Magazines: Drug War: Look Out for Friendly Fire 

Magazines: Drug War: Look Out for Friendly Fire 
Posted by FoM on March 30, 2000 at 12:44:08 PT
By Bill Steigerwald, Post-Gazette Staff Writer 
Source: Post-Gazette
We all know what damage the War on (some) Drugs has done to America.Well, actually, most of us don't seem to know -- or don't care -- that our government spends $17 billion a year, tramples constitutional rights and puts hundreds of thousands of harmless citizens in prison each year in its war to stop the ingesting of (some) drugs.
Rolling Stone is about the only "mainstream" magazine that consistently and passionately protests the War on (some) Drugs and points out its dangers and idiocies. And in its March 30 issue, Mark Boal reports on the latest twist in the "The Drug War's New Front" -- the media. He explains how the government's anti-drug warriors, as zealous as ever despite 40 years of failure, have decided to deploy America's most-powerful super-weapon in their war against (some) drugs: advertising.Boal describes how the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy is using a $1 billion kitty to mount an all-media, anti-drug advertising offensive that includes enticing/bribing TV networks to get their producers/writers to shape scripts to show kids that drugs are, like, for losers. In January a spurt of bad PR -- including words like "censorship," "propaganda" and "brainwashing" -- stopped the script reviews. But Boal says it doesn't really matter because the networks, which have few principles but aren't as dumb as their programming would have you believe, have learned how to play the drug czar's alluring and lucrative game show. The networks profit by inserting anti-drug messages in shows instead of having to run anti-drug public service ads. MTV had the decency not to cooperate. But most of the networks were happy to enlist.Drug-policy experts criticize this latest dubiously democratic tactic to win the drug war. They tell Boal it will either do nothing, backfire, further smother open discussion about drug policy or encourage new government ad campaigns against teen pregnancy, smoking or line dancing.Whatever collateral damage the White House's advertising campaign does on the home front, it'll never match the damage the War on (some) Drugs has done to the country of Colombia. As "The Drug War's Southern Front: Colombia, Cocaine and U.S. Foreign Policy" details in the April Reason, the country's 38 million people have had their whole society ruined by a dirty, bloody war aimed at wiping out the drug trade that after 40 years still supplies 75 percent of America's cocaine and 50 percent of its heroin needs.Government officials have been corrupted, kidnapped and killed by drug cartels. Drug-related violence and abductions are an everyday occurrence. Many of the country's best-and-brightest have fled. Three guerrilla armies are funded in large part by taxing farmers who grow coca and poppies.Writer Timothy Pratt tours the Colombian countryside and talks with farmers and drug police. He also explains how American foreign policy -- $289 million a year driven by the single issue of drug eradication and interdiction -- has only made things worse.If Pratt's piece leaves you hungering for more depressing news about Colombia, turn to "End of Days" in the April Gear. It is William Vollman's detailed, personalized account of his trip to what Gear says is "the most dangerous, desperate place on Earth."Published: Thursday, March 30, 2000Copyrighted 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000 to PG Publishing Co.Related Article:The Drug War's Southern Front - Reason Magazine
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on March 31, 2000 at 10:04:38 PT
link in message #1
FoM just posted "Drug war Gravy Train",which is link in # 1,,so disregard it....dddd
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Comment #1 posted by dddd on March 31, 2000 at 02:51:22 PT
Wanna get upset?
If you want to see an excellent,and disturbing article,,,,,see;
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