America's Drug Plan Collapses in Chaos

America's Drug Plan Collapses in Chaos
Posted by CN Staff on May 16, 2005 at 07:49:01 PT
By Hugh O'Shaughnessy
Source: Independent UK
Washington's "war on drugs" in Colombia is collapsing in chaos and corruption, and the drug producers are winning. The so-called Plan Colombia, which has cost the US more than $3bn (£1.6bn) in the past five years, is being abandoned, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced.Last year, the hugely expensive effort to poison coca bushes - whose leaves are the source of cocaine - by aerial spraying ended in failure. More bushes were flourishing in January this year than in January 2004.
Meanwhile, complaints have multiplied about the damage done by the chemical poisons to the health of humans, especially children, as well as to livestock, fish and the environment.Plan Colombia was designed to eradicate narcotics, control powerful left-wing guerrillas and strengthen the position of the US military in South America. The scheme was eventually expected to cost $7.5bn.The government of Colombia, the world's principal source of cocaine, has sent out an emergency appeal to the Bush administration for an extra $130m to supplement the $600m it expects to receive in 2006 under Plan Colombia.The extra money, the Colombians insist, is needed for more aircraft to increase the government's capacity to spray poison on the jungle patches where coca bushes grow.They also want more helicopters to protect the spray planes and stop any more of them being shot down by growers and guerrillas.The appeal for emergency cash comes in the wake of the details quietly put out by the White House during the Easter holiday about last year's spraying débâcle. On 1 January 2004 US satellite pictures showed that 281,323 acres in Colombia were under coca. The target was to reduce that area by half, so nearly 340,000 acres were sprayed with poison. But in vain.In January, the acreage of coca bushes had increased slightly to 281,694 acres. Consequently, as Congressman Bob Menendez, leader of the Democratic caucus in the US lower house and a critic of Plan Colombia, remarked last week, the international price of cocaine has stubbornly refused to rise - as it would have if the anti-drugs effort had dented its availability worldwide.Corruption in Colombian government service is said by the Home Office in London to cost $4bn a year.Drug profits have also corrupted US troops stationed in Colombia. This month a US Green Beret lieutenant-colonel and a sergeant were caught selling 32,900 rounds of ammunition to the right-wing death squads who are flush with drug profits.In March, five US soldiers - supposedly training local troops in anti-guerrilla and anti-narcotics techniques - were arrested after 16 kilos of cocaine were found in the aircraft taking them from a military base in southern Colombia back to the US. Newshawk: MayanSource: Independent (UK)Author:  Hugh O'ShaughnessyPublished: May 16, 2005Copyright: 2005 Independent Newspapers (UK) Ltd.Contact: letters  Related Articles & Web Site:Colombia Drug War News The Balloon, Not Popping It Czar: No Impact from Effort in Colombia Wage Drug War from Colombia's Skies
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 22:55:00 PT
That's a very interesting article but I'm not sure I really understand it. I have found that turning off bad memories allows my mind to be free to still be a wide eyed wondering person. I wasn't always this way but time as taught me this is the peaceful way to live if this makes sense.
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Comment #33 posted by AOLBites on May 17, 2005 at 22:38:47 PT
child-like sense of naïveté.
Too much knowledge can be bad for some types of memory, study finds-=snip=-The results show how some types of memory might be better when people forget what they know and instead approach a subject with a child-like sense of naïveté.-=snip=-well, that 'wide eyed wonder' has been good for you!*grin*
Too much knowledge can be bad for some types of memory, study finds
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 22:08:54 PT
Michael Moore said at the end of F/9-11 that wars aren't meant to be won but perpetuated. I believe he was right.
