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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Two Different Ways to Deal With Addictions

If you push proponents of the Iraq invasion just right, they will admit it was partly about oil. As Rush Limbaugh put it (and I honestly can't remember which Gulf War he was referring to), the war was about securing "the free flow of oil at market prices."

The idea is, yes we're addicted to oil, and so that's why we had to take out that thug Saddam, who might hold us over a barrel (especially if we sat back while he gobbled up Kuwait).

Now a standard objection to this analysis is to ask: What would be the point of Saddam taking over Kuwait, if he didn't plan on selling its oil to other countries?

Then just recently it occurred to me that this is the exact opposite strategy the US adopts with "its" addiction to cocaine. Under the Limbaugh logic, if we want to stymie the flow of cocaine into the US, we shouldn't try to ensure peace and stability in cocaine exporting countries. Rather, we should allow vicious thugs to wreak civil war and terror, because when these cocaine lords gain power, they will stop shipping the US so much cocaine, in order to raise its price. I.e. they will do our job for us!

So do people like that theory? That vicious drug lords in South America, if they controlled more and more territory in their respective countries, would reduce cocaine exports?

3 comments:

  1. Hmmm... This is too subtle for me to figure out without the help of some cocaine. Or meth.

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