*Part II from ‘The CIA’s Dirty War in Nicaragua’
Timothy Alexander Guzman, Silent Crow News – The Reagan administration and the CIA also collaborated with Nicaraguan cocaine traffickers to support the Contras led to the “crack” epidemic of the 1980’s. Crack became a nightmare within the U.S especially for the African-American community. The crack epidemic began in Los Angeles, California. No one ever knew where crack actually came from. All they knew is how good it felt for the time being while living in the depths of poverty, crime and despair in the land of the free. One fact is for sure, the U.S. government continued its support to the Contras due to the enormous profits made from both, cocaine and then eventually crack. According to www.drugabuse.com, once individuals smoke crack, it ” provides an immediate, intense euphoric and pain-reducing high that may only last for five minutes” which meant that crack users would get addicted to that euphoric high and essentially become “repeat customers” every few minutes amounting to enormous profits. By importing cocaine into the U.S. and possibly inventing a new potent drug that was so addictive that it would guarantee a steady flow of cash for the Contra war. In the last several years, the mainstream media (MSM), in this case The Washington Post published an article in 2007 with an interesting title ‘5 Myths About That Demon Crack’ by Craig Reinarman said that “80 percent of those who have tried crack had not used it in the past year”:
Crack is instantly and inevitably addicting
Drug-control officials justified the new laws by claiming that crack was “the most addictive substance ever known.” Of course, this had been said of other drugs in earlier drug scares, beginning with the temperance crusade against alcohol. Still, experts and ex-addicts agree that crack cocaine produces a powerful rush and is easy to abuse; many users have binged on it compulsively and done themselves serious harm.
But the great majority of people who try crack do not continue to use it. For 20 years, the government’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health has found that about 80 percent of those who have ever tried crack had not used it in the past year. And a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that crack cocaine is not significantly more addictive than powder cocaine
In 2014, Forbes magazine published an opinion piece by Jacob Sullum ‘Everything You’ve Heard About Crack And Meth Is Wrong’ on neuropsychopharmacologist Carl Hart of Columbia University who conducted research on the addiction patterns of crack and meth:
Before he became a scientist, Hart believed that people who use crack generally get hooked on it and thereby lose control of their behavior. But when he looked at the data on patterns of drug use as an academic, he could plainly see that only a small minority of people who try crack become heavy users. “Even at the peak [of] widespread use,” he writes, “only 10–20 percent of crack cocaine users became addicted.” According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, just 3 percent of Americans who have tried this reputedly irresistible and inescapable drug have smoked it in the last month
Sullum quotes what Hart said why crack was popular in the inner cities:
Crack “gained the popularity that it did in the hood…because there weren’t that many other affordable sources of pleasure and purpose,” Hart writes. “And that was why, despite years of media-hyped predictions that crack’s expansion across classes was imminent, it never ‘ravaged’ the suburbs”
Despite what the MSM says, I personally saw lives utterly destroyed by the crack epidemic in the U.S. and in the Caribbean.
So who exactly invented crack? With the CIA desperate at that time to defeat the Sandinistas it seems that they would have tried anything to keep the war going. It is also important to clarify that there is no evidence to suggest that the CIA actually created “crack” cocaine. However, in an interesting online interview conducted by Zach Weissmueller of Reason T.V. with “Free Way” Rick Ross (one of the main sources for Gary Webb’s ‘Dark Alliance’ investigative series exposing the CIA and the crack connection) fell short on admitting who was responsible for introducing crack to the people of Los Angeles, California when he claimed that “It doesn’t matter if they purposely planned on doing that. What wound up happening is it flooded the ghettos of America. […] 600,000 black men are in prison right now for nonviolent crimes. Our prison industry has boomed.” Sorry Rick, but in a way it does matter.
