If only General McCaffrey would listen to commentators from Walter Cronkite to Bill Moyers to Geraldo Rivera to John Stossel who have called the War on Drugs "another Vietnam."
If only Drug Czar McCaffrey would listen to Vietnam War Veteran McCaffrey (from McCaffrey's Veteran's Day speech November 11, 1997):
"Nearly three decades have passed since
our time in Vietnam. The historians may
still be sifting through mountains of documents.
However, most of us assembled here
already know what we learned from the War.
"1st—We must not commit our youth to war
without the support of the American people.
For in a democracy, lack of such support
produces catastrophic divisiveness and weakening
of national will, which are essential to
"2nd—We must not send our sons and daughters
to war without a clear understanding of
national aims and the costs for achieving
them. For failing to articulate these requirements
leads to flawed strategies and higher
"3rd—Victory will be paid for in blood by
the men and women who serve and by loved
ones at home who must bear separations, recoveries
from wounds, and ultimate sacrifices.
[Such as life sentences without possibility of parole for drug offences.]
"And 4th—As individuals, we learned that to
survive and succeed when conditions are appalling
and your life is on the line requires:
moral and physical courage, competence,
self-discipline, and trust in your buddies."
[I feel the trust; I'm not sure I have the other qualities in sufficient quantity to stand up to the $50 billion Drug War Machine, but I'm doing my best.]
But did McCaffrey listen? No. Here's what General Drug Czar McCaffrey asked of America as he stood before the Vietnam Memorial:
"Our nation needs your help:
"1st, Help Vietnam Veterans in need. Get
involved in state, local, and Veteran organizations.
offer your energy, time, money, and
[Help get B.E. Smith out of prison, for example.]
"2nd, Battle the evil of illegal drugs. Get involved
in state, local, and community anti-drug
[There are none so blind as those who dare not see.]
"3rd, Improve your community. Get involved
in other activities to make your community
better. Our nation’s leadership system
works from the bottom up."
[Except when it comes to medical marijuana initiatives, of course.]
McCaffrey whisks past ironic, skinny dips in hypocritical, and winds up in endless orbit around arrogant ignorance.