Monday, December 05, 2011

Good News: War on Alcohol Ended 78 Years Ago; Bad News: War on Drugs Kills 61 Per Day in Mexico

Good News: Today marks the 78th anniversary of the repeal of America's "War on Alcohol" on December 5, 1933, after nearly 13 years of Prohibition.  

Bad News: Largely as a result of America's "War on Drugs," more than 22,000 people will die this year from drug-related violence in Mexico, bringing the total number of narco-related killings to almost 55,000 in the six years since 2006 (see chart above).  At the current rate of 61 drug deaths per day, the total number of Mexican casualties from the "War on Drugs" will reach 58,000 sometime around March 1, which will then match the number of U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War (58,272). 


At 12/05/2011 3:58 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

And to think while we fight the ever-futile War on Drugs, we establish a narco-Islamic state in Afghanistan, now by far the globe's richest and more prolific producer of opium.

The Taliban, in religious fervor, had wiped out the heroin crop (backed by $170 million from the Bush jr. team).

Then Bush jr. went in and built the puppet-narco state of Karzai, and eventually US Marines were protecting opium fields of warlords "loyal" to Karzai.

In Afghanistan they execute people who convert to Christianity from Islam.

Amazingly, Obama is so stupid he is following in Bush jr's footsteps.

We are $2 trillion in on the Afghan War, and have fought some rag-heads, armed with homemade bombs, to a draw. Just a few more trillion and I know we might win.

Tell me about the War on Drugs.

At 12/05/2011 4:26 PM, Blogger morganovich said...


where do you get these numbers?

i swear you just make them up.

i'm not a huge fan of our afghan policy, but the combined cost of the wars in afghanistan and iraq is about $1.2th, most of it in iraq.

afghanistan is more projected to be $455 bn at the end of 2011.

you are off by more than 4x.

At 12/05/2011 5:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an example of how the drug war ruins lives (not to mention economic potential), here is a story of Green Bay player Johnny Jolly. He recently got 6 years in jail, life and NFL career ruined for....being addicted to codeine pills.

America!!!! Freedom!!!!!!! HELL YEA!!!

At 12/05/2011 5:52 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Morgan from UFO-land:

Cost Of Wars In Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan To Reach $3.7 Trillion: Report

WASHINGTON -- The United States will have spent a total of $3.7 trillion on wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, costing 225,000 lives and creating 7.8 million refugees, by the time the conflicts end, according to a report released on Wednesday by Brown University."

I have posted this before. Others have come to roughly the same conclusion. You can quibble with these studies if you like---but likely they undercount the true cost of the wars, depending on how much Pentagon fat and overhead you want to allocate to these wars. VA spending now tops $140 billion annually, and no end in sight.

A fantastic waste of money on parasitic and coprolitic federal agencies. Insanity.

At 12/05/2011 6:05 PM, Blogger Mark J. Perry said...

Roman: Thanks for that link, I sent it out through my Twitter account.

At 12/05/2011 6:20 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Yeah, yeah. The same people who insist that we boycott "blood diamonds" from Africa; who rant about the wars we supposedly wage for oil; who insist that we stop buying Nike sneakers in feigned moral outrage over child labor, etc. etc.; don't even give a second thought to the carnage that their hedonism is inflicting south-of-the-border as they're lighting up a joint on the weekend.

U.S. drug laws aren't "killing 61 people a day in Mexico", that assertion is just noxious bullshit. It is an attempt to lay responsibility for misery inflicted, as a result of the users behavior, at the feet of another.

Here's a thought - have a beer, save a child.

At 12/05/2011 6:31 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...


You've used this argument before (surprise, surprise)and the answer is still the same:

This study is a sham produced by left-wing, pro-Islamofascist academics in order to generate headlines and cover their golden boy's big-spending ass.

-It counts $400 billion in Homeland Security spending as war related.

-It counts $300 billion “social costs” to veterans and military families.

-It counts the regular costs of the military as war related.

-It counts interest on war related costs ($1.184 trillion) out to an imaginary date. No other federal program is assessed this way.

While stretching reality to arrive at an inflated cost estimate, they make absolutely no adjustments for the benefits of removing two of the most sadistic regimes in modern history.

