...what a treacherous ****.....doom....just doom.

"Liberty means responsibility.  That is why most men dread it."  George Bernard Shaw
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it."  Thomas Jefferson

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