g.maclennan at SPAMqut.edu.au
Sun Jan 30 23:36:30 MST 2000
Both Philip and Jim have had interesting things to say re drugs and
Ireland. The important thing to work out is the difference between a
liberal policy of decriminalisation and action taken to protect one's base
areas in the case of an insurgency. Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers is the
paradigmatic text here. It details how the FLN *weeded* out the Casbah. The
drug pushers and pimps are the eyes and ears of the state. To secure a
safe area for operations one needs to crack down ruthlessly on drugs pushing.
In Ireland it is a matter of the highest priority for the British to get
heroin into the Catholic areas. If they succeed in this they will have
gone a long way to securing a flow of intelligence from the ghettoes. that
is what is behind the rhetoric attacking the punishment beatings.
Now apart from the war situation the rule of thumb is not all that
different. Drugs are run by elements within the police forces, either as
subsidaries or allies of the drug barons or as in the case of Australia as
the drug barons themselves. In Dublin for instance those opposing the drug
pushers were much more likely to be harassed by the police than the pushers
Decriminalisation would be an immediate blow to the income of the corrupt
police. It would also destroy a major control element over the working
class. No junkie will ever be a threat to the state.
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