Nice try.

At 12/05/2011 6:31 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

of course the key here for change is an acceptable alternative ....

while I totally support legalization and especially getting the police and prisons - as well as our military, and FBI, ATF, etc out of the game....

those "folks in the middle" are not going to go with simple "all drugs are legal" idea.

unfortunately, for change to happen, it's not good enough to just point out the obvious damage and general idiocy - we have to deal with the political boogeymen of wild-eyed drug crazies running amok.... stealing kids.. selling organs, etc..

does anyone know if there is a rank list of "drug freedom" countries or similar?

At 12/05/2011 6:39 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


Stiglitz on the Cost of the Bush-Obama Wars
When it comes to economic policy, Joseph Stiglitz is far too Keynesian and too much of a globalist for me, but when it comes toanalyzing the costs of war, Stiglitz gets it the way few do. Below is Stiglitz's take on the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It is largely sound, though it is odd that he blames President George W. Bush for all the costs of the war. Bush did play a major role, but President Obama has done nothing to roll back the military spending and on this Stiglitz remains strangely silent:
The September 11, 2001, terror attacks by Al Qaeda were meant to harm the United States, and they did, but in ways that Osama bin Laden probably never imagined. President George W. Bush’s response to the attacks compromised America’s basic principles, undermined its economy, and weakened its security.
The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to Al Qaeda – as much as Bush tried to establish a link. That war of choice quickly became very expensive – orders of magnitude beyond the $60 billion claimed at the beginning – as colossal incompetence met dishonest misrepresentation.

Indeed, when Linda Bilmes and I calculated America’s war costs three years ago, the conservative tally was $3-5 trillion. Since then, the costs have mounted further. With almost 50% of returning troops eligible to receive some level of disability payment, and more than 600,000 treated so far in veterans’ medical facilities, we now estimate that future disability payments and health-care costs will total $600-900 billion. But the social costs, reflected in veteran suicides (which have topped 18 per day in recent years) and family breakups, are incalculable.

Even if Bush could be forgiven for taking America, and much of the rest of the world, to war on false pretenses, and for misrepresenting the cost of the venture, there is no excuse for how he chose to finance it. His was the first war in history paid for entirely on credit...

Today, America is focused on unemployment and the deficit. Both threats to America’s future can, in no small measure, be traced to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Increased defense spending, together with the Bush tax cuts, is a key reason why America went from a fiscal surplus of 2% of GDP when Bush was elected to its parlous deficit and debt position today. Direct government spending on those wars so far amounts to roughly $2 trillion – $17,000 for every US household – with bills yet to be received increasing this amount by more than 50%...

The wars’ collateral damage has been massive: by some accounts, more than a million Iraqis have died, directly or indirectly, because of the war. According to some studies, at least 137,000 civilians have died violently in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last ten years; among Iraqis alone, there are 1.8 million refugees and 1.7 million internally displaced people

At 12/05/2011 6:42 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...


$4 trillion may be low.

Add on, I do not support Karzai or Maliki, and both are Islamic pigs.

Iraq may well make alliance with Iran--google images and you sell see Maliki in any number of bear hugs with I'm-a-diiner-jacket.

Typical huge federal waste--our federalized military in action.

At 12/05/2011 6:45 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

You're right "Benji", "4" may be too low. I would put your I.Q in the low double digits.

At 12/05/2011 7:03 PM, Blogger Marko said...

Do you guys really think it should be legal for people to buy cocaine and heroine and whatever else? Really - without any other changes in our health care system? Really?

I agree that the federal government shouldn't (and I think doesn't) have the power to regulate drugs, but I would vote to keep most of this crap illegal at the state level.

Do you want to get rid of requiring prescriptions for medications too, or just allow people to get certain drugs without a prescription because you think they are fun?

At 12/05/2011 7:09 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

well for myself... it should be regulated... just like cigarettes, alcohol, OTC and Prescription drugs.

this is a really good example of how regulation ends up the best choice.....

but the drug "war" is one of the biggest govt job creators in the country... there are tons and tons of LE at all levels who are employed basically to deal with drugs.

it not only costs us an arm and leg to pay for LE - but then we ruin the lives of young and dumb by giving them a prison record and a "how to do crime right" diploma.

