Thursday, August 18, 2011

America's Longest Contiguous War

The war on drugs. Unwinnable, but like the other wars, it keeps some people very wealthy. Therefore, winning is not desirable.

Peru's new government has temporarily suspended the eradication of coca plants, the base ingredient of cocaine, as it works to re-design its anti-drug programmes, the country's interior ministry said.

News of the suspension in eradication work prompted surprise and concern from US officials, whose country has tried for years to limit coca production in Peru as part of a broader "war on drugs" in the region.

The United Nations says Peru is now the world's leading coca grower and could surpass Colombia as the top cocaine producer.

Coca has been commonly used in Peru and other Andean nations for centuries and plays an important role in traditional indigenous culture. Many chew coca leaves or consume the plant in other ways, such as coca tea.

It is considered effective as a treatment for altitude sickness and is often used in medicine and in traditional religious ceremonies.

But supporters of eradication say most of the coca crop is cultivated for the cocaine industry.


An attorney with whom I worked in San Francisco came in from lunch one day and told us that he’d seen a terribly disheveled and bedraggled man in a bar. He was curious and asked him about himself. He said the man told him, “I’m the last foot soldier in Johnson’s war on drugs.”

If you are interested in the nitty gritty about this dirty little war, I recommend you read Narco News.

....but hey, do what you will anyway.

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