The “war on drugs” is not a mere metaphorical war, like the “war on poverty.”
The biggest problem with the term is not the subject, but the object: Our forces don’t shoot at pills and pipes and chemicals and syringes.
They shoot at people.
Sometimes dealers. Often just users. Too often innocents . . . “collateral damage” in a war that seems never to end, because impossible to win.
But if the war seems bad in America — now a land with the world’s largest gulag — it’s far, far worse in Mexico, especially since President Felipe Calderón turned the military on his own people, in the vain hope of subduing the drug traffickers.
What did he get for his efforts? Blood, death and terror.
The body count is over 50,000.
I’ve long advocated drug legalization. I don’t need to elaborate the reasons, not after 50,000 deaths have been weighed in on the pro-drug war side, but I probably should mention a few notions that the drug-war mentality suppresses: individual responsibility, a rule of law, and peace.
In America, our politicians slowly awake to the truth that killing people to prevent them from ruining their lives with drugs is a fool’s mission. But few yet commit to actual change.
In Mexico, on the other hand, the top three candidates to replace Calderón — whose service is limited, by law, to just the one term — go a step further: All agree that the drug war has to be scaled down.
Little talk, so far, of legalization, but hey: The addiction to war is a tough monkey to shrug off.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.