So these folks get out of prison and they receive countless entitlements...because they cannot get a job.. and/or they supplement their income by selling drugs... when they are unable to find legitimate work.

it's a dumb system.

At 12/05/2011 7:19 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"The attack on Afghanistan that followed the 9/11 attacks was understandable, but the subsequent invasion of Iraq was entirely unconnected to Al Qaeda – as much as Bush tried to establish a link."

Russia warned Washington before the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein's regime was preparing attacks against the United States and its interests abroad, President Vladimir Putin said yesterday. "Indeed, after September 11, 2001, and before the start of the military operation in Iraq, the Russian special services ... received information that officials from Saddam's regime were preparing terrorist attacks in the United States and outside it against the US military and other interests," Putin said. -- SMH

Bush never linked Iraq and 9/11, and according to Clinton, Al Qaeda was operating in Iraq before the war.

"Even if Bush could be forgiven for taking America, and much of the rest of the world, to war on false pretenses, and for misrepresenting the cost of the venture, there is no excuse for how he chose to finance it. His was the first war in history paid for entirely on credit ..."

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates." On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information." On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information." On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." -- Washington Post

Actually, the war was paid for in cash, the money we spent on welfare during this period was entirely borrowed.

At 12/05/2011 7:23 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Today, America is focused on unemployment and the deficit. Both threats to America’s future can, in no small measure, be traced to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq."

According to CBO numbers in its Budget and Economic Outlook published this month, the cost of Operation Iraqi Freedom was $709 billion for military and related activities, including training of Iraqi forces and diplomatic operations. The projected cost of the stimulus, which passed in February 2009, and is expected to have a shelf life of two years, was $862 billion. The U.S. deficit for fiscal year 2010 is expected to be $1.3 trillion, according to CBO. That compares to a 2007 deficit of $160.7 billion ... -- FoxNews

"The wars’ collateral damage has been massive: by some accounts, more than a million Iraqis have died, directly or indirectly, because of the war. According to some studies, at least 137,000 civilians have died violently in Afghanistan and Iraq in the last ten years ..."

“The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 ‘civilians’; 23,984 ‘enemy’ (those labeled as insurgents); 15,196 ‘host nation’ (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 ‘friendly’ (coalition forces),” WikiLeaks said in a statement regarding the documents’ release. “The majority of the deaths (66,000, over 60 percent) of these are civilian deaths. That is 31 civilians dying every day during the six-year period.” -- ABC

100,000 is a long way from "more than a million", and at 31 deaths per day Iraq at war was far more peaceful than Mexico. But who was responsible for most of these civilian deaths?:

... most Iraqi civilian violent deaths during this time were inflicted by “unknown perpetrators”, primarily through extra-judicial executions. These were primarily gunshot wounds often preceded by kidnap and torture ... perpetrators also used suicide bombs, vehicle bombs, and mortars that had highly lethal and indiscriminate effects on Iraqi civilians. -- UK Telegraph

Bush Saved 750,000 Iraqi Lives

It's a little dated, but you get the idea.

At 12/05/2011 7:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marko, Ron Paul answered your question for you during one of the Republican debates. Let me also say that, like abortion, drug legalization should be a state issue. If California wants to legalize everything, that's up to them. If New York City wants to ban everything, including alcohol and cigarettes, that's up to them. The federal govt has no role in deciding what we can and can't sell within our own state.

At 12/05/2011 7:43 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

oh.. and did I mention..we have more people in prison as a percent of our population than any other country in the world... ?

I think the way we handled alcohol as "worked" much better than prohibition.

So one question that might be interesting is to ask ... should alcohol be entirely unregulated?

or perhaps another.. why is alcohol not same magnitude of problem that drugs are..

At 12/05/2011 7:51 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

It's ironic, decriminalization of marijuana and the crime of using marijuana both facilitated criminal activity.

At 12/05/2011 7:54 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

I'm unclear on how/why decriminalization has caused crime...

At 12/05/2011 7:58 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Larry, marijuana is the only illegal drug that had an increase in demand, most likely because of decriminalization.

