Skip to comments.Hollywood Hero: Colombia scolds Bruce Willis for suggesting U.S. invasion to end cocaine trade
Posted on 03/12/2006 8:51:58 AM PST by llevrok
BOGOTA, Colombia -- Colombia has it in for Hollywood's ultimate tough guy.
Andres Pastrana, the country's ambassador in Washington, scolded actor Bruce Willis on Friday for suggesting that the United States should consider invading Colombia as part of its war on drugs.
At a media event in New York to promote his new film, "16 Blocks," Willis said the United States should weigh "going to Colombia and doing whatever it takes to end the cocaine trade."
Willis' comments, on screen and off, have landed him in trouble before. But this time his remarks have irked normally stone-faced diplomats.
In a harshly worded letter made public, Pastrana told the outspoken actor that the source of the lucrative cocaine trade was an "enormous appetite for drugs, in particular in the United States and Europe."
Willis' publicist in Los Angeles declined to comment.
Pastrana, who as president in 2000 launched an anti-drug effort with billions of dollars in aid from the United States, added that no country has sacrificed more than his own to rein in drug trafficking. Thousands of innocent civilians are killed each year as a result of anti-drugs efforts, he said.
Pastrana invited Willis to visit Colombia, saying "if you accept, you will see that, beyond Hollywood cliches, 44 million Colombians are waging a real war against drugs."
The United States has spent US$4 billion over the past five years under the so-called Plan Colombia to fumigate drug crops and train local forces battling leftist rebels and far-right paramilitary groups that control much of the drug trade.
Although the effort has led to record cocaine seizures and the extradition of dozens of druglords to the United States, Colombia remains the world's largest supplier of cocaine.
Pastrana's diplomatic rebuke was likely to be well received by Colombians, who on television and in letters to newspapers have called the "Die Hard" actor's remarks disparaging and insensitive.
President Alvaro Uribe, whose hot temper is famous in Colombia, last week called the actor arrogant and ignorant and said his comments were "a shock to Colombia's dignity."
Willis, who's gone from a working-class New Jersey upbringing to paychecks of up to US$20 million, was married to actress Demi Moore. He has appeared in "12 Monkeys," "Nobody's Fool," "Pulp Fiction," and "The Sixth Sense," among other films. (AP)
Problem is, where there's demand, there will be supply.
Bruce, I love the sentiment but that wouldn't stop the cocaine trade. I say give every addict (to hard drugs) in the country, their weight in their favorite HARD drug. One time deal. For the next few days, your just pickin' up bodies.
"Colombia has it in for Hollywood's ultimate tough guy"
For a minute there, I thought they meant Columbia Pictures...LOL. But if it's just the country Columbia I'm thinking; so?
In the early 90s, I spent some time in Colombia. While there, some of my hosts raised the issue of drugs and cocaine and the insatiable desire for it by my fellow citizens. I argued that if they didn't produce it, then there would not be the demand. I see the Colombian ambassador has continued to argue that it is, as usual, "our" fault. So, which is it, our demand or their supply which is the problem?
Willis is not a "moronic liberal". He is a very conservative Republican.
Bruce is one of the few Hollywood icons with a brain. I suspect it may be due to the fact that he wasn't born with the silver spoon in his mouth that most stars today were born into. It also explains why so many in Hollywood make big money with relatively little acting ability - if your father is a producer or your Aunt paves the way for you, (as in George Clooney) no-talents with limited intellectual capacity can end up on top. It is small wonder that box office receipts are sinking faster each year.
What? And end the supply to Hollywood? Perish the thought!
A very conservative Republican whoe supported Grey Davis against re-call?
Why you ever have these fantasies is beyond me.
Invade? Columbia is an ally, and the word does not sound appropriate. "Liberate" (from drug lords) and "secure" sounds better.
For the life of me, I cannot understand how the opinion of ANY Hollywood actor has any relevance or is newsworthy in any way.
What side an actor is on is completely irrelevant. To make their individual statements into a news story just seems utterly ridiculous to me.