However, there are many parallels that suggest otherwise, although the evidence is still not clear. What is clear is that the CIA is capable of doing almost anything to further their agenda. For example, in an incisive article written by Troy Hooper in 2012 for the San Francisco Weekly (SFWEEKLY) titled ‘Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA Dosed S.F. Citizens with LSD’ about a New York Times report in 1974 by Seymour Hersh detailed how the CIA experimented with LSD on the residents of San Francisco:
Seymour Hersh first exposed MK-ULTRA in a New York Times article in 1974 that documented CIA illegalities, including the use of its own citizens as guinea pigs in games of war and espionage. John Marks expertly chronicled more of the operation in his 1979 book, The Search for the Manchurian Candidate. There have been other reports on the CIA’s doping of civilians, but they have mostly dished about activities in New York City. Accounts of what actually occurred in San Francisco have been sparse and sporadic. But newly declassified CIA records, recent interviews, and a personal diary of an operative at Stanford Special Collections shed more light on the breadth of the San Francisco operation.
There were at least three CIA safe houses in the Bay Area where experiments went on. Chief among them was 225 Chestnut on Telegraph Hill, which operated from 1955 to 1965. The L-shaped apartment boasted sweeping waterfront views, and was just a short trip up the hill from North Beach’s rowdy saloons. Inside, prostitutes paid by the government to lure clients to the apartment served up acid-laced cocktails to unsuspecting johns, while martini-swilling secret agents observed their every move from behind a two-way mirror. Recording devices were installed, some disguised as electrical outlets
The late Michael C. Ruppert, a former detective with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) who resigned due to his investigations that led to the conclusion that the U.S. military and LAPD officers were involved in drug trafficking wrote an informative article in 1999 on the crack epidemic in a newsletter From The Wilderness titled ‘Blacks Were Targeted for CIA Cocaine: It Can Be Proven’:
For a long time, many people have believed that African-Americans were targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency to receive the cocaine which decimated black communities in the 1980s. It was, until now, widely accepted that the case could not be proven because of two fallacious straw obstacles to that proof. Both lie smack dab in the misuse of the word “crack” and that is why, in my lectures, I have strenuously objected to the term “CIA crack”.
First, it cannot and probably never will be established that CIA had anything to do with the first creation of crack cocaine. Chemically, that problem could have been solved as a test question for anyone with a BS in chemistry. The answer: add water and baking soda to cocaine hydrochloride powder and cook on a stove. A study of the literature (including articles I wrote 14 years ago for The U.S. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence), as opposed to, for example, that pertaining to LSD, shows no CIA involvement whatever in the genesis of crack cocaine. Also, there has never been any evidence provided that CIA facilitated the transport or sale of crack itself. What is beyond doubt is that CIA was directly responsible for the importation of tons of powdered cocaine into the U.S. and the protected delivery of that cocaine into the inner cities
Ruppert went on further to explain how the CIA monitored U.S. academics that traveled into drug producing countries (in this case, Peru and Bolivia) and were well aware of the effects of a known sticky paste called ‘Basuco’ which turns coca leaves into a powder like substance. Ruppert suggested that the CIA knew about Basuco because they spied on U.S. academics and monitored their studies:
Only one man, Dr. Robert Byck of Yale University was insistent that trouble was coming and it was BIG trouble. Byck was a professor of psychiatry and pharmacology at Yale Medical School. He began his testimony by stating, “What I would like to talk to you about for the most part is the importance of telling the truthÉ We have given a great deal of cocaine to many individuals and find it to be a most unremarkable drug.” But, according to Webb, “Byck told the Committee that he’d hesitated for a long time about coming forward with the information and was still reluctant to discuss the matter at a public hearing. ‘Usually, when things like this are reported, the media advertises them, and this attention has been a problem with cocaine all along.’ The information Byck had was known to only a handful of drug researchers around the world.
“For about a year, a Peruvian police psychiatrist named Dr. Raul Jeri had been insisting that wealthy drug users in Lima were being driven insane by cocaine. A psychiatrist in Bolivia, Dr. Nils Noya, began making similar claims shortly thereafter.” What had been discovered was an addiction so overwhelming that middle and upper class students and middle class wage earners in Peru and Bolivia had abandoned every aspect of a normal human life, including eating, drinking, personal hygiene to the point of defecating in clothes that would remain unchanged for days, family and shelter in the pursuit of “basuco”. (Webb – pp25-30).
