As swiftly as the President declared war on drugs a couple of years ago, the entire government armed machinery has become a serious front in dealing with illegal drugs with almost clock-work efficiency.
His declaration likewise immersed society in the midst of high intensity conflict against illegal drugs much like a bloody skirmish against an invasive foreign power. All the elements of war are there. In war, the only sad part is the so-called collateral damage. In war, everything is fair game, including fairness and innocence. There is no such thing as selective war or a cautious one. In combat, any soldier would swear that he cannot dictate the grenade to explode only on his enemy and that shrapnel should evade the bystanders.
And the President is candid about it. He even imposed a period, a deadline. Accordingly, the war will commence as soon as he assumes the national leadership up until about three months onwards to six if necessary or even an extended period within the term limits, then his administration will check whether the war made a dent or has resolved anything at all.
And so, the battle lines were made. Enemies had been spotted, marked and identified. There were even efforts to telegraph to the enemy lines that war will begin and that areas should be cleared and those at the other end must capitulate. That is one of the kindest expressions the war could offer. Outside of that, it will be bloody, unforgiving and inexorable. From the Presidential pulpit, came the pronouncement that war is a relentless crusade to be waged by the armed apparatus of the State.
War is war and anything in between is a feasible subject. If there is anything that would favor those in the midst of the war, it is not the fence sitter or the collaborator, only those favored by luck. It is akin to the person who is fortunate; one who bought a ticket from the lottery on the belief that he would win, tongue in cheek, and then wins it! Only a few survives and so many perish in the process. But that is what war is all about. I fear the word itself!
Forget good manners, forget human rights, forget right conduct for a while.
Government is determined to have the upper hand. It has the resources and organization to boot. It must have the resolve and audacity to see its completion. It has the initiative, although belated since the previous administration merely took a glance on the situation, but there is still time and the only factor that will make the war a lasting one is the credibility and integrity of the one leading it.
The consequence of losing the war betrays the future of the country. If government becomes a narco- state then everything is in shambles. Every transaction is marked with bias and prejudice. Those leading could no longer profess justice and those enforcing fairness will merely be paragons of inequality.
Sometime past, China was a prosperous tea exporting nation until Europe traded opium to make Chinese subservient to their economic requirements. During ancient times, Europe was almost dependent on tea from China that the latter intended to mark up the cost. Europe was infuriated at the yellow race. In effect, they exported hallucinating hemps into China so that a drug crazed China would not have the intelligence to argue and compete. In a brief period, the ruling dynasty of China felt the effects of the mind-altering substances until history recorded the so-called Opium war among Chinese population. It was during this period that the great helmsman Mao Zedong led a ragtag army of rebels bannering communism and took over the reins of government. A war on drugs was ruthlessly waged, thousands were executed and China was saved from wanton destruction. The Reds won. The rest is history.
A war on drugs has historical antecedents and we might as well learn from it. This government is on the brink of a crisis as determined by national leadership. There is a need for a strong response, not the wishy-washy kind, not the indecisive manner and vacillating way. If at all there must be a war then so be it. There will be sacrifices; there will surely be damages on every front. God forbid some guiltless people may even be condemned. But what is important in the course are the benefits which the succeeding generation, our grandchildren, their children and families, would out rightly gain.
Singapore was a filthy backwater protruding pier in the 50s but a credible and crusading leadership effectively commanded the city-state into what it is today, a miracle of a nation almost as developed as any advanced country in the world. As a matter of fact, it is the most modern among the most advance States in the planet.
Forget how we are. Our society badly needs redemption. Let us think of our loved ones’ future. That way they can say that we have done something for them.