Sunday, January 3, 2010

America’s Addiction to Drug-Assisted Wars: The Narco-Capitalistic U.S. Economy

The following article is written by Professor Peter Dale Scott of the University of California, Berkeley, where he builds upon the paper written by Thomas Johnson and Chris Mason (our post titled "The Erie Similarities Between Vietnam and Afghanistan") and argues that beyond the similarities that tie the Afghan war with Vietnam, lies another war that replicates the Afghan war much closer - the CIA’s drug-funded undeclared war in Laos.
The presidential electoral campaign of Barack Obama in 2008, it was thought, "changed the political debate in a party and a country that desperately needed to take a new direction."[1] Like most preceding presidential winners dating back at least to John F. Kennedy, what moved voters of all descriptions to back Obama was the hope he offered of significant change. Yet within a year Obama has taken decisive steps, not just to continue America’s engagement in Bush’s Afghan War, but significantly to enlarge it into Pakistan. If this was change of a sort, it was a change that few voters desired.
Those of us convinced that a war machine prevails in Washington were not surprised. The situation was similar to the disappointment experienced with Jimmy Carter: Carter was elected in 1976 with a promise to cut the defense budget. Instead, he initiated both an expansion of the defense budget and also an expansion of U.S. influence into the Indian Ocean.[2] As I wrote in The Road to 9/11, after Carter’s election:
It appeared on the surface that with the blessing of David Rockefeller’s Trilateral Commission, the traditional U.S. search for unilateral domination would be abandoned. But... the 1970s were a period in which a major "intellectual counterrevolution" was mustered, to mobilize conservative opinion with the aid of vast amounts of money... By the time SALT II was signed in 1979, Carter had consented to significant new weapons programs and arms budget increases (reversing his campaign pledge).[3]
I noted further that the complex strategy for reversing Carter’s promises was revived for a new mobilization in the 1990s during the Clinton presidency, in which a commission headed by Donald Rumsfeld was prominent.
Read more here

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