Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Want To Do Something About Immigration? End the "War on Drugs"

Militarizing Mexico: What "bi-national" cooperation in the "War on Drugs" has wrought.

"You can't buy those two together," the checkout clerk informed me, referring to two over-the-counter children's cold remedies. "The computer won't let me process the purchase."

"Oh," I replied, a puzzled scowl taking possession of my face, "this must be one of those oh-so-helpful `war on drugs' measures -- like the restrictions on buying pseudoephedrine."

My comment was overheard by the man standing in line behind me, a pleasant fellow with a four-year-old son in tow. About ten years younger than myself, the man had much the same build and a government-issue tonsure. The only way it could have been more obvious that he was a police officer would have been for him to Taze somebody unnecessarily while nibbling on a crueller.

In reply to my complaint, the off-duty cop piously described restrictions on the purchase of children's cold medicine as "just one of the little sacrifices we have to make in order to protect our children."

"`Protect' them -- from ourselves?" I asked him, incredulity teaming with frustration to carve an even deeper furrow in my already well-lined forehead.

The sniffling season is upon us, and the air resounds with anguished hacking coughs and becomes clotted with the signature scent emitted by menthol-laden unguents (perhaps the next remedy to be banned by our gun-toting babysitters). Each expression of respiratory distress should offer a reminder of the totalitarian reach of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act, the revised version of which bans the unrestricted sale of psuedoephedrine products as a way of supposedly fighting the scourge of methamphetamine.

In this way, the "War on Drugs" was blended with elements of what the verbally inept man-child in the Oval Office calls the "War on Tare" -- thereby making potential terrorists out of Americans who find some way to buy "too much" Claritin D (the good stuff, not the government-friendly substitutes, which are little better than placebos).

While cold, flu, and allergy sufferers endure asinine restrictions on, and federal scrutiny of, their consumption of over-the-counter remedies, hardened convicts in prisons can obtain pretty much any narcotics of any variety in any amount anytime they want to, or even (as I Was The State points out) start drug-smuggling syndicates.

I grant that the restrictions on cold and allergy treatments are annoyances, rather than hardships ... at present. Relatively few Americans are outraged over the way that the "War on Drugs" has turned the police into an army of occupation, with a mandate to mount armed no-knock raids in the wee hours of the morning or flat-out steal tens of thousands of dollars at whim in the name of "asset forfeiture."

Unless you're the one thrown face-down on the floor of your home by armed intruders, or whose life savings are brazenly stolen from you, chances are these atrocities don't make you anywhere near as angry as you should be.

If Americans were even half as outraged over those atrocities as they are over illegal immigration, that front of the war on freedom would be shut down tomorrow. Tragically, most Americans who are exercised over immigration -- which is to say, Mexican immigration -- don't understand the key role played by the "War on Drugs" in fomenting violence and corruption in Mexico.

The War on Illegal Immigration is beginning to remind me a great deal of the kindred "wars" on terror and drug use: In each case, the targeted problem grows worse, the State grows bigger and bloodier, and the sphere of individual freedom gets smaller.

In the case of immigration, one current "solution" is for municipal governments to criminalize commerce with suspected illegal immigrants, and to conscript merchants, landlords, and others to enforce those laws. The result is severe government-imposed restrictions on lawful commerce, enforced through a network of informants: Stalinism in one city, as it were. At least one city that tried that approach suffered dramatic and painful economic contraction and decided to reverse course. And even larger impediments to freedom of movement are coming, in the form of a national ID card and restrictions on the freedom of travel historically enjoyed by US citizens.

For those who want to reduce the problem of unregulated immigration from Mexico without adding another cubit to the stature of our garrison state, one obvious course of action would be to call off the war on drugs.

They don't need no stinkin'... well, you know the rest.

The Mexican government, which is the dominant element of that unfortunate nation's many interlocking criminal syndicates, has profited enormously since Richard Nixon declared "war" on narcotics use in June, 1971. That's because the Mexican regime is double-dipping: It gets a huge slice of the drug profits, and tens of billions of dollars in counter-narcotics aid from Washington.

A recent Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) documented that, after three and a half decades and tens of billions of dollars invested in "bi-national" counter-narcotics efforts with Mexico, that country is now the major source of practically every variety of narcotics consumed in the United States. In addition, "Mexican drug trafficking organizations operate with relative impunity along the U.S. border and in other parts of Mexico, and have expanded their illicit business to almost every region of the United States."

Once again, that's a description of the results after decades of concerted, expensive anti-drug activism. Surely, we could have achieved more or less the same result if Washington had done nothing. Ah, but that approach would have offered no profit to the political class here and in Mexico -- and that, after all, is the entire point of this exercise.

