28 Sep 2003, 14:51 PST, 2nd Edition
Sunday Morning Think Piece:
"A State of Perpetual War"
Several days ago someone wrote this: "...after 32 years in existence as an agency, illegal narcotics are more prevalent today than they were when DEA was created... DEA has no real desire to win the drug war."
These words made a powerful impression on me. These words are true. DEA has been in a state of perpetual war with no real desire to end it because our employment in the drug war pays for the food on our table and our kids' college educations.
DEA, like our president, has taken a page from Adolph Hitler: keep the war going, never let it stop. As long as we continue to procrastinate in eliminating the poppy, coca and marijuana fields we preserve our agency and our jobs. As long as our president keeps creating new enemies he and his party -- who have sold our countrymen and women on the idea that Republicans are better than Democrats when it comes to national defense -- will remain in power.
DEA is not the Dept of Education that must deal with perpetual generations of new students to educate. DEA is not the Dept of State that must perpetually wrestle with international issues. And DEA is not the Dept of Motor Vehicles that must perpetually license new drivers. DEA was created for the sole purpose of achieving its mission and putting itself out of business. But instead of pursuing our mission we have done everything we could to perpetuate DEA by blue-fluing the drug menace. We have now become more expert at telling excuses and blaming others for why we have failed than expert at defining and identifying where drugs are, when they arrive on our streets, and how to permanently eradicate them.
The same writer I quoted a moment ago was also correct when he/she said that we have no legends in DEA, we only have losers. Every retiree who leaves DEA still operational leaves DEA as a loser, not as a legend. "Legends win their wars, Losers do not", the writer stated. Our DEA "legends in their own minds" are much like our Vietnam War veterans who like to tell today's youth that they should not think about how America's soldiers in Vietnam lost the war, but how those soldiers won their major battles. Our DEA legends would prefer that our new agents think not about the drug war being lost, but about the individual exploits of DEA's aging "jurassics" who's real legacy is leaving behind a DEA that is far less capable of ever winning the drug war. Our "jurassics" kept their stomachs full and got their kids through college, but they accomplished nothing toward victory.
Now that we are merely a perpetual bureaucracy our new Administrator needs to educate the American public, just as our president is doing, that the (drug) war will go on and on and on, with no end in sight. Mrs. Tandy's "cartel plan" is already gathering shelf dust after less than a month of hyping it as a great "cure all". We also need to bury our "legends", forget about our "jurassics", and plan on reshaping a new DEA that has a new agenda and a new reason for being. The past and the war losers who made up our past failed DEA, failed our country, and failed our new agents who must now salvage what they can from the ruins left over by our self-worshipping "legends". We must now accept the fact that our country is embarking on a state of perpetual war... as the Atlanteans, Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Persians, Egyptians, and so many before us. And we all know where those "legends" are today... they reside on the dust heap of history for allowing the worst of what they were to internally destroy the best of what they could have been.
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