We have made the penalties for drug running and dealing drugs so stiff the criminals that run these enterprises don’t think twice about using murder as a regular business practice. We have regulated the drug business into the African-American neighborhoods where young black men see the only way to make money and possibly have the things that our society says they should have, is by dealing drugs. Congress and State governments throw money at this fight against drugs. Drugs mean money to law enforcement. Eliminating the drug problem in many cities would mean loss of revenue for many agencies. This is a self perpetuating war. We have been fighting it for thirty years and we will be fighting it for another thirty years. The greatest crime when it comes to people taking drugs, is that it has made criminals out of otherwise law abiding citizens that break no law but the ones that come between them and their addiction. We can continue this war on drugs and ruin peoples lives, continue to cause the murders of policemen and drug dealers and users, keep providing the environment that creates millionaires by selling illegal drugs and ruin the chances of young people that see in drugs the promise of easy money, or... we can change tactics.
The “War on Terrorism” will also be around forever. Since the beginning of time there have been terrorists. For a nation to believe that they can stop terrorists is to use the same kind of rational that believes you can stop people from taking illegal drugs. You can kill ten terrorists and there will be ten more to take their place. Of course I don’t propose to legalize terrorism, but we need to take a fresh view on it. Terrorists are usually terrorists for a reason. Either they have convinced themselves that there is no other recourse to their plight except to lash out with terror at their enemies, or they are just mentally ill. I don't believe that all terrorists are mentally ill. That leaves us with the first reason; they believe that the use of terror is a last resort to their problems.
Now here also we have a choice. Use pure unadulterated force against terrorists, and in the process kill so many terrorists that it breeds more terrorists, or work on the underlying causes of why people turn to terrorism. Sounds a lot like the same approach to stopping the drug use? The facts are, the two conditions are very similar. Anyone with a little commonsense can figure it out. Humans are pretty much the same whether they are American, Arab, Black, White, young or old. We all want very much to be recognized as individuals that have rights and a degree of worth. Mazlow has a hierarchy of needs, and once a human’s basic needs have been met, people can than begin to self-actualize. That means that they can, to coin a phrase, “Be all that they can be”. The first level of Maslow’s needs is food and shelter. This is Maslow’s Hierarchy:
Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs
You see the second tier is security. The Third is Esteem, and the top is Self actualization.
Instead of buying weapons, and training people to kill, we would be better off trying to find out how we can meet the needs of the people turning to terrorism and drug abuse These “Wars” solve nothing except to drive up the ego’s of the people that are fighting them. In the end, they will be fighting these wars in perpetuity.
The Iraqi people were promised an end to Saddam’s rule and a nation where they could rule themselves the way they saw fit. Instead, we occupied their country and set up a puppet government that gave away their banks and bridges to foreign interests. We disbanded their police and military with de-baathification and the country is now overrun by militias. The Iraqi people have been suffering for over a hundred years. First by Great Britain and then own despots and now us. It is unfortunately true that we are taking their oil, the only real resource they have. It is unfortunately true that Iraqi’s have no security and most don’t even have basic needs met. Still we keep waging a war that will go on forever.
It’s about time that this government of ours tried to use its head instead of force to solve problems. We have spent almost a half TRILLION dollars on this “war without end”. We could have bought all of the oil we ever wanted with that money. We could have given everyone health insurance. We could have given all who wanted it job training. We could have put a big dent in drug abuse and we wouldn’t have our young people dying everyday, and being incarcerated for no intelligent reasons.
We have BIG problems to face. Global Warming is the big one. Starvation is another. Water for everyone in the world is another. Cancer and other diseases is another. The list goes on and on. We can, like little boys in the playground play war until these problems eliminate the human race, or we could get down to business and try to actually fix what is wrong. There isn’t all the time in the world to make up our minds. Time is a luxury we don’t have much of. You can choose to be part of the problem, or part of the solution. Hey! Is anybody out there?