A tale of two Eric Holders
- Eric Holder Was Great on Drugs: Will his successor throw it all away? by Ethan Nadelmann.
- Holder’s Drug Policy Record is Much Weaker Than Many Believe by Eric Sterling.
I suspect that they’re both right, depending on where you place the comparative benchmarks.
The War on Drugs and The War on Terror.
Many times over the years we’ve talked here about the parallels between the War on Drugs and the War on Terror, and the misguided public policy principles (as well as outright self-interest) that align with both.
Paul Kendrick at TPM Cafe has an interesting piece comparing the storyline of the fictional drug policy TV series “The Wire” with our misguided history in Iraq.
The allegory reaches its peak when one dealer and enforcer says to his boss Avon, doubting the wisdom of continuing to battle their rivals: “It don’t matter who did what to whom. Fact is, we went to war and now there ain’t no going back … If it’s a lie, then we fight on the lie. But we gotta fight.”
By the end of the season, Avon is headed to prison and Stringer is gone forever. Though it is not shown to the viewer, the final episode of the season was entitled, “Mission Accomplished.” The demand for drugs is unchanged, and the police inadvertently created a power vacuum. That status will not stand, and, shades of ISIS stepping into the turmoil of a new Iraq, that vacuum will soon be filled by someone far worse than the police ever dreamed of: Marlo.
Kendrick concludes with a seemingly obligatory applauding of President Obama’s approach which, in my opinion, is unwarranted given Obama’s overall record in the wars. Otherwise, I think it’s a good, solid analogy that works in describing why both “war” policies are doomed to failure.