Talk:War on Drugs

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This page is little more than opinion. Somebody is so dedicated to untruth, they reverted an innacurate reference to "narcotics" as the sole subject of the war on drugs, demonstrating to anyone with marginal college-level education unconcern for the distinction between narcotics, stimulants, cannabinoids and other psychoactives.

From there, the page degrades ino unsupported and poorly thought-out opinion. The writers make no effort to hide their propagandists' intent. They assert themselves as authorities on the matter, demanding that readers accept that "it is intended." Passive language is a propaganda technique that depends on inference. A writer presumes we are so naive as to assume that all good people understand who intended these things. Then we are to assume somebody anonymously writing to the internet is privy to the intentions of a thirty-year-ago president, and that they correctly interpreted those intentions as primarily being to take away rights.

I edited this page once to correct the very wrong reference to narcotics, and someone bothered to change it back, so I can assume this is place where a few people dominate a discussion for the purpose of reinforcing their own sense of identity and reinforcing the sence of cohesion among allies but has no real intent, as an editorial collective, of submitting to standard rules of language, logic or science. I trust that rebellion against basic social standards is supported with profound philosophy about the universal wrongness of plutonic, newtonian or cartesian thought, and even of standard logical processes of reason.

In such an environment where any standard at all is a threat to group cohesion, I suspect any effort on my part to reason would be met with psychological group violence toward me, so unless I hear some interest in approaching this topic from a reasonably scholarly perspective, I will let it stand that the person who had the insight to add "war on drugs" to the case studies list abandoned the topic because it could not be constructed along reasonable guidelines. The omage that the first casualty of war is truth cuts both ways. Victims of the war on drugs will never rise above their oppressors if they fall to the same standard of false, untrue, manipulative language as that used to sell licensed pharmaceuticals and to enforce pharmaceutical licensure.

The paragraph about lost rights doesn't seem to fit well here, after the first sentence.

Just as U.S. influences sustained a drug trade upon which a war could be declared, so also in the BushCo vision will terrorism never be defeated.

Thanks for editing that second graph, M. All it sometimes takes to bend copy from pure opinion to reasonable speculation is the change of a couple words. Our spculation would be stronger if it were supported by evidence, but this article is young still. I suppose I will eventually alter the reference to "a joke" in the last graph. Even if we agreed on the speculation, I would have problems with emotionally charged language like that - a joke is only a joke for some people, whereas published works (such as SourceWatch) about serious matters do better to use the language of reason. Some evidence of plans for a perpetual war against "terrorism" would be useful. The highest official I recall making such a statement would be a U.S. commander in Iraq - maybe the occupation manager or whatever they call him said troops will face "terrorist" attacks until the day they leave Iraq.

But the wider flaw in this sort of blame-placing analysis is that it fails to produce solutions (the blame here is by veiled implication that drugs and terrorism should either not be fought or that the battles could be won but are not due to lack of intent). A better analysis of the war on terrorism (which we won't easily produce here because we have fewer resources than professional analysts working days on the problem) would continue to deconstruct war-time rhetoric at more personal levels. For example, here is a profound analysis of the psychological errors behind the "axis of evil" model of terrorism: Genesis and Future of Suicide Terrorism; Scott Atran

Conversely, however, progressive commentators such as those contributing to SourceWatch are often burdened by the same fundamental attribution error as Atran explores. We fail to produce convincing accounts of Western Capitalism's flawed reasoning because we tend to settle for analysis that attributes the problem (perpetual war) to character flaws of capitalist leaders, rather than to flaws in their reasoning coupled with experiences and circumstances that lead them to make flawed choices. The result is analysis that reads well for progressive allies and that polarizes opposite camps.

The more precise our analysis of capitalists' flawed logic and of the context they operate in, the more likely we can disuade others from accepting that logic. If we appeal to the language of emotion, though, we move the debate toward territory where a more powerful opponent with more pervasive media can better manipulate group emtions.

The article reads even better now. Thanks for attending to my concern without rebutting my challenge. A strict analysis would reveal remaining veins of opinion, but the glaring corners are now rounded, producing an article that would appear to most readers to be based on reason, whether the basis of the reasoning is immediately apparent and whether they agree or not. ppgtr


And for what it is worth, I was suffering some CO poisoning and fatigue when I entered my earlier critique, perhaps contributing to the severe tone. ppgtr