Pubdate: Tue, 27 Jun 2000
Date: 06/27/2000
Source: New York Times (NY)
Author: David Hayden

To the Editor:

Re "Senate Approves $1 Billion to Aid Colombia Military" (front page,
June 22): Senator Paul Coverdell's assertion that "Colombia is the
heart of the drug war . . . if we lose in Colombia, then we lose
everywhere" is a haunting echo of the arguments used to justify
America's disastrous involvement in Vietnam.

The similarities between the two entanglements are more than

As was the case in Vietnam, the huge military aid package for Colombia
will involve us in a convoluted, decades-old civil war in a distant
country. As in Vietnam, our politicians are embracing a nebulous
objective whose achievement is essentially impossible; we have no more
chance of eliminating drug production in Colombia than we did of
winning the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese. It seems that
credulousness and a willingness to squander taxpayer money never go
out of fashion in Washington.

Wilton, Conn., June 23, 2000

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