The Drug War

Yes – the war on drugs. Just like the war on poverty gave us more poor people; the war on terrorism gave us more terrorists – all we got from this one was more drugs. And the human costs? Incalculable. Generations of war, endless war, total war. War by children, by mothers and grandmothers. Commies and terrorists and paramilitaries – all paid for by the drug money, encouraged by the drug money, fighting over the drug money in a giant self-licking ice cream cone of death. If communism is above all a colossal criminal enterprise, the drugs fit in quite nicely – for Latin America certainly does love her commies!! While the world moved on and the nasty little ideology hung up its jersey – not a win to its name – down south they still persevere. Gotta give them credit for their persistence; drug running with a side of Marxism. Colombia and Peru and Panama. Now Venezuela. I wrote about this in my 2nd novel – how could I not? There is nothing in Venezuela besides the drugs.

“But for Machado, Ciudad de las Nubes had a more significant and important position within his domain. Like the conquistadores so many years ago, Machado had also arrived looking for treasure and had been rewarded in his search. He had found his own gold—white gold that he too used the waters of the great lake to transport to the old powers of Europe and now America. For years, the high plains had been the center of Machado’s ever-expanding drug empire.”

Money earned honestly brings peace and wellbeing. Money earned illicitly only brings misery. Corruption and violence. Case in point, Venezuela – a failed drug state, an assertion that is no longer even controversial. Manuel Noriega, eat your heart out. These kingpins of Bolivarian communism? They’re the real deal. The “Cartel of the Suns” – named for the patch on the uniforms of generals in the Venezuelan army. You wonder why there will never be a coup? You can count the answers in neatly wrapped cellophane packages. Night flights from the Amazon jungles to Central America and from there overland, spreading in rivulets of blood money into the towns and villages in ever-widening circles. The Mexican cartels beheading people in acts that make even the Islamic State take notice. Boats and submarines – the occasional Boeing jet.

The libertarians want the drug war ended. “It is only with legalization that we can end the cartels’ power”. They are not wrong – basic economics would suggest that with so great a demand, supply will find its way. The Republicans want to double down, proving as Einstein once said “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. The Democrats – well who knows…

For my fellow Americans, those of you thinking about the children displaced, the families destroyed, the lives lost. For those concerned about the toll that the violence wreaks across a fragile world; and the price the innocents are paying. For those who fret, and hem and haw and pontificate. For those of you who care, what can you do? It’s quite simple really, and let me quote from Jim Carey, “Stop breaking the law asshole”.


About Joel D. Hirst

Joel D. Hirst is a novelist and a playwright. His most recently released work is "Dreams of the Defeated: A Play in Two Acts" about a political prisoner in a dystopian regime. His novels include "I, Charles, From the Camps" about the life of a young man in the African camps and "Lords of Misrule" about the making and unmaking of a jihadist in the Sahara. "The Lieutenant of San Porfirio" and its sequel "The Burning of San Porfirio" are about the rise and fall of socialist Venezuela (with magic).
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