Poppy Don’t Preach

“Large areas of Uruzgan remain Taliban havens. The local government, plagued by corruption, remains so weak that it does not yet have a significant program against soaring poppy production, which helps underwrite the insurgency.”

-from the New York Times, emphasis mine.

Groan. If you think you can fight the war on the Taliban and the war on drugs at the same time, or that the latter is somehow essential to the former, lay off the counter-insurgency crack pipe. This is really simple, kids: if the Taliban is willing to pay Afghan peasants cash-money for the country’s one major cash crop, those Afghan peasants are going to grow and sell those opium-producing poppies. It would be one thing to bomb their best customers if you were willing to step in and buy the product yourself, or at least pay them off not to grow poppies. But if, instead, you bomb their best customers and you spray their poppy crops with pesticides you’re going to get some pissed-off, Taliban-supporting peasants. Even a brain on drugs can understand that simple logic.

Explore posts in the same categories: Afghanistan

3 Comments on “Poppy Don’t Preach”

  1. kate Says:

    (cool points for your madonna reference)

  2. kate Says:

    ok i’m back again.

    NPR just did a week-long “focus” on our war on drugs, and where we currently stand. they quoted bush as recently saying that one of the keys to the war on drugs is to stop using drugs – supply and demand, you know.

    i wonder if he realized that bombing poppy fields to quench the supply was unemploying tons of young and middle-aged people in a country we’re occupying and probably doesn’t like us a whole ton…and then, upon realizing this, decided to shift his strategy and decrease the demand.

    maybe we’ll soon be able to attribute increased DARE program funding to afghanistan…

  3. Danny G Says:

    You know, the crazy thing about the Afghan poppy issue isn’t that we’re applying the same mistakes we make in Colombia to Afghanistan. It’s that there’s such a simple and easy way out of the solution, it’s mind-bottling the international community doesn’t demand it.

    Poppy’s are a necessary component of morphine and rather than paying farmers not to grow the one Afghan product people on the world market are willing to pay for, we should direct them to the buyers from Merck, Bayer, Pfizer and friends and let the well-regulated pharmaceutical market take care of this one for us.

    Oh but wait, that would put some legit Tasmanian poppy growers out of business and we can’t have it in this age of Globalization!


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