Afghanistan opium crop sets record; U.S.-backed efforts at eradication fail
Opium production in Afghanistan, which provides more than 90 percent of the world's heroin, broke all records in 2006, reaching a historic high despite ongoing U.S.-sponsored eradication efforts, the Bush administration reported yesterday.
In addition to a 26 percent production increase over past year -- for a total of 5,644 metric tons -- the amount of land under cultivation in opium poppies grew by 61 percent. Cultivation in the two main production provinces, Helmand in the southwest and Oruzgan in central Afghanistan, was up by 132 percent.
White House drug policy chief John Walters called the news "disappointing."
The administration has cited resurgent Taliban forces as the main impediment to stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, and the U.S. military investment has far exceeded anti-narcotic and development programs. But U.S. military and intelligence officials have increasingly described the drug trade as a problem that rivals and in some ways exceeds the Taliban, threatening to derail other aspects of U.S. policy.
Well MAYBE, just MAYBE
we should have fucking STAYED in Afghanistan all along and not even bothered with Iraq, perhaps the entire region wouldn't be in shambles like it is now, billions of $$$ would not have been wasted, and we'd not have created thousands more terrorists in our actions over the past 3+ years than ever would have existed before George Motherfucking W. Bush screwed it all to fuck well beyond comprehension. Oh yeah, to say NOTHING of the 100,000+ lives (Iraqi, American, Afghani, etc.) lost.
Opium poppy production is what keeps many Afghanis alive, given the circumstances there OF COURSE it's going to be a record crop. How's that War On Drugs workin' for us, Shrubby? About as good as the War On Terror, I suspect. What's the tab for THIS consummate failure?
The bigger problem universally with anything this administration & its base has created? The goddamned War On Common Fucking Sense they've declared, which WILL kill us all long before them thar crazy A-rabs could. Al Qaeda at its best could never be as organized or deadly as American Right-Wing Fundamentalist Christians, not with their arrogance, greed, ignorance, and substantial power.
The incompetence just rages on, doesn't it?