Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A New Cold War? 

While much of the foreign policy news and attention is rightly focused on events in the Middle East, and China, there are increasingly worrisome developments taking place in South America. Highlighted by today's Chavez-Morales meeting, socialism and open hostility toward the US are on the rise. Energized by misinformed, highly publicized opposition to CAFTA, Daniel Ortega and Oscar Arias are even eyeing returns to power. Feeding on the frustration of a populace rife with crime and poverty, Morales chose the route of great socialist leaders of old, when faced with times of crisis: he slammed the US, big business and capitalism.
"We are joining this anti-neoliberal, anti-imperialist fight," Morales said as he met Chavez and his ministers at the airport. "We are in a new era, we are in a new millennium, a millennium for the people, not for the empire."

And how's this for diplomacy
"You know who is the axis of evil? Washington, they are the axis of evil, and their allies in the world who threaten, invade, who kill and assassinate, we are forming an axis of good," Chavez said.

Morales' self-alignment with Castro should be alarming to most people, since the "successes" he is seeking to model have left Cuba a wasteland, rife with poverty, corruption and languishing in 30 year old technology. Not exactly the way to carry a struggling Bolivia into modernity. But wait, there's more!

Not only is Morales promoting a host of socialist programs, increased nationalization of industry and scores of anti-US trade policies, he's also fighting on the other side of the war on drugs!
Morales' opposition to U.S.-led efforts to eradicate coca cultivation in his Andean nation also have alarmed Washington. Coca is the source of cocaine but Bolivia's Indians also use it for hunger suppression and medicinal purposes.

It seems Morales has declared the flood of cocaine from his country to be largely a problem of US demand, not one of controlling the coca growth in Bolivia. Morales' love of Castro, however, may be his own undoing. Far from the next Soviet Union, if Cuba is any indication, South America is drifting the way of impoverished Africa, where an absence of political and economic freedoms and private property rights keep the people trapped in a medieval cycle of disease, famine and war. Good luck getting Bono on this one.

Is Addiction Real? Not really. People chronically take drugs for chronic pain.

Of course some kinds of pain are not legal.

Is your pain legal?

If the above arguments at the urls convince you we are persecuting the traumatized.

And subsidising criminals and terrorists.
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