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Volume 7, Issue 2  -  May, 2001

Letter by Don Deichman to the Baltimore Sun


Dear Baltimore Sun Editor:

I applaud your 4/25 editorial (“Innocent Lives Too High a Price for Interdiction”) on the deaths of an American missionary and her daughter in the downing of their plane by the Peruvian Air force. While you rightly advise that our agencies involved in interdictions. “suspend operation until assured that such an atrocity cannot recur,” we also need a deeper analysis.

There's no denying that narco-terrorist “trade in madness and death.” But in a year’ research in Peru (and two years’ Peace Corps work in Colombia) I saw a madness in U.S. policy that affects those countries: since the 1950’s, our grain pricing policy has been gradually, but deliberately, moved away from New Deal “parity pricing toward “export oriented” pricing.

We confuse “feeding a hungry world” with an export policy that unwisely undercuts farm prices abroad. Failing to put our farm prices in balance (parity) with other prices in our economy has far-reaching consequences. Stopping the drug trade has less to do with interdiction (and deaths of more innocents: than with Re-thinking our own pricing and trade policies.


Donald M. Deichman
16330 A.E Mullinix Road
Woodbine, MD 21797

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