Take physic, pomp

Regarding Cocaine, The USA and Latin America

Stolen with no shame from The UK Guardian

After reading yesterday’s Borev shredding of that Guardian fool Rory Carroll and his half-baked note on the cocaine trade, my thoughts returned to how the USA doesn’t seem to be able to come to terms with the fact that it is a major, if not the major, piece in this whole puzzle (as that above map lifted from the Guardian report illustrates). Let’s see now….. hmmmmm….U$1,700 a kilo in Colombia….hmmmm….U$30,000 a kilo in the States…. hmmmm…tellya something dudes, I’ll wager you a full dollar that if Adam Smith were alive he’d be able to spot the demand motor straight away.

That the USA doesn’t like hearing how it is the problem from Evo Morales is pretty obvious and even understandable (to a point). It certainly doesn’t like hearing about it from Venezuela, even in the fine style that Coronel Reverol of the Venezuelan National Anti-Drugs Office quoted to the Washington Post last April:

“We’re between the biggest producer of cocaine and the biggest consumer of cocaine, and we’re the problem?”

But watch out, people! Nowadays there are “friendlier” voices calling the same tune, ones that will be more difficult to ignore in the weeks and months ahead. For example The Mex Files this week noted how President Felipe Calderon is quickly losing patience with his northern neighbour, along with normally conservative and establishment-loving bodies in Mexico such as the Catholic church (that packs serious political clout as well). In the words of Calderon:

“The main cause of the problems associated with organized crime is having the world’s biggest (cocaine) consumer next to us”

So why can’t the USA seem to see that which is blazingly obvious to the rest of us? That is to say, once the world’s largest consumer of cocaine admits that it is part of the problem it can start to become part of a meaningful solution, not just some outside observer that thinks it can throw money at the problem and make it go away.

Then, bad scholar and slow on the uptake as I am, something occurred to me that must have occurred to thousands of people previously. The USA, being a cocaine addicted entity, is displaying the classic psychological symptoms of the addicted person. So to shed some light, here’s a link to a nice, brief article called “Obstacles to Recovery From Addiction” by Dr. Floyd P. Garrett that seems to hit the nail on the head when it comes to the United States of America and its addiction to Colombian marching powder. Extracts here:


The principal obstacles to recovery from any addiction are ignorance, shame, dishonesty, and personal exceptionalism……….

……….Simple ignorance of addiction and recovery, for example, is in theory easily remediable by exposure to accurate medical information on the topics – but the adjoining and interlinked “forts” of shame and dishonesty serve to limit the amount of understanding the addicted individual can acquire about his real condition. Similarly, the rectification of the dishonesty and evasiveness that is a central and necessary part of the psychology of addiction is rendered far more difficult by the co-existence of the addict’s ignorance of addiction and his resulting shame about his addictive behavior……..

…Personal exceptionalism makes it difficult for the addict to seek or accept help for his problems. Other people, people unlike himself, can and should receive help in overcoming their addictions – but he, precisely because of who he is, should neither need nor obtain such help. To do so would be a serious threat to his entire system of uniqueness.


For me at least, that sums it up. We down here talk can logic and sense on the issue until blue in the face, but the US defence of ignorance will be held in place by shame (the USA knows what nationality owns the noses of the cocaine end-users) and will dishonestly evade facing up to its responsibility. As for that “personal exceptionalism”, does that fit or does that fit?

So, ready to get mature on the subject?

UPDATE: The Mex Files has carried this baton further tonight. As you’d expect from RG, it’s smart and insightful stuff. Here’s the link.

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