Basuco, a sticky paste, was the first-stage product in the refinement of coca leaves into powder. Although frequently mixed with a cesspool of toxic waste such as gasoline, kerosene and other chemicals, the pharmacological effects of smoking basuco are identical to the effects of smoking crack cocaine which became popular in the US ten years later. So intense was the addiction that desperate South American psychiatrists had resorted to bilateral anterior cyngulotomies (lobotomies) to stop the addiction (Ruppert 3). But even these drastic measures resulted in a relapse rate of between 50-80% (Webb – p36) (Ruppert 2). Yale medical student David Paly, working under Dr. Byck, recalled a 1978 conversation with his mentor. “The substance of my conversation with ByckÉ was that if this ever hits the U.S., we’re in deep trouble.” (Webb – p30)
Byck traveled to Peru to attend a symposium on cocaine with Siegel and other experts in 1979. Later he obtained police permits and federal grants to begin intensive research into cocaine smoking (Webb – p 31). The CIA routinely monitors overseas travels of U.S academics and the purposes of their travels. Since the Nixon Administration, emerging drug trends in producing countries had been a mandate of CIA collection efforts. When law enforcement grants, approvals and funding crossed international boundaries, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) and several special units within CIA were automatically notified. Here, we begin to see that CIA must have been well aware of the effects of basuco. The CIA’s well-documented role in providing training, assistance and advice to Latin American law enforcement agencies guarantees that CIA was collecting intelligence on the destructiveness of cocaine smoking as soon as it began to be a problem. (Colby, Prouty). That was as far back as 1974. (Webb – p33)
With the sudden explosion of the crack epidemic in Los Angeles effecting, first the African-American community (and eventually moved on to other communities throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean) where even the mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry was caught smoking crack in a sting operation by the FBI. The U.S. government continued its war against Nicaragua by supporting the Contras with drug profits made from crack sales sounds a bit absurd on the surface, but there is a convincing argument that the CIA was possibly the main culprit behind the invention of crack, but we will never be able to prove it. What the MSM and the U.S. government want you to believe is that crack was originally created by streetwise drug dealers. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) also claims that drug dealers converted powdered cocaine into crack to produce more profits (https://www.dea.gov/about/history/1985-1990%20p%2058-67.pdf):
In the early 1980s, the majority of cocaine being shipped to the United States was coming through the Bahamas. Soon there was a huge glut of cocaine powder in these islands which caused the price to drop by as much as 80 percent. Faced with dropping prices for their illegal product, drug dealers made a shrewd marketing decision to convert the powder to “crack,” a smokeable form of cocaine. It was cheap, simple to produce, ready to use, and highly profitable for dealers to develop. As early as 1981, reports of crack appeared in Los Angeles, San Diego, Houston, and in the Caribbean
So drug dealers converted powdered cocaine into “crack” to create a drug so potent and so addictive that turns people into “crack smoking” zombies so that they can become repeat customers to make a quick profit? Perhaps, one of the drug dealers had a Bachelor of Science in chemistry who could not find a job with his/her college degree is the one who created the potent drug? Or was it the CIA who needed to keep their war going in Nicaragua to further their agenda? I am not saying that there are no street wise people who live in the inner cities who can create ways to produce profits, but the timing of the crack epidemic is questionable.
We can say that crack was created to make quick profits to fund a covert war to fight the Nicaraguan revolution which destroyed the African-American community and eventually others across the U.S. The CIA could have given various drug dealers the formula to produce it themselves, but then again, there is no proof, however we cannot deny the fact that the CIA knew about the effects of “busuco.” If the CIA did in fact create crack to fund a war, it is criminal beyond any doubt. In fact, it is just pure evil.
