Sunday, August 19, 2007

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Where's the netroots when you need them?

Despite my latest jabs at the netroots, I don't think their argument is completely without merit. There are issues where the foreign policy community, like any community, begins to placidly accept consensus without going back and questioning first principles. Like, say, the War on Drugs.

In the Washington Post, Misha Glenny discusses the costs of this disastrous 35-year policy quagmire:

Thirty-six years and hundreds of billions of dollars after President Richard M. Nixon launched the war on drugs, consumers worldwide are taking more narcotics and criminals are making fatter profits than ever before. The syndicates that control narcotics production and distribution reap the profits from an annual turnover of $400 billion to $500 billion. And terrorist organizations such as the Taliban are using this money to expand their operations and buy ever more sophisticated weapons, threatening Western security.

In the past two years, the drug war has become the Taliban's most effective recruiter in Afghanistan. Afghanistan's Muslim extremists have reinvigorated themselves by supporting and taxing the countless peasants who are dependent one way or another on the opium trade, their only reliable source of income. The Taliban is becoming richer and stronger by the day, especially in the east and south of the country. The "War on Drugs" is defeating the "war on terror."....

In Washington, the war on drugs has been a third-rail issue since its inauguration. It's obvious why -- telling people that their kids can do drugs is the kiss of death at the ballot box. But that was before 9/11. Now the drug war is undermining Western security throughout the world. In one particularly revealing conversation, a senior official at the British Foreign Office told me, "I often think we will look back at the War on Drugs in a hundred years' time and tell the tale of 'The Emperor's New Clothes.' This is so stupid."

How right he is.

If the netroots really want to expose third rails in the foreign policy community, take this issue and run with it.

posted by Dan on 08.19.07 at 06:57 PM


Kos already thinks he knows it all, but here you are giving 'em more inside intel!

posted by: Donald Douglas on 08.19.07 at 06:57 PM [permalink]

Kos doesn't know everything. He does know what's not working.

posted by: Joe Klein's conscience on 08.19.07 at 06:57 PM [permalink]

Glenn Greewald has already written a significant amount opposing the so-called War on Drugs, and just a few months ago astonished some of his left-wing readers by attacking the prescription drug system (a necessary component of said war). At his old blog he specifically requested me (then writing under a pseudonym) to draft two guest posts exposing the follies of drug prohibition.

In any event, Daniel, you have him entirely wrong, and today he responded to your rather (uncharacteristically) vacuous criticism of him at some length. He's certainly no pacifist; few people who believe in the right to own guns are.

posted by: Mona on 08.19.07 at 06:57 PM [permalink]

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