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Comment #31 posted by ngeo on May 17, 2005 at 21:55:59 PT:
In Colombia
FoM, that International Herald Tribune article (New York Times subsidiary) is interesting. These are right-wing paramilitary commanders I am assuming. They would be the ones the Colombian government has been trying to insinuate into their army, which acts as a local enforcer for the American petroleum interests as well as a drug war ally. What is interesting is that as I understand it the cocaine trade was brought to the U.S. by a cartel organized by a CIA agent whose first 'target' was Cincinnati. I remember reading in Time magazine (a long time ago when I read Time) that cocaine was on its way. I wondered how Time magazine knew that at the time. Now I understand why Time knew: they were in on the secret. It seems Frankenstein isn't in favor any more but he doesn't intend to lie down and die.
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Comment #30 posted by ngeo on May 17, 2005 at 21:49:07 PT:
In America
I wonder if anyone is aware of the forced drug experimentation and poisoning of young children in New York's Incarnation Center in the name of HIV/AIDS research, carried out for major pharmaceutical companies by a Catholic charity empowered by Rudolph Guiliani and with the blessing of NIH:
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 11:18:54 PT
Wide Eyed Wonder
My whole life I've looked for what is good and kind. I always believed America was a great country and I was happy that I lived here. Now I feel ashamed to be an american and that is more then sad to me. Politics are corrupt that I know. Change comes from people and passion about an issue but not by politics. Politics divide people the same way religion divides.God is in control and nothing else is. We try and sometimes we succeed but sometimes we don't. It doesn't matter at all really in the big scheme of things.
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Comment #28 posted by E_Johnson on May 17, 2005 at 11:05:56 PT
I feel the same FoM
I used to be so starry-eyed about liberalism and how liberal politics works and how the liberal press works.Then Bill Clinton had to go step all over us and leave dead bodies in his wake.That so messed up my politics. Maybe this is where God comes in. You know, whacking people upside the head when they get too comfortable with themselves and their own points of view.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 10:48:23 PT
Before I started doing CNews I lived in my own little La La Land when it came to how our government works. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. I don't like what I know now. It's hard to be proud to be an american when I know what I know. This administration has really shown me how mean we are and how we really don't care much about people here or in other countries.
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Comment #26 posted by jose melendez on May 17, 2005 at 10:35:08 PT
I can hear almost hear Madame Secratary now . . .
"Yes, and let me explain to you, as I am smarter and have accumulated great wealth via the oil and drug interests that poison the planet and the American public, it is factually irrelevant that we have substanially increased overall global coca and opiate production distribution and consumption.What really counts is saying no to fair and legitimate market access by poor and middle class manufacturers of dangerous plants, without regard to such trivial and quiant concepts as freedom, justice or conflicts of interest." (Quasi-satire by Jose Melendez) - Concerned Citizens to Criminalize Prohibition is not responsible for actual comments made by Secretary Rice, or any other official determined to willingly omit truthful facts in public while accomplishing goals that coincidentally benefit murderous and corrupt special interests that produce weapons, chemicals, fuels, medications and intoxicants.By the way, where is the freaking Federal Trade Commission on this obvious crime? Also, did anyone confirm the existence of high yield 12 foot tall spray resistant coca trees said to have evolved or been bred as a result of the devastation of hundreds of thousands of hectares, at times including the rainforest we depend on?Just a few rhetorical questions for the media to omit, or be vilified for admitting.
Concerned Citizens to Criminalize Prohibition
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Comment #25 posted by kaptinemo on May 17, 2005 at 10:34:27 PT:
I thought it was too good to be true
Give up the only legit 'wedge' the US has as an excuse to meddle in affairs in el Sud? Not likely; the US still needs to project a faux sense of moral outrage when it invades weaker nations. The "Commie drug lords poisoning our kiddies!" card has been played very profitably in the past, and no doubt will be heard again...when petrol gets to 4 dollars a gallon and Occidental Petroleum wants Uncle to take over the oil fields down there.
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Comment #24 posted by E_Johnson on May 17, 2005 at 09:24:55 PT
Maybe it's a semantic error
Plan Colomobia is being abandoned, Rice claimed in a whining plaintive tone of voice, stamping her foot and hyperventilating in protest.
