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I was going to craft a lengthy discourse in reply to Jill's last message
about technology and going to war, but instead I'll just say that I agree
with everything she said.  Damn, she's smart (to agree with me :)

(CS)
> now- I don't
> think Noah did nothing when he was told to prepare for a 
> flood, and God
> didn't build the ark for him.

So we should build up our walls and isolate ourselves from the deluge coming
into our country?  I'm sure you recall what happened the last two times we
did that...world wars.



> However, do you want Colombians to come here and run our 
> country for us? 

No.

> Why do you think we have a right to intervene in another nation's
> business?  Our drug problem is our problem, and I don't think our
> problems give us a right to intervene in other countries'  business.

It's generally accepted by governments that intervening in another country's
business is acceptable.  That's what the UN does all the time--have a look
at the UNSCRs.  Funny how individuals generally disagree...maybe the
goverments aren't truly representative of their citizens?  Of course, that's
not a legal requirement of government, and only a moral (or practical)
"requirement" in democracies.

But on Colombia, I think we have the privelage of intervening because
they've asked us to, and they welcome the help give (at least the government
does).

> One of our biggest problems is the rumor that drugs are 
> illegal because the CIA funds special projects with drug money.

That's one of the "biggest" problems?  I think the biggest problem with
respect to drugs today is demand.  If the US has the demand, there will
always be a supply no matter what country ships it.

The biggest problem regarding US policy towards Colombia and drugs is that
we separate insurgents from drug runners, even though advisors have said
they're completely indistinguishable.  But the spectre of Vietnam looms, and
we won't get involved in an insurgency, so we close our eyes to half of the
problem and think that focusing on the other half will make the whole thing
go away.  Hogwash.

> Are you sure no one has in mind getting us to accept a more
> fully manifested police state, so our masses are easier to 
> control under a World Order?

Could be.  Where's the balance between liberty and order?  Convince the
world of your answer and I'll personally nominate you for Supreme World
Commander.

>  Do you have the statistics for the number of kindergarten children
> harmed by drug dealers supplied by Colombia?  Does this happen every
> where in the United States?  What do you have for evidence of this
> problem?  You weren't  by any chance using emotion as a substitute for
> facts were you?

No stats offhand, but I didn't say directly harmed by the dealers
personally.  I know there are drugs in most public schools--I'd even venture
to guess every single public school, though I don't have the figures to back
that up.  That fact alone is harm enough if you ask me.  And yes, it happens
most everywhere in the US.  That's why most states have more harsh penalties
for distribution within an X-mile radius of schools.  Some people have said
we should judge our drug policy by the price of cocaine one block from your
local middle school.

You can check on the evidence of drugs in schools yourself.  Figures vary
for how much of the drugs originated in Colombia, but last time I researched
it they all hovered around 65-75% of the cocaine entering the US is
estimated to have come from Colombia, and about 35% of the heroine.  Most of
the marijuana comes from Mexico or it's domestically grown, but Colombia
also supplies some of that--I don't recall that number, but I think it was
around 15%.

There's no emotion in there, though I do get angry when my kids are
threatened.

> If Colombia has an economic problem, isn't it logical to find out what
> resources Colombia has for improving its economy?  We sure can't fix
> Colombia's economic problem without knowing something about it and the
> resources available to Colombia.

Absolutely correct.  Avocadoes and oranges, the two most profitable crops in
the region, bring 4-10 times less profit than coca.  Oil is profitable, but
they can't depend on it because the ELN blows up the pipelines.  Then the
government comes in and hires the locals to rebuild it--providing them
guaranteed income, so they have no reason to stop the ELN from doing it.

They have all sorts of resources, but no one will invest in them because of
the instability.  So their economy won't improve until they become stable
enough to attract investment, but it's economic progress that fosters
stability.

> That is, if it is even our responsibility, which I don't think it is,
> beyond being a good neighbor.

We were invited.

> Our real concern with Colombia could be the petroleum under its soil,
> not the  drugs.  I just don't trust the drug augment.

Could be.  I think it's because we don't like instability in our hemisphere.
Currently every country in our hemisphere except Cuba is democratic.
Varying degrees of democracy, but democratic nonetheless.  If we let
Colombia fall to a socialist government, that's a threat to US credibility,
which threatens our economy, which in turn threatens our national security.

That's my opinion, anyway.  I'm sure we'll disagree--but that's how we
learn, no?

Jeff


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