This video shows Michael Ruppert’s appearance in a Los Angeles Town hall meeting where he confronted the CIA Director John Deutch about the CIA transporting cocaine into the U.S.:
‘Kill The Messenger’: The MSM vs. Gary Webb
A crusading journalist by the name of Gary Webb broke the story on how the CIA was importing cocaine from Nicaragua to the streets of California to support the Contra Army who was at war with the Sandinistas. A 2014 Washington Post opinion piece by Jeff Leen ‘Gary Webb was no journalism hero, despite what ‘Kill the Messenger’ says’ criticized the investigative series ‘Dark Alliance’ by Gary Webb who apparently committed suicide with two shotgun bullets to the head as a fraud. Leen’s analysis of Gary Webb’s investigative report on the CIA’s ‘Cocaine’ operation that destroyed black communities in Los Angeles, California and elsewhere criticizes Webb’s findings:
The Hollywood version of his story — a truth-teller persecuted by the cowardly and craven mainstream media — is pure fiction. But Webb was a real person who wrote a real story, a three-part series called “Dark Alliance,” in August 1996 for the San Jose Mercury News, one of the flagship newspapers of the then-mighty Knight Ridder chain. Webb’s story made the extraordinary claim that the Central Intelligence Agency was responsible for the crack cocaine epidemic in America. What he lacked was the extraordinary proof. But at first, the claim was enough. Webb’s story became notable as the first major journalism cause celebre on the newly emerging Internet. The black community roiled in anger at the supposed CIA perfidy
Not only Jeff Leen of the Washington Post discredits Webb’s investigation, but the New York Times and the The Los Angeles Times also jumped on the band wagon:
Then it all began to come apart. The New York Times, The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times, in a rare show of unanimity, all wrote major pieces knocking the story down for its overblown claims and undernourished reporting
The MSM went on a hunting spree by destroying any claim made by Webb.
Surprisingly, Hollywood produced a film based on Gary Webb called ‘Kill the Messenger’ starring Jeremy Renner as Gary Webb. Kill The Messenger was a close depiction of Webb’s real life who discovered the truth about who was really behind the crack epidemic, only to find out it was the CIA. An excellent article written by Brian Covert on Gary Webb’s investigative reporting published by Project Censored titled ‘The Ghost of “Dark Alliance”: A New Movie, An Old Story, And a Discredited Corporate Press’ tells the story of the drug connections between the U.S. government, the CIA and the Contras that led to the cocaine epidemic in the U.S.:
A groundbreaking investigation at the dawn of the Internet age in 1996, the “Dark Alliance” series, like no other newspaper reportage had done before, documented the firm links between the United States government, Central American cocaine traffickers and a domestic U.S. cocaine epidemic that had ravaged entire American communities. It was a news story that shined the spotlight on U.S. government complicity in international drug trafficking and revealed the U.S. government’s much-vaunted “war on drugs” to be a sham.
But while the U.S. government agencies involved in those illegal activities — the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in particular — had plenty of reasons for wanting this story to go away, in the end it was elements of Webb’s own profession, the press, that had been offended most by “Dark Alliance” and worked hardest to not only debunk the findings reported in “Dark Alliance” but also to discredit and destroy the journalistic credibility of Webb himself
Covert explains how the San Jose Mercury News used new technology (the internet) as a major tool for investigative journalism:
“Dark Alliance: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion” was originally published in three parts on August 18-20, 1996 in the San Jose Mercury News, a respected daily newspaper in northern California’s Silicon Valley, and carried on its new Mercury Center website. This was significant because it marked the first time for a U.S. newspaper to make use of the rising new technology known as the Internet and the World Wide Web as part of a major news investigation. Webb had wanted to use his newspaper’s website especially to show the detailed documentation and evidence he had gathered as a counterweight to what he called the “high unbelievability factor” of his investigation. And that is where the next significant aspect of “Dark Alliance” comes in: It was the first news media investigation to expose the ties between the “3Cs” — the CIA, the contras and crack cocaine
Webb was not alone in his investigation at the time as “other journalists, most notably Associated Press reporters Brian Barger and Robert Parry, had investigated and reported on the links in the mid-1980s between the U.S. government’s Central Intelligence Agency and large-scale cocaine trafficking by the anti-communist paramilitary forces in Nicaragua known as the “contras.”
Covert does emphasis that the ‘Dark Alliance’ series did not directly link the CIA to drug smuggling within U.S. borders but did provide evidence that “the CIA, at the very least, knew of the cocaine smuggling into the U.S. by the Nicaraguans and did not halt the activities.” Webb went on to note that “some U.S. government agencies even went as far as offering legal protection and bureaucratic cover to some of the most notorious cocaine traffickers in the western hemisphere.”
