Pubdate: Sun, 10 Jun 2001
Source: Orlando Sentinel (FL)
Copyright: 2001 Orlando Sentinel
Author: Steve Helms
Note: Headline by MAP editor


As I read the June 3 Orlando Sentinel article, "Brevard base guides
anti-drug fight," I thought about the impersonal nature of America's
drug war on civilians in Colombia. The lives and livelihood of
Colombian citizens have been reduced to red and yellow spots on the
maps in a war room in Florida. Do we care if conventional crops are
accidentally killed by overspray and farmers' livelihoods are
destroyed? Do we care about the environmental and human-health damage
caused by widespread spraying of herbicides?

Apparently not. Our spraying efforts are outpacing the assistance
promised to help farmers switch to crops acceptable to the United
States, and I have never heard of any medical assistance for health
effects caused by this spraying. Whether it is government or civilians
doing the spraying is irrelevant; the harm being done to Colombians to
protect Americans from themselves is the same.

According to the article, chief helicopter mechanic Earl Meade, who is
rearing three children, sees it as a personal crusade to stamp out
drugs from American streets. I would encourage Meade to spend more
time with his children, so that they have the moral fortitude to
resist drug use, instead of relying on the unrealistic goal of
destroying all illegal crops in South America to deter drug use.

Steve Helms
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MAP posted-by: Andrew