He's more libertarian.
Willis has identified himself as a Republican in the past, and before a journalist could even ask for his opinion on recent current events, the star interrupted him to set something straight.
"I'm sick of answering this [expletive] question," he says. "I'm a Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, I want less government intrusion. I want them to stop [expletive] on my money and your money and tax dollars that we give 50 percent of... every year. I want them to be fiscally responsible and I want these [expletive] lobbyists out of Washington. Do that and I'll say I'm a Republican... I hate the government, OK? I'm a-political. Write that down. I'm not a Republican."
Libertarian? A libertarian supporting the WO(S)D? They must be skatin' in hell....
Our laws making possession a crime is the problem. Legitimize it and let 'em have the stuff. If users want to poison themselves then so be it. In my view, it should be treated as a medical problem as opposed to a legal problem.
Bruce ought to know that Hollywood is Colombia's biggest client
Just another celeb who pops off about stuff he doesn't know about and everyone listens.
We have to do that here.
They left out the ever-popular "racist".
you never passed economics 101 did you? demand drives supply, not the other way around.
Thanks for posting that. First time I've seen or read his comments.
Sounds good to me, people need to quit identifying themselves by party, and arrange their priorities to supporting those that would vote to make this country better, not fill their pockets. We need to grab the control of this govt back from the govt, and return to constitutional limits. Given the numbers of citizens, this should be a simple task. Of course given the same numbers of illiterate people, and those that are corrupt at heart, impossible.
Pretty silly when any movie person can get under a countries skin so much.
My first thought was Columbia as in movie company, too. It would sound logical that a bigwig in H'wood would object to an actor suggesting that the cocaine supply be stopped!
Drugs are coming in right thru our open porous borders so what country should we really invade?
Say's Law says (get it? "Say" "says"?) otherwise...
Yeah, I quit allowing myself to be called "Republican" about 20 years ago. Of course, then people call me "liberal" and things get ugly.
What side an actor is on is completely irrelevant. To make their individual statements into a news story just seems utterly ridiculous to me.
Well said. Bears repeating.
As immoral as it may seem, not a bad idea. Given something like 75-80% of most crime is related to drug use/trafficking, so why not give it a whirl? I would make sure the media picks up on all the dead dopers being sent to the morgue (we'd need to rent out a few football fields all over the country, primarily the big cities) and then make sure our young people see what happens when you play with fire. Unfortunately, there is so much corruption involved with dope money on both sides of the border I don't think it will ever end. As long as people have a weakness of some kind, hang around the wrong people and can figure out a way to pay for the habit once they're hooked, it will go on. Which brings about the other option of legalizing it and controlling it via the government. Although that's morally reprehensible as well, we do it now with alcohol and tobacco being taxed (heavily) and somewhat controlled by government, so.....
No, it is where there is not harsh enough punishment for those supplying that the drug trade florishes. I think one of the reasons many politicians aren't eager to address the Illegal immigration problem is because they know that it will adversely effect the drug trade from which they benefit. Some of their biggest campaign donors are probably involved and are profiting from the trade more so than anyone is profiting from the use of illegal labor which is a myth used to justify lax border enforcement. Most of the benefits from illegal alien labor are not passed down to consumers and more than 2 thirds of money earned ends up flowing to Mexico while most illegals here take advantage of our welfare system and health resources. I think that the cocain trade could be stopped best by creating a custom biological organism that will either target the plants or target the substance in users bodies causing an adverse allergic reaction or an immunity to the effects of the drug. We have the tools to do such things and some of the research has been completed already. We have choices we can spend scientific resources to create a novel way that would permanently disable the drug trade or we can use force.
So. You're not a supply-side economist, then?
I plead ignorance on economic matters, though I did just take delivery of Dr. Sowell's book on the subject in an attempt to educate myself.
But I think my previous comment may not be at variance with supply side philosophy, since it addresses a real demand, rather than one which is centrally manipulated by authority.
