The numbers are horrifying. In 2021, 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses; in 2022, the deaths rose to more than 140,000. That is close to a quarter-million dead in just two years, more than the number of American combat deaths in World War I, the Korean War and the Vietnam War combined. And many experts believe that those numbers represent a gross undercount of the actual death toll from narcotics.
Fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 50.
The Proper Meaning of a ‘War on Drugs’
In a March 23, 2023 hearing on drug-money laundering, held before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, one of the panelists asked the question, “What would be our response, as a nation, if a foreign power or regime had sent agents into the United States and released Ricin or Anthrax, killing 100,000 people?” Would we not consider this an act of terrorism? An act of war? Would we not respond militarily, with all the force at our disposal, to destroy the perpetrators? Yet, in 2021-2022, a quarter-million Americans were murdered by drug traffickers and drug financiers. Is there a difference, morally or legally, between those two scenarios, other than the fact that one is hypothetical and the second is a matter of record?
To be very clear, such that there is no room for misunderstanding, what is being proposed in this article is a War on Drugs. Not a campaign against drugs. Not legislation which will limit the damage or impose penalties on some of the drug traffickers and drug financiers. What is proposed is Total War, and nothing will be acceptable other than the complete destruction of the enemy.
What is required is leadership,—individuals who will pledge their lives and their honor to defend the American people against a foreign invasion which is killing men, women and children. In 1941, upon news of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, millions of young Americans—many of whom later lost their lives—rushed to enlistment centers to defend their nation. That courage is what we need from our citizens and elected leaders today.
What is Presented Below
To demonstrate what leadership in a War on Drugs consists of, this article will conclude with excerpts from public utterances by Lyndon LaRouche and President Donald Trump. But first, a few preliminary remarks.
In the 1980s the primary target of Ronald Reagan’s War on Drugs was the Cocaine trafficking of the Medellín and other cartels. But much has changed since then.
First, we are no longer dealing primarily with drugs that originate as “agricultural products.” The cultivation of opium poppies has been largely replaced by synthetic drugs, produced in laboratories. Our nation is being flooded with deadly and addictive pills. The Mexican drug cartels now deliberately add fentanyl to their processing of cocaine, methamphetamines, other Opioids and even counterfeit pharmaceutical drugs, such as pain-killers and anti-depressants. The intention is to turn all of their customers into fentanyl addicts, and it is working
Second, the financing of drug trafficking has become far more sophisticated. The old scenario of drug pushers bringing suitcases of money into a bank or “washing” drug money in gambling casinos has not entirely disappeared, but in the 2023 world of digital money and cell phones apps which can access a plethora of encrypted digital payment systems, as well as new phenomena such as global “trade-based money laundering,” these new techniques of the drug traffickers will require new solutions.
Finally, the role of worldwide Chinese organized crime simply can not be ignored. Today, the China/Mexico fentanyl connection is at the heart of the drug invasion of our country. Donald Trump understood this, and in May, 2019 he reached an agreement with China to stop the export of finished fentanyl products. He combined this with an aggressive effort to interdict drug smuggling at the southern border. All of these efforts were later abandoned by the Biden administration.
Lyndon LaRouche’s 1985 Proposal
On March 13, 1985, Lyndon LaRouche delivered the keynote speech, titled “A Proposed Strategic Operation against the Western Hemisphere’s Drug Traffic,” to a conference in Mexico City. In that speech, LaRouche stated:
“The international drug traffic has become an evil and powerful government in its own right. It represents today a financial, political, and military power greater than that of entire nations within the Americas. It is a government which is making war against civilized nations, a government upon which we must declare war, a war which we must fight with the weapons of war, and a war which we must win in the same spirit the United States fought for the unconditional defeat of Nazism between 1941 and 1945.”
LaRouche called upon all the nations of the Americas to join together to win this war, saying that “the drug-traffic could never be defeated if each of our nations tried to fight this evil independently of the other nations of this Hemisphere.” He also stressed the importance of drug financing, stating, “It is impossible to break the ominously increasing political power of the drug-traffickers in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, and other countries, without capturing the billions of dollars of drug-revenues run through corrupt banking institutions.”
