The United States has not won a single war since the defeat of Japan (which, incidentally, was defeated with the active support of Russia). Moreover, the US was beaten by Third World armies in Korea and Vietnam, and in the 21st century, when it invaded Afghanistan, almost 20 years later it was also defeated by lightly armed Taliban units. Armed invasion of Iraq resulted in yet another defeat.
Spending trillions of dollars on useless and unwinnable wars, the White House does not notice how the standard of living in the United States is steadily declining, the degradation of social policy in the country is occurring, health care has been completely neglected, and hence the catastrophic losses of population from the pandemic coronavirus, which have already surpassed the US losses in World War II.
The American wars and war crimes that have occurred at the hands of Washington’s rulers in recent years have wreaked havoc and violence everywhere, and this historic combination of lawlessness and failure has, as might be expected, undermined America’s international power and credibility. Meanwhile, inside the empire, at the very heart of it, social media spin doctors have divided Americans and captured their minds and souls, more successfully than the ideologues of communism and religious radicalism for which Washington, like McCarthyism, has for years proclaimed itself intolerant.
As the American media rightly and accurately point out, communist China lifted 800 million people out of poverty in just ten years while the poverty rate in America has hardly changed in half a century; child poverty has even increased. Today America still has the weakest social safety net compared to any developed country, no universal health care system, and income inequality has left half the US population without a livelihood or the “American Dream”.
Under these circumstances, Americans’ dissatisfaction with White House policy is understandable and justified, regardless of which party comes to power: whether it is the Republican Trump administration or the Democratic Biden one. And Trump’s slogan “Let’s make America great again,” or Biden’s promise to “restore American leadership” remain just the slogans of the elites who got to power in the country.
But what about the people? What are the authorities doing for them?
It is well known that alcohol and drugs are the last refuge for those afflicted forget their problems and worries, so these are becoming the tools increasingly used by the US authorities in recent times to manage American society. To create an outwardly benign picture, a campaign was launched to supposedly fight drug addiction. However, amid the national epidemic of abuse of painkillers and psychotropic drugs in the United States, the disappointing results of the 50-year war on drugs in that country are becoming increasingly clear. Legalization of marijuana in an increasing number of states has led, according to numerous American experts, to the promotion by representatives of political and business circles of the United States of a new “gold rush”, capable by the growth of marijuana sales not only to destroy their own population in a drug smoke, but also other nations, where Washington is actively promoting methods of “democracy in the American way” and its new “business”.
The sales of marijuana have long been the fastest-growing industry in the United States. According to ArcView Market Research’s study of the legal, medical and illegal marijuana markets in the US and Canada, residents of the two countries have begun spending more than $50 billion annually on cannabis. In the era of legalized marijuana, crime rates in the country have jumped by tens of percents. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 6 million Americans, or 2.5 percent of US adults, have suffered ill health as a result of marijuana use. In Missouri, the number of children born with an opioid addiction has increased by 538% in a decade, according to US media reports. Increasingly, young Californians are seeking emergency medical treatment for heavy drug abuse.
The years-long opioid addiction crisis in the US escalated dramatically during the COVID-19 epidemic, when drug overdose deaths increased by 18%. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s December 2020 report, the dramatically increased number of drug overdose deaths is “the highest number of deaths ever recorded in a 12-month period.”
The legalization of drugs, which is sweeping more and more states, has led to professional sports leagues (such as NFL) easing the threshold for marijuana testing among players, a drug scandal erupting at a US Air Force base where nuclear weapons are stationed, a generation of addicted, manipulated, including drug-infused, young people growing up. In the future, the flow of money from the official drug industry will have a powerful effect on election campaigns in the United States, giving serious leverage over society to unscrupulous politicians.
However, despite all these circumstances, on February 1 a law went into effect in the US state of Oregon that partially allowed hard drugs (an initiative known as “Measure 110″). In addition to Oregon, a number of US states have taken steps toward significant loosening of drug policy: Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, South Dakota, Mississippi. Although federal laws prohibit marijuana, 36 states allow its use for medical purposes and another 15 allow recreational use. On December 4, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to legalize marijuana nationwide.
Among the defenders of the idea of legalizing soft drugs are the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch, the Drug Policy Alliance, Amnesty International, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, several congressmen (Republican and Democrat), well-known representatives of show business, and countless local and national human rights organizations and unions. Nor should we forget the direct economic benefits of the marijuana trade, for example: in fiscal year 2020, marijuana tax revenues to Oregon’s coffers increased by 30 percent over the previous year, to $133 million.
In defense of Measure 110, its supporters make their arguments, including that harsh penalties for drug addicts do not guarantee a deterrent effect, that decriminalization of drug trafficking saves taxpayers money significantly, and mitigates the considerable racial and ethnic differences associated with drug law enforcement. The latter argument is used especially heavily, citing national statistics which note that it is blacks and Americans of color who are more likely to be searched and arrested for drug offenses, which often result in long prison sentences.
In any case, all of this, according to many observers, even in the United States itself, suggests that the US has lost another war — a nationwide “war on drugs” declared in 1971 by President Richard Nixon, who rightly claimed that drugs are “public enemy number one.
Vladimir Danilov, political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.