Pubdate: Fri, 22 Sep 2000
Date: 09/22/2000
Source: St. Petersburg Times (FL)
Author: Dan Krassner

Re: U.S., Colombia go it alone in war on drug trade, Sept. 15.

The only successful battles in the war on drugs fought by the United
States have occurred domestically. Plan Colombia is a waste of
American tax dollars and will only serve to destabilize Colombia further.

The idea of going into this drug-producing country, wiping out the
drug crops and replacing them with alternative crops is ridiculous.
Guess what happens after the United States spends $1.3-billion to rid
Colombia of drug crops? That's right, the drug crops will once again
be planted.

The result will be a failure, and the chemicals used to destroy the
plants will also hurt the rain forests, wildlife and water sources in
the region. Colombians themselves will be displaced by this plan and
will flow into neighboring countries.

Plan Colombia has been compared to U.S. military aid in the 1980s in
El Salvador as well as to the Vietnam War. Similar to the past
situation in El Salvador, Colombia is fighting leftist guerillas and
drug traffickers. But the U.S. involvement in Colombia ignores the
government's human rights abuses because it was democratically elected.

he United States should continue to be a strong leader in the
international community. Good leadership includes leading by example.
Obviously, the demand for drugs still exists in the United States.
Let's lead by example and solve that problem first.

Dan Krassner

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