At 12/05/2011 8:00 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

but how does an increase in demand mean crime?

At 12/05/2011 8:01 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Ask the drug lords.

At 12/05/2011 8:04 PM, Blogger Larry G said...

but alcohol no longer has crime lords... perhaps some folks with stills.. but organized crime got out.

so why would the same thing not happen to pot?

just asking here....

At 12/05/2011 8:10 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Alcohol was socially acceptable and legal before prohibition.

And it's very popular today.

I guess, you can get rid of crime lords by making everything legal.

At 12/05/2011 8:14 PM, Blogger Larry G said...


but I was truly wondering if something is fundamentally different with pot.

Meth and Oxycontin are also two biggies....

have you noticed that buying sudafed now... is restricted and they keep track of how much you buy?

At 12/05/2011 8:15 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Of course, some people will push alcohol, marijuana, other drugs, etc., regardless of the consequences.

At 12/05/2011 11:23 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Stiglitz on the Cost of the Bush-Obama War"...

Good one pseudo benny, quoting a clown from Socialist International as if it meant something credible...

At 12/06/2011 6:40 AM, Blogger geoih said...

Quote from Larry G: "this is a really good example of how regulation ends up the best choice....."

That's the same thing as what we have now. Instead of the government thugs trying to enforce complete prohibition of a product through killing foreign thugs (and anybody else that happens to get in the way) trying to supply the market, you'd rather have the government thugs in charge of restricting the market and taking their cut off the top.

At 12/06/2011 6:48 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

" you'd rather have the government thugs in charge of restricting the market and taking their cut off the top"

well.. I asked the question if we'd be better off if there was no restrictions at all on Alcohol and anyone could sell it anywhere, etc.

in terms of govt "thuggery", my judgement is that regulated alcohol sales seems "better" than prohibition in terms of the adverse impacts...

my view is more from a practical approach than a theoretical one though I'll admit that there seem to be places in the world where regulation of alcohol and drugs is minimal to non-existent...

"regulation" is something that satisfies enough people politically to be able to move away from prohibition but outright legalization is not political viable.

At 12/06/2011 6:53 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

let,s just say I'm for less and less govt "thuggery" but recognizing that in a representative form of govt that ultimately a majority decide how much thuggery by the govt is preferred over thuggery by others.

At 12/06/2011 10:44 AM, Blogger morganovich said...


thanks for once more debunking those preposterous bunny numbers.

bunny, your inability to parse even basic data never ceases to amaze.

to such a primitive as yourself, i'm sure lots of things look like ufo's, but this is a function of your lack of comprehension making everyhting look confusing, not the actual information as seen by those capable of understanding.

At 12/06/2011 11:50 AM, Blogger Marko said...

I ask again, why hasn't decriminalization of Marijuana in many states decreased violent crime in the states that have done it?

One more - if we legalize pot, and not all the other "hard" drugs, won't there still be an illegal drug trade that will still be very bad?

At 12/06/2011 11:58 AM, Blogger Larry G said...

if we go back to prohibition on alcohol.. what would happen?

if we made cigarettes illegal what would happen?

I'm not 100% on board with de-criminalizing any/all drugs... yet... but I'm convinced that what we are doing now is very costly to us financially and socially.

we currently have as many or more people abusing prescription drugs and illegal drugs but the consequences are far different from those using.

basically if you are not getting drugs through a doctor - you become a criminal... and often as a consequence lose your ability to work and support yourself - other than returning to other, more serious illegal activities.

we have more people in prison than any other country in the world primarily because of our drug policies.

the biggest govt employer in most states is the Dept of Corrections.

Many of our entitlement programs go to individuals and families who have a member with a criminal record who is not very employable.

At 12/06/2011 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marko, not sure where you asked before but how many weed dealers have you heard of involved with violent crime in the first place? That's usually more associated with the dealers of harder drugs, so it's probably not going to go down much just cuz of pot. Also, Marijuana hasn't been decriminalized anywhere in the US, it has only been approved for medicinal use in some states. Of course legalizing pot is only the first step, you have to legalize the rest of the drugs and abolish the FDA to really get anywhere.


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