Mexican President Felipe Calderon, mimicking his less literate U.S. counterpart, has used the pretext of the drug war to build a "unitary executive" office, the unveiling of which would stir Dick Cheney's long-dormant loins. He has amassed dictatorial powers and unleashed the military, with predictable results: Lethal, terroristic violence is rampant in Mexico, leaving some parts of that country looking like Baghdad outside the Green Zone.

Obviously, this state of affairs has done nothing to relieve the internal pressures that do a lot to drive Mexicans north of the border. Just as obviously, the policy that created this mess is good for nobody on either side of the border.

An Iraqi "detainee" in Abu Ghraib? No -- a Mexican victim of U.S.-funded and -trained counter-narcotics police in Oaxaca. Obviously, those fellows learned from the best.

So of course, Congress -- ever in search of stronger wine, madder music, and the worst possible policy prescriptions -- is prepared to spend $1.4 billion on "Plan Mexico," an escalation in the drug war modeled on "Plan Colombia." The predecessor has been so successful that Colombia, once a crime-infested country that supplied a majority of American-consumed cocaine, is now ... a country plagued by ubiquitous violence and persistent civil war that now supplies ninety percent of American-consumed cocaine.

Great googlymoogly, if Congress is going to send $1.4 billion to Mexico on the pretext of "fighting" drugs, why doesn't it simply earmark equal shares for that nation's five leading drug syndicates, and cut out the government entirely?

Here's something people concerned about illegal immigration, and the process of North American "integration," could do in the immediate term: Contact your Congress-entity and tell him, her, or it to vote against "Plan Mexico," a more honest label for which would be the "Drug Syndicate Price Support and Illegal Immigration Subsidy Act of 2007."

Please be sure to visit The Right Source and the Liberty Minute archive.


TAYLOR said...


The only way it could have been more obvious that he was a police officer would have been for him to Taze somebody unnecessarily while nibbling on a crueller.

I almost started laughing uproariously when I read that until I remembered that you're actually describing the current state of reality, and not some exaggerated version thereof for a quick laugh.

It seems many people in this country don't get what the "big deal" is about police abuse, while many more steadfastly support goose-stepping. Several recent examples of this come to mind--

1. The comments on this video of a 15-year-old girl being arrested and pepper-sprayed are mostly disturbing. Comments range from the ridiculous "Go cop!" to the even more ridiculous murmuring about "She deserved it because she won't respect the curfew LAW" with few questioning the necessity/actual legality of such laws from the standpoint of natural justice. Regardless of the girl's criminal culpability, few of the pro-police abuse commenters seem to notice that she is, in fact, a 15-year-old girl, and the force being used against her is excessive.

2. The internet craze surrounding the "Don't tase me, bro!" kid from Florida. The thing that apparently struck many people as most meaningful from that incident wasn't the fact that it took 8 cops (or whatever) to bring this kid down, along with a few tasers, all for talking on a microphone, but that he so COMEDICALLY SCREAMED that now famous line, "Don't tase me, bro!" I was watching a video from today about stocks which made a reference to some company's decision as being "The only thing more annoying than watching the 'Don't tase me, bro!' kid over and over" So that's it? It's funny... it's annoying... but it doesn't seem to be WRONG.

I hope you gave that cop an earful, Will. And I hope you paid for one of the medicines and then walked back around behind the register and got back in line and proceeded to buy the other medicine.

negatore said...


I have said this for a long time. The US gov't will have to make a choice between fighting a war on terror or a war on drugs. They can't effectively fight both and have any chance of being successful.

Decriminalization of drugs will allow law enforcement to deal with the real threat of terrorism and real crime. In the war on some drugs, the smugglers can give up a small shipment as a decoy to allow drugs to pass in another fashion.

If the US keeps trying to fight both wars, I believe the terrorists will use a drug shipment as a decoy and, while the ICE and DEA boys are all celebrating, send in something really nasty.

The other problem with the war on some drugs, is it's unintended consequences. It keeps the prices of illegal drugs inflated to a market clearing level which allows obscene profits. Cutting off the funding by decriminalization would make the terrorists work harder for their sustenance.

Great post!

Allen said...

Kudos Will on another fine article. Your work is consistently excellent, always worth a read. I regularly Digg your work in an attempt to increase your readership. (I Dugg this entry & sent a shout to my Digg friends about it)


William N. Grigg said...

Taylor -- as it happens, I did more or less as you suggested, with the happy connivance of the check-out clerk.

That video is unbearable to watch, of course. It's an amazing thing to hear that cop snarling, "You cannot resist me!"

Yeah, it's going to happen anyway, you might as well lie back and enjoy it, huh?

