Featured Post

Snapshots of the Present Condition

A mishmash of stuff. So much is going on that . . . well, here are some snapshots I have taken. Bernie in Philadelphia. Wow! I guess Berni...

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Drug War Summed Up

Going through 34-years of old photos, I found this one. I have another one somewhere that is clearer, but I haven't found the right shoebox, yet.

The picture is of a large plane (DC-3? Not sure) resting at the bottom of a lake in Central America. I took the picture from a helicopter while on an anti-drug operation many, many years ago--the shrubbery at the bottom of the frame is a marijuana plant we "captured" in a raid earlier that day and were taking back as evidence.

Seeing this plane in a lake made a huge impression on me; it drove home the futility of the "drug war." The narcos used big planes on one-way missions. They could afford to throw away aircraft and still make huge profits. You can't make war on the law of supply and demand . . .


  1. Yes, it is a DC-3 or military C-47. Same airframe, different designation.

  2. And yes, fighting that magnitude of money is daunting to say the least. I recall one day in Washington DC when police recovered a brown bag filled with about $10,000 in cash in a payphone booth (remember them?). They decided to stake it out and see if the owner -- clearly a drug dealer -- would come back to claim it. He didn't. It was clearly chump change to him, and this was in the day when $10,000 would have bought a nice pimpmobile.

    Or when I learned that Peruvian generals were being bought to turn their back on drug flights. Price? About two years' salary in cold cash. How do you fight that kind of money?

  3. War on Drugs, War on Poverty, we seem to have many wars raging at the same time and for many decades. While the WoD and WoP do not create battlefields with moving armor and pincer strategies, they do create casualties. The WoD has killed many, corrupted many, and sent thousands (millions?) to prison which ruined any prospect of productive lives. The WoP has created multiple generations of people without purpose, drive, ambition, just dependency, a dependency not much different from drug dependency. Forget the monetary cost, think of the human cost, the tragedy of lives lost either through death or dependency. When I am dictator, these wars will end...

  4. I eagerly await your rule . . ..

  5. Here in America, we need to turn our people around; and it's something government programs can't do. How do I know? I'm a professional swindler of the young--oops, public high school teacher who uses his curriculum because he wants to keep his job.

  6. You can't win a two front war fighting only on one front. Drugs are about Supply and Demand. The War on Drugs pretty much only focuses on Supply; little is done against Demand. If the measures employed in the DoD to keep the military (composed primarily of the young male prime demographic for drug consumption) 97%+ drug free were applied within the country at large, then progress writ large could be made. Even better, simply cut people off the government teat *for life* after one (1) drug use conviction. Permanent ineligibility for government employment, any government bennies/entitlements/subsidies/whatever in *every* sphere of life. The inner cities will burn, of course, but they're already drug-saturated wastelands, so what the hell?

  7. Rogue Male: well said.

  8. DC-3/C-47 for sure. The planform of the wings is very distinctive.

  9. Well Diplo,
    Looks like your old service is soaring to new heights!
    "On an epic diplomatic mission through Africa, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton braved an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Uganda, escaped a swarm of angry bees in Malawi and shimmied on a dance floor in South".
    Such aplomb rarely witnessed!

  10. There are drugs that should never be legal. Meth is one and opiates the other. Both destroy the users to the point they can never be productive members of society. They will always be wards of the state.

    Unfortunately we take the wrong approach in this war. We treat the abuser/addict as a victim. We deem it an illness. If it is, it is a self inficted illness. And allowing the free flow of drugs will only broaden their use. Both the seller and buyer must be part of the equation.