Pubdate: Wed, 1 Dec 1999
Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)
Copyright: 1999 Los Angeles Times
Contact:  Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles, CA 90053
Fax: (213) 237-4712
Author: Chris Cauhape


Re "Colombia at Risk," editorial, Nov. 24: U.S. victims of thievery,
thuggery, pimping and murder are the primary source of funding for
Colombian insurgents, both left and right. To send more U.S. tax dollars to
President Andres Pastrana will only serve to intensify the destruction
wrought by decades of wrongheaded U.S. drug policy. It is total madness to
become more entangled militarily. This Latin American tar baby will surely
make Vietnam seem like child's play. History and common sense tell us not
to become the fourth combatant in a three-sided civil war in which we
already foot the bill for all other parties. Sadly, all this escapes those
who shape U.S. policy.

The answer is to cut off funding for all participants in this struggle.
This can only be done if we challenge our appetite for illicit Colombian
products. Was anyone paying attention when Dr. George Koob and Dr. Kim
Janda of Scripps Research Institute unveiled a vaccine for cocaine
addiction last summer? If The Times looked into that story, it would be
begging more funds for addiction research rather than slouching toward

Chris Cauhape, Indio
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