We are losing the war on drugs in almost every country according to a European Commission report out yesterday. There’s a major international conference in Vienna today to decide how the UN should to tackle the international drugs trade and according to the report the UN’s drug strategy has been a definite failure so far. So why is it so difficult to tackle the international drugs trade? This guardian reporter traces the international trail of destruction left by Latin America’s most profitable drug, cocaine. The Bolivian leader Evo Morales wants the raw ingredient for cocaine recognised as a legal drug. To draw attention to this he chewed Coca leaves at the UN summit on drugs yesterday. If we can’t beat the drugs trade, should we join it by legalising and controlling supply? Do we need a single global policy on drugs?
Three years in jail for throwing a pair of shoes. The Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi has just been sentenced to three years in jail for throwing his shoes at former US President Bush on a farewell trip to Iraq in December. Muntadar al-Zaidi told the judge: “My reaction was natural, just like any Iraqi.” He was criticised by the Iraqi government, but became a hero to millions. (Have a look at this site inspired by al-Zaidi, people against the war in Iraq sending in photos of themselves with shoes.) Is this sentence an overreaction? The Iraqi bloggers at freealzaidi.com think so. Even George Bush didn’t seem too concerned about ducking the journalists shoes, he made jokes about it at the time but did this attack need a strong response? He was given the three-year sentence for assaulting a foreign head of state during an official visit. Does it matter that President Bush’s life was not at risk?