At the conclusion of his speech, LaRouche presented a “15-point Plan of Action.” Excerpts from those 15 points include:
- Any person caught in trafficking of drugs, is to be classed as either a traitor in time of war, or as the foreign spy of an enemy power.
- Any person purchasing unlawful substances, or advocating the legalization of traffic in such substances, or advocating leniency in anti-drug military or law-enforcement policy toward the production or trafficking in drugs, is guilty of the crime of giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of war.
- A treaty of alliance for conduct of war, should be established between the United States and the governments of Ibero-American states which join the War on Drugs alliance.
- Provisions for actions of a joint military command should be elaborated. These provisions should define principles of common action, to the effect that necessary forms of joint military and law-enforcement action do not subvert the national sovereignty of any of the allied nations on whose territory military operations are conducted.
- Borders among the allied nations, and borders with other nations, must be virtually hermetically sealed against drug traffic across borders. All unlogged aircraft flying across borders or across the Caribbean waters, which fail to land according to instructions, are to be shot down by military action. A thorough search of all sea, truck, rail, and other transport, including inbound container traffic, is to be effected at all borders and other points of customs-inspection. Massive concentration with aid of military forces must be made in border-crossing areas, and along relevant arteries of internal highway and water-borne transport.
- A system of total regulation of financial institutions, to the effect of detecting deposits, outbound transfers, and inbound transfer of funds, which might be reasonably suspected of being funds secured from drug trafficking, must be established and maintained.
- All real estate, business enterprises, financial institutions, and personal funds, shown to be employed in the growing, processing, transport, or sale of unlawful drugs, should be taken into military custody immediately, and confiscated in the manner of military actions in time of war.
- The primary objective of the War on Drugs is military in nature: to destroy the enemy quasi-state, by destroying or confiscating that quasi-state’s economic and financial resources, by disbanding business and political associations associated with the drug trafficking interest, by confiscating the wealth accumulated through complicity with the drug traffickers’ operations, and by detaining, as “prisoners of war” or as traitors or spies, all persons aiding the drug trafficking interest.
- Special attention should be concentrated on those banks and other business institutions which are in fact elements of an international financial cartel coordinating the flow of hundreds of billions annually of revenues from the international drug traffic. Such entities should be classed as outlaws according to the “crimes against humanity” doctrine elaborated at the postwar Nuremberg Tribunal, and all business relations with such entities should be prohibited according to the terms of prohibition against trading with the enemy in time of war.
- The drug traffickers are protected by the growth of powerful groups which advocate either legalization of the drug traffic, or which campaign more or less efficiently to prevent effective forms of enforcement of laws against the usage and trafficking in drugs. Investigation has shown that the associations engaged in such advocacy are political arms of the financial interests associated with the conduiting of revenues from the drug traffic, and that they are therefore to be treated in the manner Nazi-sympathizer operations were treated in the United States during World War II.
President Trump’s Intention
On February 9, 2017, Donald Trump, in one of his first actions as President, issued Executive Order 9,
titled, “Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking.” In that Order, he declared:
“Transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations, including transnational drug cartels, have spread throughout the Nation, threatening the safety of the United States and its citizens. These organizations derive revenue through widespread illegal conduct, including acts of violence and abuse that exhibit a wanton disregard for human life. . .
“These groups are drivers of crime, corruption, violence, and misery. In particular, the trafficking by cartels of controlled substances has triggered a resurgence in deadly drug abuse and a corresponding rise in violent crime related to drugs. Likewise, the trafficking and smuggling of human beings by transnational criminal groups, risks creating a humanitarian crisis. These crimes, along with many others, are enriching and empowering these organizations to the detriment of the American people.
“A decisive approach is required to dismantle these organized crime syndicates and restore safety for the American people.”
The President goes on to propose a series of actions designed to end “the illegal smuggling and trafficking of humans, drugs or other substances, wildlife, and weapons,” as well as the targeting of financial crimes, including “the illegal concealment or transfer of proceeds derived from such illicit activities.” He directs all Federal law enforcement agencies to “give a high priority and devote sufficient resources to efforts to identify, interdict, disrupt, and dismantle transnational criminal organizations and subsidiary organizations.”