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Comment #23 posted by jose melendez on May 17, 2005 at 08:58:18 PT
maybe a typo?
Perhaps the author accidently removed the word "not":"The so-called Plan Colombia, which has cost the US more than $3bn (£1.6bn) in the past five years, is -not- being abandoned, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced."Regardless, the heat is on, the nation knows about DynCorp raping the planet for profit, and many powerful people are considering at this moment that PDFA, ONDCP and NIDA very likely violate the False Claims Act with impunity.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 17, 2005 at 08:45:37 PT
Thank You Mr. Guither 
I haven't followed news about Colombia for quite a while now. I find it hard to handle because I don't see any change in the spraying of poison on the poor farmers and it really upsets me. 
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Comment #21 posted by Pete Guither on May 17, 2005 at 08:25:16 PT:
Plan Colombia NOT being abandoned.
I just talked with a spokesman for the State Department and he says that is incorrect, and that he does not know where O'Shaughnessy got his story.The State Department spokesman said there are no plans to abandon Plan Colombia, and while the original plan expires this year, they are working with Congress for additional funding to keep it going.This fits in with all the other information I had heard. I don't expect the administration to back off on Plan Colombia. But given the amount of negative press, there's a chance that Congress will be harder to persuade this time.
Drug WarRant
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Comment #20 posted by afterburner on May 17, 2005 at 06:36:07 PT
Vigilantes Gone Wild
Watch out for angry anti-druggies 
by Darren McCloud (16 May, 2005) Vigilante narcs are out for blood
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Comment #19 posted by Jose Melendez on May 17, 2005 at 02:55:17 PT
This is becoming my favorite quote
"I raised my hand and said, 'You really should not be presenting this as fact because there's plenty of evidence to the contrary,' " Attributed to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who claims to have dressed down a University of Denver professor while she was an undergraduate, for citing William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor, and a proponent of the theory that blacks are inferior.
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Comment #18 posted by Jose Melendez on May 17, 2005 at 02:48:03 PT
flip-flop? By George Gedda ASSOCIATED PRESS 7:11 p.m. April 27, 2005BOGOTA, Colombia – Although results from a massive coca eradication program have been disappointing, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Wednesday night the overall U.S. assistance policy is working and should not be abandoned. "You don't stop in midstream on something that has been very effective," Rice told a news conference. "It took a long time to get this program started and it's going to take a little while to eliminate the problem." 
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on May 16, 2005 at 21:05:50 PT
A Bad Plan in Colombia 
By José Miguel Vivanco and Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno 
 Published on Monday, May 16, 2005 by the International Herald Tribune  
After pouring $3 billion into Plan Colombia, the United States is about to be betrayed by one of its closest allies in the fight against drugs and terror. The Colombian government is putting the final touches on a scheme to launder the criminal records of top paramilitary commanders - including some of the country's most powerful drug lords - while allowing them to keep their wealth and maintain their control over much of the country. Should the plan be approved, it will be an enormous setback for U.S. counternarcotics and counterterror efforts, as well as for human rights in Colombia.It was the United States, ironically, that set the stage for this scheme by requesting the extradition of these commanders. Not only has the United States deemed Colombia's paramilitaries to be a terrorist group, government prosecutors have indicted a number of paramilitary commanders for bringing tons of cocaine into the country. It was those commanders who initiated demobilization negotiations with the Colombian government, hoping to reach a deal that would allow them to avoid extradition to America.Handled well, the negotiations could benefit both Colombia and the United States. Paramilitaries and guerrillas have been fighting for control of Colombia's resources for decades. Fueled by money from drugs and extortion, these mafia-like groups have killed thousands of civilians with impunity. The paramilitaries, in particular, are notorious for their atrocities, which include countless massacres, abductions and "disappearances." A real demobilization, one that dismantles the criminal and financial structures of paramilitary groups and