The Drug War

The Drug War
Posted by FoM on August 24, 2001 at 12:04:17 PT
By M.L. Simon 
Source: Rock River Times
Last week we looked a bit at the Drug War in Europe. This week Iíd like to look at the Drug War in the Americas, North and South.Remarkable things are happening in South America. Jorge Batlle, the president of Uruguay, has called for the legalization of drugs. He announced his plan in front of a group of U.S. reporters last November in Panama at a Latin American presidentsí summit. Of course, in the U.S. of America, his statement was not reported at all. There is a worldwide clipping service -- -- where you can find out about how the war is really going daily. 
They report all sides. Itís free. No need to miss any of the news.In Columbia, the news is not particularly good. We are in a real shooting war. And itís not going well. After six or eight months of Plan Colombia and about 140,000 acres sprayed with Roundup, government estimates of coca acreage in production in Colombia has had to be doubled or quadrupled. Let me tell you why I think this is happening, based on piecing together various reports on Colombian happenings.Roundup is a very useful weed killer because when applied carefully in a controlled agricultural setting, it is not too toxic and dissipates quickly. In the U.S., agricultural planes fly at the lowest possible altitude to localize the area covered by the weed killer. That stuff costs money, and you donít want to waste a drop. It eats into profits. In Colombia, on the other hand, pilots have to spray from 3,000 feet or higher because they get shot at. At 3,000 feet, what are the odds of localizing the spray? Slim and none; and why should they economize anyway? They are burning Uncle Sugarís $1,000 bills and getting paid well for the privilege.So the spray, which is relatively safe when localized, is killing legitimate crops, killing livestock, killing the rain forest and sickening children. This, of course, does not leave the locals well disposed to the U.S.A. In addition, they are now poorer than ever and have sick children to tend. What to do? Well as soon as the Roundup dissipates (about two weeks), plant more cocoa. In a few monthsóinstant cash. In addition, those who canít wait a few weeks move deeper into the jungle and add more coca acreage to cultivation.The end result is that the more effective and widespread the spraying, the more peasants we get in opposition to the U.S. and the more coca acreage we get under cultivation at no additional charge.Did I mention that the charge for our little Colombia adventure this year is $1.3 billion? With a $700 million kicker for the rest of the Andes countries added by Bush Two. And likely more to come. Well, Vietnam started small. But no doubt, our military industrial complex has great hopes for the Andes now that the Cold War is over, which may have something to do with why you are not getting the news.For more drug news from South America, go to: Simon is an industrial controls designer and Libertarian activist. Source: Rock River Times (IL)Author: M.L. SimonPublished: August 24, 2001Copyright 2001 - The Rock River TimesContact: frank rockrivertimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Media Awareness Project Drug War News Spraying in Colombia: Is it Safe? Articles - Colombia
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Comment #4 posted by dddd on August 24, 2001 at 17:05:20 PT
3000 Feet
One can imagine how accurate spraying from 3000 feet is...Iwouldn't be suprized if spray planes had already been downed,but blacked out from the media.dddd
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Comment #3 posted by Pontifex on August 24, 2001 at 16:00:25 PT:
Small arms vs. aircraft in the Falklands
Thanks for that link, SirYesSir. It is very interesting. The summary is that low-flying aircraft, especially helicopters, are vulnerable to small arms fire.However, 3000' is obviously high enough to avoid small arms fire from the FARC, since that is the altitude selected to protect DynCorp employees, and goodness knows the U.S. doesn't want to lose a single airplane or operative to hostile fire. (...or do they?!)FARC needs flak. Perhaps they'll raid Pastrana's armory. Here's hoping they set those guns up deep in the jungle, covering the skies over the coca fields, and hit the baby-killers in mid-spray. Is glyphosate flammable?What a lovely news event that would be. :/
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Comment #2 posted by SirYesSir on August 24, 2001 at 13:56:35 PT
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Comment #1 posted by Pontifex on August 24, 2001 at 12:57:06 PT:
What Columbia needs: antiaircraft artillery
If Plan Columbia were a novel instead of an actual conflict, I know what I would write in the next chapter: FARC shoots down herbicide plane. Peasants rejoice and rally to the FARC's cause. Pastrana's government, backed by paramilitaries, begins offensive to strip FARC of AA capability. Blood flows freely on all sides. In Washington, the Bush administration is forced to give the ratchet another turn. Using the Vietnam analogy, the U.S. moves from military-advisors status to Gulf-of-Tonkin intervention, while the mainstream media maintains their strained silence.3,000 feet may be out of rifle range, but it's within range of light antiaircraft. And if the FARC gets heavy artillery or SAM capability, forget it. Those DynCorp contracters can spray from 3,000 feet, but not 60,000 feet. They'd hit Fiji.If the FARC can traffic tons of cocaine worldwide, it obviously has the financial and logistical means to obtain antiaircraft weaponry, given time.The sooner this blows up, the sooner it will blow over. One hopes.
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