In both the war on terror and the war on drugs in Afghanistan and elsewhere, US policy is shown to be increasingly flawed. by Art Thompson

Wars and Rumors of Wars

Art Thompson, CEO | John Birch Society
Monday, 01 March 2010

The War on Terror is following the pattern of the War on Drugs: Long time commitment with minimal results in bringing about the stability and security promised. The War on Drugs has placed our armed forces in harms way and yet in this record-length, world-wide conflict, where has it stopped the flow of drugs for a single day in our country let alone in any American city?

Likewise, the War on Terror has the appearance of being similar. It is like a person trying to stamp out a fire all the while creating sparks that ignite more fires nearby, necessitating more running around, stomping all the while.

First we went into Iraq to chase Saddam across the desert, and then to save us from weapons of mass destruction — or was it Al Qaeda. Of course, we found neither WMDs nor Al Qaeda. Makes one wonder.

We also went into Afghanistan to put down the Taliban who were an enemy of our country and defeated them. Then we defeated them again and now we are defeating them again. Makes one wonder more.

We’ve also been told that we didn’t have any troops in Pakistan until they started to get killed there. Makes one wonder even more.

And into the mix we we’ve been told that we needed to find an Osama Bin somebody that seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth even though we knew where he was every minute before 9/11.

We are now told that Iran is the main enemy. Rumors persist that we are going to invade that country. If that is the case then why is the current government that we helped install in Iraq an ally of Iran? The Iraqi Sunni Party factions have stated that they will not have anything to do with the current Iraqi government because they are too close to Iran.

And it is no different in Afghanistan. President Karzai is very close to the Iranian government and Russia. In addition, the President’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is a major drug lord and a paid asset of the CIA, reportedly involved not only in drugs but also in recruiting paramilitary forces for use “at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar,” according to The New York Times.

Meanwhile, we’re supposedly doing a bang-up job eradicating the country’s poppy crop. No less a supposed authority than the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says the crop should be smaller this year than last year. But it’s not because of U.S. government or international agency intervention that the crop is smaller. According to Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the UNODC, the reduction is due to “bad weather during the current growing season” which should result in a reduction in opium production. That, he says “would continue the decline that has seen production of opium fall from a massive 8,200 tons in 2007 to 6,900 tons last year.”

That amount, says Jacob Sullum at Reason, is still a “pretty massive” amount. In fact, he notes, it is “3,600 percent higher than Afghan opium production at the time of the American invasion in 2001.” So far so good for this front in the War on Drugs and Terror.

Meanwhile, next door in Mexico, a so-called war on drugs is going on that for the most part remains hidden from the American people as result of our media and government. In fact, this war is taking on a variety of hues all over Latin America. Each hue is in some shade of red.

At one time, the only violence seen in southern border towns was an occasional bar fight. Now this year we are seeing record numbers of killings related to the drug lords all along the Mexican-America border towns ― as many as 69 in a single day. Last year nearly 6,500; this will be surpassed if the current level of killings continues.

Soon, this intensity will spill over inside our country ― to some degree it already has. It does not seem that we are winning the war on drugs even along our own borders.

Yet the front pages of the Times, Post, and Journal use pictures of the events in the Middle East to busy our minds on foreign quarrels.

It is rather like being concerned about the argument on the next street when someone is getting ready to throw a Molotov cocktail toward my house across my back fence.

In addition to the bloodbath going on in Mexico, about three quarters of the countries south of the border now have militant socialist governments. From Cuba and Venezuela to lesser known communist Latin states, Russia is supplying arms and military expertise reminiscent of the Cold War. Plus, communist China is spreading money around Latin America that she got from American businessmen and consumers. And the American people are asleep because our media and government keep our eyes on the Middle East.

Fundamentalist Islam is likewise receiving the same aid from the communist states of China, North Korea, and Russia, but most of the leadership direction comes from Russia where we have been told that communism is dead. Someone should tell KGB emeritus Putin.

Believe it or not, the world-wide terrorism and growth of communism, both in Latin America and Africa, are linked to Russia. It is a fact that without Russia, the whole system would collapse. We are fighting the wrong enemy.

We do not need to go to war with Russia or China to stop these things. All we need to do is stop foreign aid that assists the process, make foreign policy decisions based on these facts, and particularly treat Russia for what she is, not as an ally in the War on Terror. It is a mockery and a charade.

If the nations to our south become more repressive, we will see massive migration rather than immigration, as people flee the problem, coming to the last refuge: The United States.

And it will happen unless we educate the American people as to the problem so in turn they will pressure our government to do what it is supposed to do.