I wish I could take credit for this quote but unfortunately somebody beat me to it. I heard it from journalist Jeremy Skahill while watching Bill Maher’s Friday night HBO series. The above comment was made during a discussion about the war currently going on in Mexico.
What??, there is a war going on in Mexico??
The Mexican war was the topic of discussion when Jeremy made the above title remark. Bill Maher is of the opinion the media has overlooked what should be a daily front-page story. He contends that the media has given scant attention to Mexico’s war on drugs. This war has accounted for the deaths of over 50,000 people since Felipe Calderon declared his country’s war on drugs. Mexico’s war on drugs and drug cartels is the equivalent of our war in Iraq in terms of casualties.
We know daily every move that Britney Spears makes, and usually the color of her underwear if she’s wearing any, and yet we get no news about this giant war going on across the border? I can’t blame Mexico. Why would they advertise that they are attempting to duplicate our failed war on drugs? As everybody knows by now, our war on drugs has cost us hundreds of billions and has been a dismal failure. Mexican lives are being lost at the rate we were losing our people in Vietnam and their war is having about as much success, which is to say no success at all.
The reason is simple. Big business supports this war. Guns are flowing across our border to supply the drug cartels via the black market, which is good for American business. Money is flowing across the border from our government to help support the Mexican government’s fight against the cartels. The Mexican government spends that money buying guns and munitions from American manufacturers. Man oh man are we slick! American businessmen make billions by keeping both sides in a fruitless war! In the meantime people die.
But enough about people and their futile lives when there are billions of dollars to be made. Everybody wins but the American taxpayers and the people who lose their lives and/or neighborhoods, and they don’t count. So no worries, right? The military gives the slaughter of soldiers in battle or civilians on streets the user-friendly name “collateral damage”. This term is not quite as insensitive as “cannon fodder” but it means much the same; and makes the same difference to the military musclehead’s.
So where does “doubling down on dumb” fit into this blog? Simple. We are wasting tons of our money (government money, not business cash) to help the Mexican government wage a war our own fifty-year “drug war” proves cannot be won. That has to be stupid beyond belief unless throwing good money after wasted money makes sense to you. It is doubly stupid because anybody that has been paying any attention for the last decade is now aware the only way to win the war on drugs is to follow the European example and decriminalize them, not militarize them. Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, during the same Bill Maher show, was the journalist to make this point.
We here in America either militarize or criminalize everything. If we legalize drugs like intelligent countries everywhere have done already or are now doing, and if we demilitarize the war on drugs, we will begin to make rapid progress in correcting this socially spreading disease in a civilized manner. If we begin to regulate and tax drugs we will win the war on drugs, just like we won the war against alcohol. If promoted correctly drugs could have as much appeal as a case of VD, or at least no more appeal than a beer.
Well, okay, maybe we can only claim a Pyrrhic victory where alcohol is concerned, but any victory we can claim is better than another loss of face or outright smack down and would be a whole lot better than we have managed so far… and so so much smarter. But don’t count on any kind of victory anytime soon. As Jeremy Skahill noted, “we double down on dumb all the time in this country.”
- PS: Bill presented one amazing, will blow you away kind of statistic which relates to our attempt to militarize and criminalize everything. During the entire year of 2011 — across the entire country of Germany — the entire police force fired a total of 85 bullets. During just a few minutes of one day last week LA cops used 90 bullets on just one guy.