A Key to Winning the Drug War
America is hooked. Our ravenous appetite for deadly drugs—cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and others—is fueling what the United Nations estimates is a $142-billion-a-year business.
In a nation of 300 million people, that’s $389 million every day—$270,000 every minute, day and night, all year.
Those cold numbers represent incalculable tragedy. Souls in droves—empty, spiritually lost, drawn in by a culture that glamorizes lawlessness and depravity—are vainly seeking solace and refuge in destructive substances. Besides ravaging their own minds, they are wasting their fortunes and destroying their families. Our public schools, increasingly awash in drugs, witness more and more young people robbed of their bright futures as they are drawn into the dark drug subculture.
What a dismal waste. They are trashing a most wonderful and precious resource: human potential.
There is perhaps no more apt illustration of the piercing biblical truth that sin is a form of slavery.
For the hooked, drugs are an increasingly demanding and brutal master; people become helpless to free themselves. Enslavement drives them to greater and greater lengths—and ultimately, what were once unthinkable depths—to feed their habits.
It is this slavery that gives drug lords such power.
Those $142 billion a year are purchasing more than just shattered American lives. They are funding a thriving, violent criminal underworld. Sadly, users are too entrapped by self-concern to care.
America is the world’s largest cocaine consumer, and about 90 percent of what is sold in the United States comes from Mexico. The Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs says Mexican criminal groups also control most of the drug distribution in the U.S.
With so much money in play, these drug cartels are getting stronger, better armed, bolder and more violent. They are spending their cash on cross-border tunnels nine stories underground—on semi-submersible vessels that can evade radar and travel at 20 knots.
They are also savagely competing with one another in order to preserve their grimy cash flow. Vicious turf wars between organized groups like Sinaloa, Gulf, Juárez, Tijuana and Sonora are claiming hundreds of lives. The Australian reports that in Tijuana, where more than 200 people have been shot dead this year, 6-year-olds are being taught how to bandage gunshot wounds (June 17).
“The cartel has become far more brutal,” says the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Alan Poleszak. “Civilians used to be off limits but now it kills wives and children, and tortures in new ways. Beheadings are recent, too. They walked into a disco and dropped three heads in the middle of the floor to prove the cartel still rules” (ibid.).
The Mexican drug lords also invest their spoils into neutralizing government interference. About 6,000 police officers and other public officials have been killed in the last 2½ years. In May, Mexico’s national police chief and head counternarcotics crusader, Edgar Millán Gómez, was murdered at his own home.
Yes, thanks to America’s drug addiction, Mexico is in the thralls of a full-scale war that is killing its policemen and public officials at more than triple the rate that the Iraq War is killing U.S. troops. Three towns have seen the entire police force quit out of fear of the gangs.
Alternatively, cartels invest some of those American billions into putting the authorities on their payroll. Using these two tools, lethal violence and filthy riches, they’ve been extremely successful in harassing and bribing government officials into compliance. “Government officials are human,” writes George Friedman, “and faced with the carrot of bribes and the stick of death, even the most incorruptible is going to be cautious in executing operations against the cartels. … There comes a moment when … government officials, seeing the futility of resistance, effectively become tools of the cartels” (Stratfor, May 13; emphasis mine, throughout). When that happens enough, the state ceases to function as a state. Already in many Mexican cities, the police and politicians have been bought off; drug lords rule.
The nation’s rule of law is turning into the law of the jungle.
Over the past three years, 128 Americans have been murdered in Mexico. The U.S. State Department has issued travel alerts, warning that American tourists could face the “equivalent to military small-unit combat” if they cross the border.
These drug mongers inhabit a nightmarish, fugitive and bloody world. They too are enslaved—to poisonous money and power. This slavery demands cruelty and contempt for human life. It nurtures an intoxicating self-obsession. It ignores the destructive effects of its evil on the lives of fellow citizens.
What a disaster. These individuals are creating a horror chamber out of their homeland.
Adding a layer of shame to the situation is this fact: The cartels are getting almost all of their weapons—over 90 percent—from the United States. The cartels will pay top dollar for these arms—including high-powered assault weapons and grenades—and unscrupulous American gun smugglers have proven willing to oblige them. “If I don’t do it, someone else will. That’s the bottom line,” one American told the bbc of his wicked business.
The bottom line. No concern for who may get hurt. All that matters is me.
That too is slavery—slavery to raw, ugly greed.
Even worse perhaps, some American citizens are opportunistically joining the gangs. Cartels like to recruit Americans because of their ability to easily cross into U.S. territory. Some of these Americans are known to have received U.S. military training and then defected to join the criminal drug trade.
Earlier this month, the House of Representatives approved a total of $1.6 billion for the Mérida Initiative, $1.1 billion of this was appropriated for Mexico. The deal, which was announced last October, included a plan for the U.S. to send helicopters and technical aid over a three-year span.
This money will change little. Aside from the possibility of that aid being diverted by military and police forces that are on the pay of the cartels, it simply does nothing to address the fundamental cause for the whole problem.
One-point-six billion in counternarcotics efforts will simply be dwarfed by the nearly half trillion that junked-out Americans will pay to the cartels over those three years!
The war on drugs is a lost cause when our own people are supplying the enemy at a rate over 250 times greater than our own war effort!
This is worse than negotiating with and appeasing the enemy. This is suicide on the battlefield.
It is hard to argue with this comment in a Nov. 2, 2006, Houston Chronicle article: “Mexicans often see the U.S. as full of broken families, rampant drug use and unchecked materialism …. When it comes to illegal drugs, Mexicans see the U.S. as very willing to point the finger at Mexican drug cartels, but not willing to do more to reduce drug consumption at home.”
Drug culture is full of evils top to bottom. Yet the slavery of addiction is so binding, so gripping, that users willingly overlook all these black and horrible effects—effects of their own choices. Dodging concern for others’ welfare, they justify their sins in their own mind, even as those sins destroy them. Truly, this is being enslaved by sin.
The devil is using this drug culture to kneecap us. He hates human life. Those who are doing his business are ultimately enslaved to him. Of course, he pays them handsomely with power, wealth and other things to fulfill their lusts. They feel they’re getting a good deal. But the resultant troubles are bitter testimony to just how evil slavery to the devil truly is.
Remember—it all starts in our homes. We must lead, and provide our own children with, a life worth living. Nurture their dreams and encourage their ambitions. Expose the empty, violent, seedy wasteland that is substance abuse. Give them hope and a spiritual foundation upon which to build a productive life.
To learn more about the Bible’s view on sin being slavery, read Gerald Flurry’s powerful little booklet No Freedom Without Law.