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Drug War Causes Problems At Home And Abroad
by Esther Hartstein
9 March 2003

Should we spend more money to help Columbia fight its Drug War?

If you thought that the combined pressures of a terror hunt with Al Qaeda, diplomatic ring dance with the United Nations, controversial, $100b war in Iraq, arms race with China, sparking conflict with North Korea, flagging public opinion and a devastated economy were not enough to keep President Bush tossing and turning at night, wait until you hear about his latest burden: Columbia wants us to help fight in its civil war.

Just what we needed!

Speaking to Newsweek magazine last February, Columbian President Alvaro Uribe pledged his country's support for the war in Iraq. He then painted an articulate portrait of his country's enduring struggles with drug lords, urging the U.S. to devote support to his cause. It seems a civil war is breaking out in Columbia. But does the United States need another war to fight?

This quandary has a simple, effective solution, though not an instant one. President Uribe does not need us to fight a war. He needs us to stop a war. It is a war we have fought since 1968 with no success; a war that has placed billions of dollars into the hands of mobsters and terrorists. It is a war that has led to the wreckage and trauma of much of Central America, costing us 19 billion dollars a year and sending illegal aliens flooding over our borders. it is called the Drug War.

In the face of these troubled times, the United States simply cannot handle the unchecked flow of aliens swarming her borders. These aliens are often poor and illiterate with large families to care for. This makes them a burden on social services and law enforcement. They take jobs that would otherwise go to legal natives, and are willing to work for pitiful pay. They carry horrible diseases with them. With the Immigration and Naturalization Service bought off by powerful interests (according to Michelle Malkin's book, "Invasion") and falling apart at the seams, the money needed to round up millions of illegal aliens is beyond comprehension and sanity. It would also violate the human rights of the migrants.

We closed our eyes as a drug mafia rose up south of our borders. We shrugged our proud American shoulders as illegal drug profits flowed into the coffers of monstrosities such as the Cali cartel, Hizbollah, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda. The drug trade eventually became a formidable political force in Central America. It has undermined democracy, recruited children into private militias, disrupted normal life with their incessant turf wars and killed, kidnapped, and made refugees of people who tried to stop it. Neck deep in overpopulation and poverty, the people were rendered helpless. The illegal drug trade has retarded the development of third world countries, turning them into playgrounds for a criminal elite. Legalizing drugs will bring down this criminal elite by allowing everyone to grow and sell drugs, not just the few who can get around the laws. It will let stability reign for a change south of the border, curbing an immigration crisis that is threatening to swallow us whole.

Now that we are forced to clean up the mess of our failed drug war, can we turn our eyes any longer? 19 billion dollars a year couldn't even buy us a drug free society. Every war needs a results-producing strategy. Let's stop this drug war until we find one.

Once again, we do not need a war in Columbia. We cannot afford to round up millions of illegal aliens and toss them to their proper side of the border. We cannot afford to pay for them to live here on welfare, spreading diseases. And we do not need to keep paying 19 billion dollars a year for a war that has brought us these problems and nothing more. Believing that the drug war is stopping drug use is like believing that Communism creates classless societies. It is a delusion, plain and simple.

President Alvaro Uribe is a noble man for putting his life in danger to stop the Drug Mafia. It is a Drug Mafia that we are putting our country in peril to foster.

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A multi-award winning poet, Esther has written a book, "Eros Wins The Battle", about a U.S. immigrant fighting for regime change in her native country. The book, filled with Greek myths and poetry, is available at BN.com (Barnes and Nobel) and Amazon.com.