holds their members accountable for crimes, would be an important step toward peace, human rights and the rule of law. It would also be a major victory for the United States in the fight against drug trafficking.Unfortunately, powerful political forces in Colombia have been pressing to give the paramilitaries a pass, letting them keep their wealth and power. Colombia's Congress is poised to approve a bill, backed by President Álvaro Uribe, that would allow top commanders to serve as little as two years behind bars for their crimes. These pathetically short prison terms would cover even the worst atrocities and the narco-trafficking for which they are wanted in the United States. To get these reduced sentences, commanders would have to "accept" the charges against them. But they would not have to confess their abuses, disclose the location of their hidden bank accounts and drug processing labs or reveal the names of their arms suppliers and financial backers. They would not even have to ensure that their troops disarm fully. After two years, commanders' records will be clean, but their criminal networks and the wealth fueling their activities will almost certainly be intact. And their already considerable political power - paramilitaries claim to control 30 percent of Colombia's Congress - will be strengthened.The U.S. reaction to this scheme has been surprisingly weak and unclear. To Colombians it looks like the U.S. government is either divided or just not very interested in the issue. This perception has occasionally been challenged, most notably in January, when a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers sent Uribe a letter saying that the demobilization process must effectively dismantle paramilitaries' "narco-terrorist" structures. And during her recent visit to Colombia, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that she hoped the pending demobilization bill would "dismantle illegal armed groups, bring justice and reparation to victims, and punish those guilty of major crimes and atrocities."While helpful, the secretary's remarks are not enough. To many here, they sound like rhetoric that will never translate into policy. Colombian policy makers still believe that regardless of what bill they enact, U.S. endorsement and financial support can be taken for granted.The United States should be unequivocal in its objection to this record-laundering operation. To do otherwise would be to admit defeat in this front of the fight against drugs and terror. It would mean letting drug lords and mafias take over not only economic but also political control of a strategic ally in the region. And it would mean abandoning any hope for peace, human rights and the rule of law in Colombia.José Miguel Vivanco is Human Rights Watch's Americas director and Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno is the organization's Colombia researcher.Copyright: 2005 IHT
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Comment #16 posted by jose melendez on May 16, 2005 at 15:19:04 PT
environmental, economic damage, increases drugs
from: on Monday, September 24, 2001 by the Inter Press Service
Ecuadorians File U.S. Suit Over Plan Colombia
by Danielle Knight WASHINGTON  - Ecuadorian Indians are taking legal action in federal court here, charging that a U.S. company contracted to carry out fumigation of illicit crops in neighbouring Colombia recklessly sprayed their homes and farms, causing illnesses and deaths, and destroying crops. 
U.S.-based attorneys representing 10,000 individuals living in the Amazon rainforest near the border with Colombia filed a class action complaint against Virginia-based DynCorp Corporation in federal court here Sep. 11.
A DynCorp spokesperson said the company has not been notified about the complaint and declined to comment further.from: Plans for Oil Drilling on U'wa Land Announced
Mon, 03/03/2003 - 12:21pm.
Plans for Oil Drilling on U'wa Land Announced
We know that the riowa (the white man) has put a price on all that is alive, even the stone itself, he trades with his own blood and he wants us to do the same with our sacred territory, with ruiria the blood of the earth which they call petroleum . . . all this is foreign to our customs . . . every living being has blood; every tree, every vegetable, every animal, the earth as well, and this blood of the earth (ruiria, petroleum) is what stregthens us all, plants, animals and human beings. But we ask riowa: how can you put a price on our mother and how much is that price? . . . In former times, the dark path of plunder, genocide and injustice against our people was lit by a candle in the name of God and His Majesty. Now it is lit by oil in the name of progress and the greatest of majesties for non-indigenous peoples money . . . The white man has declared war on everything, except his own inner poverty. He has declared war on time and he has even declared war on himself . . . We are children of the earth, help us defend her.