The main drug traffickers were two Nicaraguan contra supporters by the name of Norwin Meneses and Danilo Blandón who were somehow connected to “Freeway” Rick Ross who “had eventually led to an epidemic of the crack cocaine addiction in Los Angeles that then spread to other U.S. cities, invariably hitting African-American communities the hardest.” “Dark Alliance” series was attacked by the big three newspapers instead of “building on Webb’s groundbreaking investigation and advancing the story forward” according to Covert. The New York Times The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times all attacked Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series by trying to discredit Webb. Covert points out that “from that point on, the “Dark Alliance” series and Webb himself would be tagged by the American press with the D-word — “discredited” — an inaccurate label that has unfortunately stuck in the popular media to this day, as recent movie reviews of “Kill the Messenger” show.”
Not surprising, The New York Times gave ‘Kill The Messenger’ (released in 2014) a bad review. ‘A Reporter in the Crosshairs: ‘Kill the Messenger,’ a Film About the Reporter Gary Webb’ by Manohla Dargis who wrote the following:
It’s the mid-1990s. Mobile phones are as big as clown shoes, and a cutie named Monica Lewinsky has been working in the White House. Gary should be riding high after reporting a series, “Dark Alliance,” linking the Central Intelligence Agency with Nicaraguan contras and the wildfire-like spread of crack through black neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Instead, he sounds and looks haunted or maybe hunted.
Written by Peter Landesman, “Kill the Messenger” is based on a book by Nick Schou about Mr. Webb, his rise and fall, and Mr. Webb’s own book, “Dark Alliance,” his 1998 follow-up to his much-heralded, much-contested 1996 Mercury News series. The film tracks Gary as he reports the story, opening soon after a slinky number, Coral Baca (Paz Vega), hands him a Pandora’s box of a tip. Baca points Gary in the direction of Danilo Blandon (Yul Vazquez), a Nicaraguan drug smuggler and contra supporter who supplies product to a Los Angeles dealer, Ricky Ross (Michael Kenneth Williams). Suddenly, Gary is at a foreign prison visiting another shadowy power player, Norwin Meneses (Andy Garcia), who swans around the yard in a straw hat twirling a golf club
The New York Times was one of the main news media organizations that did give ‘Kill the Messenger’ a “D” for “discredited” as Dargis ends her review on a negative note on the film:
But the film falters as the story swells and churns, and real people like Representative Maxine Waters of California enter the fray in clips alongside fictionalized scenes meant to look like documentary footage. Gary’s story comes under attack, including from big media types, and he enters a downward spiral as so, too, does the film. There are high-horse speeches, long goodbyes, enveloping sadness, a sense of doom; mostly, there is a journalist betrayed by many factors, including his own calling
Brian Covert also mentioned how the CIA director at the time, John Deutch made an appearance in South Central Los Angeles where the crack cocaine outbreak exploded “in an attempt to put out the public firestorm then raging over the CIA-contra-crack connection as outlined in Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series.” Covert said that “Deutch denounced such a connection as “an appalling charge” and defended the CIA’s integrity. “I will get to the bottom of it, and I will let you know the results of what I’ve found,” he told an angry, heckling crowd of hundreds of African-American citizens.” U.S. president Bill Clinton fired Deutch one month later. Covert said that “the CIA and the U.S. Justice Department did both later release internal reports, parts of which validated Webb’s key findings in “Dark Alliance.” The San Jose Mercury News organization began to feel the heat due to Webb’s “Dark Alliance” series:
On May 11, Webb’s boss, Mercury News executive editor Jerry Ceppos (played in the new movie by actor Oliver Platt), announced in a 1,200-word open letter to the paper’s readers that there were several “shortcomings” in the wording and presentation of “Dark Alliance,” though Ceppos did not dispute the core reporting of the series
He continued “If there was ever a chance of getting to the bottom of the CIA’s involvement with drug traffickers,” Webb later wrote, “it died on that day.” Covert ended his article on a positive note regarding Gary Webb’s legacy and his ‘Dark Alliance’ investigative report:
In seeking to discredit Gary Webb as a journalistic colleague, the Los Angeles Times, New York Times and Washington Post had only undermined their own credibility in the public mind and among other working journalists in the field. These three news companies, like a number of others, are today struggling to maintain credibility at a time when U.S. public trust in the news media is at an all-time low.
Webb’s former employer, the San Jose Mercury News, while still the paper of record in California’s Silicon Valley, has long lost its luster as a bright, shining place to work for ambitious young reporters and editors climbing their way to the top of the news industry. If anything, the Mercury News is renowned these days for being the “newspaper that almost seized the future.”
