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Jesus Wants YOU To Be A Fucking Moron. 
2nd-Dec-2006 03:23 pm

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?
2nd-Dec-2006 08:41 pm (UTC)
I wish someone had made Bush and Rummy play more Risk, so that they could have a vague grasp of strategy. I suspect that they thought it was like sports.
2nd-Dec-2006 08:45 pm (UTC)
I'm on AIM: nocturnalrelease....
2nd-Dec-2006 11:27 pm (UTC)
Not seeing you on now, but I've added you and I'll keep my eyes open for you. I'm FindPenwan on AIM.
2nd-Dec-2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Bush shuold understand sports; after all, he was a cheerleader.
2nd-Dec-2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
As if cheerleaders understand sports. They only understand rooting for the home team and sucking off the home team. If only Bush was more of the latter and less of the former.
3rd-Dec-2006 10:41 am (UTC)
Haha. Risk was always my favourite board game :)
2nd-Dec-2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
It's not just "The War on ___________" front that's a disaster.

Paul Krugman wrote in yesterday's New York Times about the poor economic forecast for 2007, ending it with this:
"Luckily, we've got good leadership for the coming economic storm: the White House is occupied by a man who's ideologically flexible, listens to a wide variety of views, and understands that policy has to be based on careful analysis, not gut instincts.
Oh, wait."
I could laugh if I didn't feel so much like crying.
3rd-Dec-2006 04:04 am (UTC)
White House drug policy chief John Walters called the news "disappointing."

Now there's the fucking understatement of 2006.

3rd-Dec-2006 08:36 am (UTC)
Opium poppy production is what keeps many Afghanis alive, given the circumstances there OF COURSE it's going to be a record crop</i>

Here's my understanding of it. Prior to us going in, it was damn near stamped out. Interestingly enough this often happens with any govt. which holds its laws (or society as a whole) in higher regard than individual people. China resolved its opium problem at one point by killing addicts. Afghanistan had the Taliban which killed poppy farmers. It was pretty effective.

We go in, Taliban is gone, power vaccum created. Lots of warlords now.

Again based on my understanding, farmers were (at one point, I'm not current on it right now) able to survive without growing poppy. I recall one article which interviewed a guy who was strongly against it, and was about to grow poppy. The choice was sadly simple. He could barely survive by continuing his farming, or he could grow poppy and acquire some decent wealth (a satellite dish, some better farming tools...not 'wealth' by our standards mind you) by growing poppy. Poppy was obscenely more profitible. And he wanted to do it while he still had a choice. He believed, and probably rightfully so, that soon he'd be given no choice. Some warlord would tell him to grow it, and at least this way he'd get a head start, have some money and maybe be able to keep more of the profit later.

Oddly enough, similar to reasons many people choose to deal drugs. It's obscenely profitible, and while it's high risk, it's also high reward. Or you can work the deep fryer for min. wage. If you have a decent potential at a future beyond that, you may pick the min. wage job. If you don't, what do you have to lose anyway?

Back on point, even if we had fully committed to Afghanistan, we'd have a poppy problem. The poppy problem existed prior to the Taliban. There's only two ways to deal with it.

1. Have the man power, money and resources to police it. Similar to the way we treat marijuana farms. It won't stop it, but it makes it difficult to do, and limits the ability to do it. (Kinda a bitch to do an indoor poppy field I'd imagine ;D )

2. Make the risk much higher than the reward. If it's a death sentence, and your family also may be killed or lose everything and with no male head of household at best be mired in unspeakable poverty, versus a relatively low reward (satellite dish, nicer pots and pans, better tools)...it's not that attractive.

The only societies who've made a decent dent in the 'war on drugs' are societies willing to dole out extremely harsh punishments for any drug offenses. And even then, they've only made a good sized dent, never crushed it completely. Plus, it sucks to live in such a society for obvious reasons.

Or, we could go with 'Just say no'. That worked real well (*sarcasm*)

I'm not aware of any socities which have just pretty much legalized drugs, though that's always been offered as an alternative solution. I'm fine with decriminalizing some drugs (such as marijuana) but not all. I've heard arguments from people who are proponents of legalizing all drugs. I think it would probably suck to live in such a society for obvious reasons there too.
3rd-Dec-2006 10:52 am (UTC)
It's really very simple. If the US doesn't want to be flooded with poppybased drugs, it has to pay the Afghanis not to grow it. Enough so that they can get on with other things. I think the poverty must have been chronic under the taliban as it's not exactly the easiest country to do other things in.

The cost to the US of the effects of drug addiction ... the deaths, burglaries etc that fund the habit and all the by products, must cost a lot in real terms. They say that a heroin addict has to steal $2000 worth of goods to sell A DAY to get the $600 to fund the habit in UK. That's a lot of traumatised robbed people!

It's all down to money. If the US doesn't want the Afghanis to supply 90% of the world's heroin, then all the countries that have a drug problem should put money in a kitty and set up some other things for them to do. Yes, pay them not to grow the stuff. But is there really the political will and the funds? Who knows ...
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