Well, NO SOUP FOR YOU, then. Just suppose for a moment that "Plan Columbia" was designed for purposes OTHER THAN illicit drug interdiction?
East Timor Retrospective,
excerpted from the book
The Rule of Force in World Affairs
by Noam chomsky
South End Press, 2000, paper
... the "drug war" is crafted to target poor peasants abroad and poor people at home; by the use of force, not constructive measures to alleviate the problems that allegedly motivate it, at a fraction of the cost.
While Clinton's Colombia Plan was being formulated, senior administration of ficials discussed a proposal by the Office of Management and Budget to take $100 million from the $1.3 billion then planned for Colombia, to be used for treatment for US addicts. There was nearunanimous opposition, particularly from "drug czar" General Barry McCaffrey, and the proposal was dropped. In contrast, when Richard Nixon-in many respects the last liberal president-declared a drug war in 1971, two-thirds of the funding went to treatment, which reached record numbers of addicts; there was a sharp drop in drug-related arrests and the number of federal prison inmates. Since 1980, however, "the war on drugs has shifted to punishing offenders, border surveillance, and fighting production at the source countries." One consequence is an enormous increase in drug-related (often victimless) crimes and an explosion in the prison population, reaching levels far beyond that in any industrial country and possibly a world record, with no detectable effect on availability or price of drugs.
Such observations, hardly obscure, raise the question of what the drug war is all about. It is recognized widely that it fails to achieve its stated ends, and the failed methods are then pursued more vigorously, while effective ways to reach the stated goals are rejected. It is therefore only reasonable to conclude that the "drug war," cast in the harshly punitive form implemented in the past 20 years, is achieving its goals, not failing. What are these goals? A plausible answer is implicit in a comment by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, one of the few senators to pay close attention to social statistics, as the latest phase of the "drug war" was declared. By adopting these measures, he observed, "we are choosing to have an intense crime problem concentrated among minorities." Criminologist Michael Tonry concludes that "the war's planners knew exactly what they were doing." What they were doing is, first, getting rid of the "superfluous population," the "disposable people"- "desechables," as they are called in Colombia, where they are eliminated by "social cleansing"; and second, frightening everyone else, not an unimportant task in a period when a domestic form of "structural adjustment" is being imposed, with significant costs for the majority of the population.
"While the War on Drugs only occasionally serves and more often degrades public health and safety," a well-informed and insightful review concludes, "it regularly serves the interests of private wealth: interests revealed by the pattern of winners and losers, targets and non-targets, well-funded and underfunded," in accord with "the main interests of US foreign and domestic policy generally" and the private sector that "has overriding influence on policy."