Negatore and Allen -- thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

"....the unveiling of which would stir Dick Cheney's long-dormant loins."
Speaking of the devil, the actual president, the one who whispers into the Chimp-in-Chief's ear, the pernicious Darth Cheney, aka Apollyon, just barely surpasses his New Age Hegelian sidekick Newt Gingrich in manifest evil. Newton, that paragon of Christian virtue whose visage recently graced the cover of World magazine, the flagship journal of the
compromised, Trotskyite Christian
Right, remains on top of their wish list of presidential aspirants. Consider Ron Paul? Who's that? These GOP toadies never cease to amaze me.
-a disgusted, paleo-libertarian Evangelical Christian

Anonymous said...

Calif. bans smoking in cars with kids...;_ylt=AkeH5fBMs0MiN35t.49Jef8XIr0F

Anonymous said...

Excellent article -the infuriating "friendly reminder" by the police-state officer standing behind you sounds typical. Apparently, those potentially sinister customers who attempt to purchase more than one bottle of cough medicine or pseudoephedrine may have only one thing in mind - force feeding young children the substances in school parking lots or "cooking" them into harder drugs intended for highly profitable sales to "our" youth. His self-serving (jobs protection program) call for sacrifice(s)is an old con frequently used in Stalinist states when conditions are intolerable and expected to get worse.

liberranter said...

Anonymous said...

Calif. bans smoking in cars with kids...;_ylt=AkeH5fBMs0MiN35t.49Jef8XIr0F

Just the latest assault in the war against private property rights.

Ben Wiebe said...

The armor of the police at the top of this post remind me of the "Dark Troopers" in the video game Star Wars Battlefront, minus the helmets and jetpacks.

Negatore, you make a good point. But I'm sure if that ever happened, I'll bet the shirt on my back we would never hear that aspect of the story from officialdom (police, MSM, so on). Keep up the good work, Will.

goldhorder said...

I have said this for a long time. The US gov't will have to make a choice between fighting a war on terror or a war on drugs. They can't effectively fight both and have any chance of being successful.

Let's have a war against an easily grown and manufactured substance that are generally addictive and easy to sell to large numbers of the population. They are not even able to get rid of drugs in prison...but somehow they are going to get rid of drugs in all of society!!! If all government resources were used to fight drug use. We would still have drug use. The prisons proove it. All the drug dealers need to do is find out who in the government is bribeable...just like the prisoners do with the prison guards. Then everyone knows how to get them in. You could build a wall 1000 feet high and a 1000 feet deep along the mexican border and it wouldn't matter. The drug cartel has deep pockets...the lowly paid government workers who are supposed to make sure no drugs get through are not going to be tempted? yea right.

War on Terrorism is a war against a tactic the weak use against the strong. Let's see we are going to make sure this tactic is never going to be used how? By bombing the hell out of Muslim countries and making them even weaker and showing them we are too strong to challenge militarily? Ummmmm....yeah. Can you say delusional?

john said...

Actually speed is a bad drug. I have known several people hooked on it for twenty or more years. Their lives are tragedies. And the ban against over-the-counter sales of pseudoneoephrine is working, but it has had the effect, among many, of turning Mexico into a big meth lab for US users.

Orion said...

On the 4th of July I went to buy a bottle of Nyquil, summer cold. I was told, on the FOURTH OF JULY, that I had to show my driver's license.

I told the clerk: THEY HATE US FOR OUR FREEDOM, the land of the FEE and the Home of the SLAVE, I then apogized as the clerk was only following ORDERS in the New Police State.

Between Clintona nd Bush America never had a chance.

Thanks guys.

Rick said...

"Meth" and "crack" are products of the drug war just like "bathtub gin" and "white lightning" were products of alcohol Prohibition or, more accurately, the war against alcohol consumers, producers, and distributors.

Regarding "addiction", inert substances have no will power and therefore cannot ruin anyone's life. Everyone has weaknesses and temptations. A person's character is determined by how he deals with the challanges that he incurs.

DaisyNavidson said...

***** ABOLISH THE FED *****

Only three presidential candidates will work to annihilate the Fraudulent Reserve Bank of New York debt-slave/wage-slave plantation:

-Republican Ron Paul
-Democrat Mike Gravel
-Democrat Dennis Kucinich

Mark Yannone said...

Ready to begin?

To end the war on drugs you don't need to file papers, sign petitions, ask permission, or pass new legislation.

Here's how you can end the war on drugs today:

End the war on today.

Rob said...

So do you hate cops?

William N. Grigg said...

I hate corruption, I consider prohibition to be a murderous fraud, and I can't stand bullies either in or out of uniform.

Is that clear enough for your taste?