Berito KubaraUwa, President-U'wa Traditional Authorityfrom: . . . another absurd and unintended fruit of the drug war. Because marijuana is bulkier and easier to detect by dogs than cocaine or heroine, domestic production of cannabis has skyrocketed, and on an international level, there has been a diversification to other less detectable, more dangerous drugs.see also: ESPECIALLY:
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Comment #15 posted by global_warming on May 16, 2005 at 15:18:36 PT
What? No Oil In Columbia
Chances are, that geo-exploitation, I meant exploration, may have downsized the amount of petroleum, black gold that is in them places.
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Comment #14 posted by E_Johnson on May 16, 2005 at 15:06:00 PT
The crucial details are missing
"The so-called Plan Colombia, which has cost the US more than $3bn (£1.6bn) in the past five years, is being abandoned, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced."When, where and to whom was this announced?
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Comment #13 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 16, 2005 at 15:01:23 PT
One reason for why they hate us
I watched Fox TV briefy months ago where somebody said, "They hate us for our freedom." It's kind of sad in a way how they feed the population this delusion.Why do they hate us? One reason could be:"complaints have multiplied about the damage done by the chemical poisons to the health of humans, especially children, as well as to livestock, fish and the environment."
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on May 16, 2005 at 14:31:16 PT
What Bothers Me The Most
What I mind so much about Plan Colombia is we are spraying toxic chemicals on poor farmers land and them. We are polluting their country and causing health problems for the people and lets not forget the children! I find that unacceptable. 
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Comment #11 posted by Dankhank on May 16, 2005 at 14:01:42 PT
divergent views ...
here's a bunch of recent views ... with quite a spread ...
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 16, 2005 at 11:53:12 PT
I hope it really is true.
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Comment #9 posted by Jose Melendez on May 16, 2005 at 11:44:33 PT
Help do this!
"Lucas Winery got together with three New York consumers and the Swedenburg Winery in Middleburg, Virginia to challenge the ban. "
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Comment #8 posted by Jose Melendez on May 16, 2005 at 11:41:51 PT
Wine, dine, health care, oil.
from: There are a couple of oft-told stories about Rice directly confronting racism. In one, she is an undergraduate at the University of Denver, and a professor approvingly cites William Shockley, the co-inventor of the transistor, who, in those days, was barnstorming the country making speeches about black people being genetically less intelligent than white people. - - -Here comes the best part: - - - "I raised my hand and said, 'You really should not be presenting this as fact because there's plenty of evidence to the contrary,' " Rice told Isabel Wilkerson in an interview for Essence. " 'Let me explain to you: I speak French, I play Bach, I'm better in your culture than you are.' " In another story, Rice is shopping for jewelry at the Stanford Shopping Center with an academic colleague and close friend named Coit (Chip) Blacker. The clerk pulls out the costume jewelry. She and Rice trade hostile remarks. Then, as Blacker told the story to Dale Russakoff, of the Washington Post, "Condi said, 'Let's get one thing straight. You're behind the counter because you have to work for six dollars an hour. I'm on this side asking to see the good jewelry because I make considerably more.' What do:medicare firm TransAmerica: and energy giant Chevron: . . . have in common?Here' a hint with a timeline:
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Comment #7 posted by dongenero on May 16, 2005 at 11:30:16 PT
Not that OT
I think it is good that they are finding in favor of limiting Government control in general.What will it mean for the Angel Raich issue and Medical Cannabis? I hope they vote in favor of voter driven laws as state experiments. 
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Comment #6 posted by potpal on May 16, 2005 at 11:12:46 PT
ot or is it?
US lifts ban on out-of-state wine
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Comment #5 posted by CorvallisEric on May 16, 2005 at 09:44:19 PT
Is this true?
From Pete Guither at DrugWarRant:I'm taking this one very cautiously. Several other international papers have picked this up, but only as a reprint of the O'Shaughnessy article.
