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THE ARGUMENT White House pulls plug on bad campaign
Some of the biggest lies come from good intentions, especially when adults are trying to raise young people.
"Go ahead and make those silly faces. Some day your face will freeze like that."
But young people have a pretty good baloney detector. We all know it, but that knowledge doesn't stop adults from exaggerating when they try to teach youngsters a lesson.
"No, you can't have a BB gun. You'll put your eye out."
The problem is, when young people hear those lies and exaggerations they become more cynical about the efforts. The thicker the baloney the more likely our youth will reject the message.
So it is no wonder the White House's current drug-and-terror ad campaign failed. It is a cynical, opportunistic series of exaggerations that attempt to capitalize on the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Perhaps you remember seeing the ads when they launched five months after 9/11. It featured young voices saying things like, "I helped a bomber get a fake passport," and "I helped blow up buildings."
Like most lies, there is a seed of fact underlying this campaign. There is speculation Afghanistan's former government, the Taliban, generated a small amount of revenue from opium sales.
But it is well known that the vast majority of terror funding comes from rich Arab donors in countries like Saudi Arabia. To assert otherwise is counterproductive, especially when young people need frank discussion about the dangers of drug use, not scare tactics.
The White House's drugs-and-terror campaign failed and will end in May. Good riddance. Let's hope it is replaced with common-sense messages, and a long overdue review of our government's failed "war on drugs."