On January 5, 2023, Trump released a video on his Agenda 47 campaign webpage dealing with the drug crisis. It was titled, “President Donald J. Trump Declares War on Cartels,” and in it Trump states:
“Fentanyl, heroin, meth, and other lethal drugs are pouring across our wide-open border, stealing hundreds of thousands of beautiful American lives — and it’s happening like never before in our history. Children are being left without parents. Families are being ripped apart. Communities are being decimated. Our neighbors and fellow citizens are having their entire worlds destroyed — destroyed like nobody thought possible. Our country is being POISONED from within by the drugs and by all of the other crime that’s taking place.
“The drug cartels are waging war on America—and it’s now time for America to wage war on the cartels. In this war, Joe Biden has sided AGAINST the United States, and WITH the cartels. They are making more money than they’ve ever made before. . . . They’re major, major companies — they’re bigger than even some of our biggest companies. Biden’s Open Border policies are a deadly betrayal of our nation.
“When I am President, it will be the policy of the United States to take down the cartels just as we took down ISIS and the ISIS caliphate. . . . We will show NO MERCY to the cartels.
Trump then proceeds to define his own “Action Plan to Destroy the Drug Cartels”:
- Restore all Trump border policies and fully secure the border
- Deploy all necessary military assets, including the U.S. Navy, to impose a full naval embargo on the cartels, to ensure they cannot use our region’s waters to traffic illicit drugs to the U.S.
- Order the Department of Defense to make appropriate use of special forces, cyber warfare, and other covert and overt actions to inflict maximum damage on cartel leadership, infrastructure, and operations
- Designate the major drug cartels as foreign terrorist organizations
- Cut off the cartels’ access to the global financial system
- Get full cooperation of neighboring governments to dismantle the cartels, or else fully expose the bribes and corruption that protect these criminal networks
- Ask Congress to ensure drug smugglers and traffickers can receive the Death Penalty
Trump emphasizes that what he is proposing will also help rescue the Mexican nation from the drug cartels. He states:
“Reports of torture in Mexico have doubled, and reports of violence by criminal groups against authorities or large crowds rose 756 percent in the first half of 2022 compared to the previous year. In Mexico, over 100,000 civilians are missing or murdered at the hands of the cartels, with an average of 25 Mexican citizens disappearing every day. Cartels have destabilized Mexico by bribing officials at all levels of government, assassinating journalists and public servants, and mass murdering political candidates. Biden’s actions are pushing vulnerable migrant women and children into the arms of the most vicious, violent, and predatory criminal networks on earth.”
And he concludes by saying:
“The drug cartels and their allies in the Biden administration have the blood of countless millions on their hands. Millions and millions of families and people are being destroyed. When I am back in the White House, the drug kingpins and vicious traffickers will never sleep soundly again. . . . We have to be tough, we have to be smart, we have to be fair. But if we don’t do something immediately, our country is gone.”
Only one week ago, on June 1, 2023, Trump released another video message, first on his Truth Social Account and then reposted on Agenda 47, titled “Ending the Scourge of Drug Addiction in America.” Again, he focuses on a Plan of Action, and his proposals include:
- Military deployments. Full Naval embargo; deploy military assets to inflict maximum damage
- Insist on military cooperation from neighboring countries
- Death penalty for kingpins, and drug & human traffickers
- Take down gangs and organized street crime in U.S.
- Steep penalties for China if they do not clamp down on fentanyl “pre-cursors” production
- To aid the recovering addict, the emphasis will be on Work, Family and Faith
- Massive expansion of recovery programs
- Guaranteed treatment without losing their job and guaranteed family leave for close relatives of recovering addicts
There are major points of agreement between what Lyndon LaRouche proposed in 1985 and what Donald Trump is proposing in 2023. More important, what is identical is the commitment to fight this war through, using every available military, law enforcement, financial and other means, to exterminate the capabilities of the enemy. That is the only way to win.