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Comment #4 posted by Jose Melendez on May 16, 2005 at 09:23:20 PT
Why does Rice Play Texas? Many Americans are not aware that the President Bush’s National Security Advisor, Condeleeza Rice is a former board member of Chevron Corp, and apparently did such a great job in her duties that a 129,000-ton double-hulled oil tanker was christened in her name. photo cption *(New Yorker)The S.S. Condoleezza Rice was registered in the Bahamas--third, after Panama and Liberia, among nations whose flags are most commonly flown by oil tankers. All three are considered "flags of convenience" (FOCs), a term for nations that open their registries to all comers; these nations tend to offer cut-rate fees and taxes, not to mention alluringly lax labor and inspection policies. Panama's licensing process is so slipshod that a union activist recently obtained, entirely through the mail (and with under-the-table payments), a certificate authorizing him to navigate a Panamanian-registered ship. The Bahamas have no minimum wage requirements for crews and no laws requiring recognition of trade unions; even unionized seafarers on its ships (who in this case hail from Russia, India, or the Philippines) are usually not paid more than $1,200 a month, a third of the wage aboard a U.S.-flagged ship. Frequently unaware of their rights, or too afraid to speak out, crews of FOC-registered ships often work up to sixteen hours each day and lack decent medical care. (San Francisco Chronicle)    But on May 5th 2001, the tanker was quietly renamed the “Altair Voyager” to sidestep criticism that the ship served as a giant floating symbol of the Bush administration's cozy ties to the oil industry. The unannounced decision to rechristen the tanker was made by Chevron officials in late April, after "we had been in discussions with (Rice's) office," said Fred Gorell a Chevron spokesman. Asked if Rice or the White House had specifically requested the name change, Gorell said, "that's not for me to discuss." For more info see this link from the “San Francisco Chronicle” - - -We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people. For dopaminergic science, like nuclear science and all technology, has no conscience of its own. Whether it will become a force for good or ill depends  on man, and only if the United States occupies a position of pre-eminence can  we help decide whether this new ocean will be a sea of peace or a new  terrifying theater of war. I do not say that we should or will go unprotected  against the hostile misuse of cannabinoids, stimulants and opiates any more than we go unprotected against the hostile use of land or sea, but I do say that self-medication can be explored and  mastered without feeding the fires of drug war, without repeating the mistakes that  man has made in extending his writ around this globe of ours.Today there is strife, prejudice, and yes, national conflict caused or exacerbated by subtance prohibition. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its correct and proper restoration to unlawful status* deserves the best of all  mankind, and this opportunity for peaceful cooperation may never come again.  But why, some say, criminalize drug prohibtion? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well  ask why, climb the highest mountain? Why, decades ago, fly to the moon? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to criminalize drug prohibition. We choose to criminalize drug prohibition in this decade  and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard,  because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies  and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one  we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others,  too.plagiarized by Jose Melendez, who is certainly no Jack Kennedy . . . 
*Photo: Conflict of Interest 
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Comment #3 posted by TroutMask on May 16, 2005 at 09:02:50 PT
Surprise, surprise!
Wow, the poor results of this wonderful strategy really surprise me...not! Many of us can say "I TOLD YOU SO!"-TM
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Comment #2 posted by ngeo on May 16, 2005 at 08:34:43 PT:
Is this true?
 "The so-called Plan Colombia, which has cost the US more than $3bn (£1.6bn) in the past five years, is being abandoned, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has announced." Did Condoleezza Rice really say Plan Colombia is being abandoned? With no replacement? That is big news.
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Comment #1 posted by Jose Melendez on May 16, 2005 at 08:05:26 PT
Clouds of Judgement
Perhaps the right freedom of information act request would expose that they've known this all along:from google's cache of"The following analysis has been carried out on the results of the 2001, 2002 and 2003 census. For methodological reasons, the comparison between two censuses could only be made on coca areas actually interpreted on the satellite images of the two census periods, while the information on coca obtained through statistical corrections for cloud cover, gaps in the Landsat7 images, spraying or due to the different dates of the images (see methodology) could not be used for the multi-temporal analysis. "see also:
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