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#2713: Drugs and Haiti: Burnham replies to Gill and Kozyn (fwd)
From: thor burnham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I think that M. Gill and J. Kozyn both raise excellent points concerning the
U.S. obsession with drugs. The hypocrisy of U.S. drug policy towards Haiti
and the rest of the Caribbean is revealing when one considers the extent of
cross-border drug smuggling that takes place between Canada and the U.S.,
The state department reports (and others like them) tend to point to the
numerous "lacks" in Haitian government, society and culture which contribute
to the booming trade in illicit narcotics: a lack of infrastucture, a lack
of police competence, and a lack of ethics at all levels of
government...(not to mention the reliance on the "phrase" to really explain
why Haiti would allow such "atrocities" to continue).
Make no mistake, the longer one complains about the exportation of drugs,
the lawlessness of Haiti, and it's inability to rule itself properly (talk
about a trope that's been mobilized for a long time!) the more that long
term military "intervention" (to use Mambo Racine's euphimism), or presence,
is needed. And, of course, all the more reason to keep funding the military
and the police; not to mention annually increasing their budgets.
The reason I compare Haiti's treatment to Canada is simple. My impression,
(and i believe it was sometime last fall that Canada was singled out by some
U.S. policy makers as a problem), after living in Vancouver, B.C. is that
relatively speaking, Haiti is insignificant with respect to the total amount
of drugs shipped into the U.S. (which raises a question? Unless the drug
agencies are aware of the amount of drugs that actually go through Haiti,
how can they make any kind of estimates with respect to percentage
increases? How can they say with a straight face that shipments increased
from 10 to 14 percent? They can't. They are guessing, or just blatantly
As Mark Gill pointed out, the problem has to be getting worse in order to
justify more troops on the ground, and more funding for the "war on drugs".
All of which translates into more officers/soldiers and more toys for the
Coast Guard, DEA and military, or to prevent budget cutbacks.
Based on their criteria for Haiti, the U.S should have occuppied Canada a
long time ago, because Canada is almost completely incapable of stopping the
drug flow into Canada (from the U.S. and Asia) and the flow from Canada to
the U.S., and they know it. They even publicly say as much. It is, after
all, the largest undefended border in the world.
A few of the drug reports have mentioned that there is an increasing
"organizational structure and sophistication" (my paraphrase) with respect
to the trans-shipment of drugs through Haiti. The fact that a few ships were
dry-docked and found to contain cocaine in their hulls supposedly
demonstrates this. I can assure people on the list that Vancouver's place as
a drug transhipment point of heroin and a producer of high quality marijuana
makes Haiti look small. And compared geographically to the province of
British Columbia, it is indeed quite tiny. The Asian triads, Hells Angels
and the Russian Mafia are known to everyone. In other words, law enforcement
knows all the players. Catching them red-handed is the hard part. And they
tend to make Haitian gangsters look not so notorious. Seems to me that Haiti
is doing a much better job at it than the funny talking Northerners. People
can't remember the last time a Hell's Angel was successfully prosecuted and
jailed for drug violations. Why? Because they are stinking rich and have the
best criminal defense lawyers on retainer.
In fact, the Vancouver police and RCMP repeatedly publicly declare that
Marijuana grown in British Columbia is exchanged pound for pound for Cocaine
at the U.S. border. (this is an indication on how powerful B.C. "gold"
actually is), but it also shows just how much cocaine comes into Canada
from....are you ready?...the U.S.
My point is (and i do have one...my rant shall end soon) that when you
take into consideration that over 95% of Canada's population live within 200
miles of the U.S. border, and that Vancouver's situation is repeated in
major cities across the country...(toronto, montreal etc.) the hysteria
surrounding Haiti needs to be challenged, particularly when that hysteria is
masquerading as propaganda for other ends.
So when the next series of reports emanates from the hallowed halls of the
state department or the DEA, be skeptical, don't take their word for it, and
read between the lines. Moreover, one should look at just how cocaine is
produced in the laboratories in Colombia. (i.e. the chemicals involved and
where they are manufactured and shipped from. Who really profits from
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