I've always been of the opinion if we didn't want the stuff, the Columbians wouldn't manufacture it. Don't really know what to about drugs. The WoD is entirely to dangerous to personal freedom, and drugs are entirely too dangerous to leave it alone.
I was just attempting a little humor. I didn't believe you'd actually take me up on the point. I should known better than to try that with a FReeper! LOL
And where billions of tax dollars are spent to block the supply-bilions wil be made by criminal cartels who defy the blockade and provide the supply. Most of those consuming the available supplies will be unable to afford the drugs and will become criminals themselves in order to buy the supplies.
The war on drugs is more evil and destructive than the drugs themselves could ever be.
Flame away folks.
That's what I thought too. I thought maybe they didn't want their great lead actors getting fat if they stopped their habit...
Bruce Willis, one of my favorite actors. He is a true American.
Whoops, sorry. If I knew more about economics, I'd probably have seen where you were coming from :-)
I don't know, the punishments are pretty severe already, but the money to be made is truly very great, there are people who are ready to take the risk. Sometimes it's a surprise to find out just whom they are. Increasing the severity of punishment would probably discourage some folks from trading in drugs, depending on the new laws, but OTOH, anything that cuts into the supply will also increase the money to be made, which ought to tempt someone enough to get into the druggie business.
I don't know that I accept your position that alien smuggling is a major player in weakening the enforcement side of the drug war, though it does make sense that it's related.
As for the idea of creating a biological agent that would attack the plant or the user, that is a double edged sword in the extreme. Think of the horror of such a thing, if ever introduced into the nation's or world's crops. I for one would be horrified at the idea of introducing such a thing into the world. Another argument against the War on Drugs, if anything.
Your post #37 is a pretty good capsule history of the War on Drugs.
What I mean is you kill the suppliers and destory their fields, and their property. War should mean war. What we have it is seems is a war in name only where only primarily lowly street dealers and users get caught.
What I meant in referencing the "connection" between illegal alien traffic and drug trafficing is that porous borders benefits drug trafficers and those they provide political funding to more than it does the illegals or those that hire them. I also believe that a secure border could cut off most of the drug trade coming from outside this country as well as protect us from other minor things like Alqaeda. My only conclusion is that people in political office in spite of popular support for it really don't want a secure border and I have a hard time believing it is because of the plight of poor mexicans.
The two reasons that come to mind are the drug trade and day labor needs and I have a hard time believing it is because they can't find enough lettuce pickers so that leaves the drug trade as the likely candidate. It is only by following the money can we find out why the illegal immigrant situation has been allowed to trump national security.
The National Research Council published a report showing that illegal immigrants have a net benefit of 10 billion dollars a year to the economy. Though I doubt this study it illustrates that illegal immigration is not something that is of great benefit to our 10-trillion dollar economy though some employers do rely on illegals because it is easy to get someone who has nothing to do anything but they could just as easily find legal workers in poor and depressed areas throughout the US. So why all the hand wringing when it comes to securing the border? Is it really the need for slave labor and if it is then what does that say about us?
I believe it is the estimated 50 billion dollar US drug trade that politicians really care about and that the illegal aliens are a convenient way to sidestep the issue.
Is there a conspiracy? No, it is just an industry with lots of easy money and convenient circumstances that allow those in power who benefit the most to cloud the issue. It is not unlike other industries who try to maximize profits and protect their interests through lobbyists.
As for the use of science to end this problem permanently I think it is a good option. The simplest way would be to develop vaccines that could be administered from childhood on up as an option so that children would never be at risk from heroin or cocain even if they did try it they would be immune to the effects. It could be administered to prisoners and any convicted of a drug related offense and would eventually eliminate the demand altogether. That aside I believe the biggest problem is the lack of enforcement and the poverty in Mexico which fuels the drug trade. We do not have a problem with Drugs from Canada because of this. If it were only a supply and demand issue then we'd expect Canadians eager to get in on the trade too but ironically we have a bigger legal drug "problem" with Candada than illegal.