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Bush is soft on tobacco
November 27, 2002 4:57 AM   Subscribe

Bush is soft on tobacco Just say No! Unless you are in cahoots with Big Tobacco. On issues such as this, I do not hold Bush or his party solely guilty but instead view it as The American Way--lobby groups, gifts, elections handouts--all of which blur party lines.
posted by Postroad (15 comments total)

 
It is unclear from the article whether RJR are themselves directly involved in smuggling into Iraq or if it's one of their 'affiliates' - a broad term that could be something like a unscrupulous distributor selling to criminal syndicates in Europe or the Middle East.

Of course how do you prevent mobsters from legally buying cigarettes in the first place anyway? How would RJR know? If they have the money and go through legitamate channels then why would RJR not sell to them? If the cigarettes are going to be smuggled into Iraq is that the fault of RJR or the mobsters themselves?

In a homicide shooting do we prosecute the shooter or the gun manufacturer?
posted by PenDevil at 5:45 AM on November 27, 2002


So let me get this straight: someone's complaining that Iraqis have access to life-shortening, lung-capacity killing, cigarettes? This is a bad thing, how? If anything, we should ship them MORE cigarettes. If we can stall the war by 20 years, lung cancer and emphysema will do the US Armed Forces' job for them.

"I don't know what's in 'em, I just know I can't stop smokin' 'em!"

"Hahahah-*COUGH!* *HACK!* *WHEEZE!*..."
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:21 AM on November 27, 2002


I Agree with Dark Messiah. Let them have as many cigarettes as they want. Make sure to send them the ones that have more nicotine for that delightful addictive taste.
posted by MaddCutty at 7:40 AM on November 27, 2002


Hell, we could air drop them for a few weeks, tons of them, get them all nicked up and addicted, then suddenly cut off the supply and announce that Saddam made us stop and the only way to get the smokes back is to overthrow Saddam, well, any smokers here will know what sort of a murderous rebellion that would cause!
posted by Pollomacho at 7:47 AM on November 27, 2002


Maybe Clinton can pre-moisten cigars for export.
posted by paleocon at 8:17 AM on November 27, 2002


Maybe you could stop laughing. The cigarette companies also sell to mobsters in other countries, and then act "surprised" when these, sometimes much more addictive, cigarettes turn up for sale at your local market, cheaper than legitimate cigarettes.
A great way of ensuring the poor keep themselves addicted, I'm sure you'll agree.
posted by iain at 8:25 AM on November 27, 2002


The cigarette companies also sell to mobsters in other countries..
Again I ask, if the mobsters buy cigarettes through legitamate channels then how or why would the tobacco companies stop them?
posted by PenDevil at 8:57 AM on November 27, 2002


I'm afraid PenDevil is on the right track on this one. You can't blame the company for a legitimate, legal sale, made in a foreign country. What you can condemn them for is the direct advertising to poor kids to get them addicted in the first place, of course, that would be if you think that because they are "underprivileged" they also are incapable of making decisions regarding their own lives...
posted by Pollomacho at 9:07 AM on November 27, 2002


You can blame the company if they know they're selling to mobsters who they know will then break the law and import it into another country and do bugger all about it. The issue has been highlighted in the uk a few times, to such an extent it took me 30 seconds to find an article with the quote ...

Thus the real beneficiaries of cigarette smuggling are the multinationals

If you worked in a shop, and someone came in shouting 'Sell me a knife, I need to stab some random people on the street!" would you sell him one? Or would you go "Oh, that's another legitimate sale then!"
posted by iain at 9:58 AM on November 27, 2002


So let me get this straight: someone's complaining that Iraqis have access to life-shortening, lung-capacity killing, cigarettes? This is a bad thing, how?

Hell yeah. Hoooah. Sanctions are already killing Iraqi children and those with illnesses....why not continue the job with cigarettes?

Really. How splendid. And people wonder why the rest of the world and many Americans hate the U.S. govt and their corporate bosses.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 10:02 AM on November 27, 2002


iain: Except the mobsters aren't shouting "Hey we're gonna smuggle these into Iraq". Anyone (including said criminals) can walk into a wholesaler with a Visa card and buy a few crates. Yes companies know that some will probably be smuggled just like gun manufacturers know people will get shot with their guns.

If they managed to identify the mobsters then the mobsters would just get someone else to buy it for them.
posted by PenDevil at 10:04 AM on November 27, 2002


I'm a little confused. The Bush administration lead customs agency is who has filed suit against RJR, so why does the FPP say Bush is soft on tobacco? Oh, I see, because its a link to an editorial and editorials don't have fact checking, that's it!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:01 PM on November 27, 2002


The tobacco industry actually convinced Bush and Delay to remove a section of the Patriot Act which would have made them more vulnerable to being sued for smuggling. Too bad regular citizens don't have that kind of influence on matters national security.
posted by homunculus at 12:28 PM on November 27, 2002


And then the administration turned around and sued them for smuggling, how ironic!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:34 PM on November 27, 2002


And people wonder why the rest of the world and many Americans hate the U.S. govt and their corporate bosses

Because they have nice cars...?
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:38 PM on November 27, 2002


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