And as for the newspaper’s groundbreaking “Dark Alliance” series: The late Gary Webb got the story right back then and he still has it right today. The 500-page book he researched and published after leaving the newspaper business, Dark Alliance (Seven Stories Press, 1998), sets the bar high for solid news reporting and has already become a classic work of American journalism.
The new Hollywood movie “Kill the Messenger,” regardless of how the Big Media Feeds may rate it, sets the long-buried ghost of “Dark Alliance” free to haunt the corporate press giants that once killed it and to exact its own brand of karmic justice on them — the best kind of justice there is: inspiring a new generation of journalists in the Internet age to get out there and investigate, expose and report the truths that those in authority would rather keep hidden
If the CIA did in fact, create “crack” to fund a war in Central America to impose America’s democratic values (and you know where that leads to) only demonstrates how far they are willing to go. But there is also one fact we must consider, the truth may never come out to confirm that the CIA did invent crack. What we can confirm is that the U.S. government and the CIA has been involved in arming and supporting terrorists by any means necessary (including the sale of dangerous drugs including cocaine, crack or heroin) for decades to further their Imperial agenda. The history of The Iran-Contra affair has a deep-rooted connection to the crack explosion.
What is apparent is that the same operation continues today in Syria with first, the Obama administration who funded and armed various terrorist organizations such as the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Al-Qaeda and ISIS to create a civil war within Syrian society (and the rest of the Middle East) to destroy the country from within. It still continues with the Trump administration with backing from the Israelis and Saudis. The U.S. government and the MSM continue their propaganda to discredit the Syrian government, for example, the Syrian “White Helmets” an NGO who is closely associated with the terrorists are saving the Syrian people from the “brutal dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad.” Independent researcher, writer, photographer and peace activist Vanessa Beeley of 21st Century Wire has done extensive research on the White Helmets and came to the conclusion that the U.S. and other NATO allies funded the controversial group who has ties to various terrorist organizations in her article ‘Who Are Syria’s White Helmets (terrorist linked)?’:
A hideous murder of a rising star in UK politics, Jo Cox MP, has just sent shock waves across the world. Within hours of her death, a special fund was established in her name to raise money for 3 causes. One of those causes is the Syrian White Helmets.
Are we seeing a cynical and obscene exploitation of Jo Cox’s murder to revive the flagging credibility of a US State Department & UK Foreign Office asset on the ground in Syria, created and sustained as first responders for the US and NATO Al Nusra/Al Qaeda forces?
If this is the case, and I fear it is, the depravity of our government, the US government, the state led media and associated Syria Campaign support groups have reached a new level of perversion of Humanity. The White Helmets have been demonstrated to be a primarily US and NATO funded organisation embedded in Al Nusra and ISIS held areas exclusively.
This is an alleged “non-governmental” organisation, the definition of an NGO, that thus far has received funding from at least three major NATO governments, including $23 million from the US Government and $29 million (£19.7 million) from the UK Government, $4.5 million (€4 million) from the Dutch Government. In addition, it receives material assistance and training funded and run by a variety of other EU Nations
Hollywood also contributed to the propaganda campaign against Syria when Netflix’s ‘The White Helmets’ won an Oscar for best documentary short last year. The director of the documentary, Orlando von Einsiedel read a written statement from the White Helmets founder Raed al-Saleh during the acceptance speech which said:
“We are so grateful that this film has highlighted our work to the world. Our organisation is guided by a verse from the Quran: To save one life is to save all of humanity. We have saved more than 82,000 Syrian lives. I invite anyone here who hears me to work on the side of life to stop the bloodshed in Syria and around the world”
The CIA supported the Contras by using propaganda to gain public support in the U.S. and around the world through the MSM. They also transported cocaine (that eventually turned into crack) into the U.S. to fund its dirty war against the Sandinistas only shows how far Washington was willing to go to maintain its imperial power in Latin America no matter if it destroyed the lives of their own citizens. History is surely repeating itself, but this time, it’s the war on Syria without the illegal drug trafficking operation, at least for the time being. Remember, the U.S. military is still guarding the poppy fields in Afghanistan.