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Afghanistan: US War Planes Bomb the Hell Out of a Bunch of Poppy Seeds

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #595)
Consequences of Prohibition
Drug War Issues

US war planes dropped bombs on a 300-ton pile of opium poppy seeds in southern Helmand province Tuesday afternoon. The US military dropped 1,000 pounds on the pile of seeds, then followed up with strikes from helicopters to make sure they were really dead.

opium poppies
The publicity stunt was designed to win hearts and minds of Afghan poppy farmers, a State Department official told CNN. "There is a nexus that needs to be broken between the insurgents and the drug traffickers," State's Tony Wayne said. "Also, it is part of winning the hearts and minds of the population because in some cases they are intimidated into growing poppies."

The US has recently shifted its approach to poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, which supplies more than 90% of the world's opium and its derivative, heroin. The US is ending support for eradication programs and instead targeting drug traffickers, especially those linked to the Taliban, which is estimated to earn hundreds of millions of dollars a year from the black market industry.

The US and its NATO allies are also trying to win over poppy farmers through alternative development programs. But those programs are difficult to put in place in areas outside the effective control of the Afghan government or Western military forces.

The attack on the seed pile comes as US and NATO forces are enduring their bloodiest month yet in the nearly eight-year-old invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. According to the war casualty monitor I Casualties, 63 Western troops have been killed so far this month, making it far and away the deadliest in the war. The previous monthly highs were 46 each in June and August 2008.

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Anonymous (not verified)

Why should any US marines have to die? Instead they should focus more on the enemy and less on the plans of our allies. Bin Laden lives in the mountains near Kashmir like we already know, only by cooperating through reparation payments can our allies be supplied enough to effectivly comabt terrorism. Instead a prolonged war should take place and save the lives of the American people. A hasty decision making process and ineffective government is going to doom us all.

Instead the strangling of the weaknesses our enemies exhibit daily will rest the hearts of all who oppose terrorism worldwide. -Captain SW

Fri, 07/24/2009 - 3:15pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

The commanders lack the experience and decisive processes. Cut off the head of a snake and it grows two new ones. Didn't know what was coming at them until it was too late. Tomorrow is a new day for our corps. The unskilled kwarks need a heavier groundwork and far less batallion interference out of these new plans. Abroad I only pray for the aka new recruits entering this hell hole. The US should dominate this warzone until it the fire burns out.

Fri, 07/24/2009 - 3:19pm Permalink
Brian Kerr (not verified)

Moron Military.

Poppy seeds are a food source. They just destroyed food. What a bunch of idiots.

buy some Afghani hash and kill a drug warier today. I did and good hash too.

Sat, 07/25/2009 - 1:05am Permalink
Josh Bettar (not verified)

why are we meddling in the affairs of other countries? Hello! This is not what our country was founded on. George Washington and all of the founding fathers made it clear not to meddle in outside affairs. this war is so stupid. why are we brain washing our troops to fight this ridiculous war on the other side of the world? if people want to do heroin let them. theyll get all fucked up and theyre not gonna be able to fight anyway. our troops are risking their lives for nothing! Dont trust the government, they are the real enemy. they are fabricating a non-existent problem and wasting all our hard earned tax paying dollars on this bogus war-- bombing poppy seeds! how much did that bomb cost? and that plane to drop it? I know it wasnt free. Billions of dollars are being wasted while america is in recession. Wake up America! this is another Veitnam type war. many americans will die for nothing!

Sun, 07/26/2009 - 5:58pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

In reply to by Josh Bettar (not verified)

Have you forgotten September 11th. Agreed on a few topics that you brought up. But all in all we america will fight back instead of turning a cheak and letting them hit us again. I SAY KILL THEM ALL AND LET GOD SORT THEM OUT.....

Sat, 10/24/2009 - 3:47pm Permalink

Kampfflugzeuge des US-Militärs haben am Donnerstag, den 23.7.09, eine 300 Tonnenladung von Schlafmohnsamen in der südlichen Provinz Helmand in Afganistan bombardiert. Die Streitkräfte haben etwa 450 kg Sprengstoffe abgeworfen, um auch wirklich sicherzugehen, dass die Samen Tod sind.

Dieser Publicitystunt wurde designt, um die Herzen und Köpfe der Afghanischen Mohnbauern zu gewinnen, sagte ein Staatsoffizier der CNN. “Es gibt eine Verbindung zwischen Rebellen und Drogenhändlern die wir unterbrechen müssen” sagt Tony Wayne von den Behörden. “Es ist auch Teil davon, die Herzen und Köpfe der Bevölkerung zu bekommen, denn in einigen Fällen werden die Bauern eingeschüchtert um Opium herzustellen.”

Die USA haben ihren Ansatz, mit den Mohnkulturen in Afghanistan umzugehen, vor kurzem geändert. In Afghanistan werden 90% des Welt-Opiums hergestellt, sowie das Derivat Heroin. Die USA haben die Ausrottungsprogramme gestoppt und zielen anstelle dessen auf Drogenhändler, insbesondere diejenigen welche mit den Taliban in Verbindung gebracht werden. Es wird geschätzt dass die Taliban mehrere hunderte Millionen Dollar durch den Schwarzmarkt erhalten.

Die USA und ihre NATO-Verbündeten (darunter auch Deutschland) versuchen auch den Opiumanbau mit alternativen Entwicklungsprogrammen entgegenzuwirken. Diese Programme sind aber sehr schwer durchzuführen in einer Gegend, in der es keine effektive Kontrolle der Afghanischen Regierung oder Westmächten gibt.

Die Attacke auf den Samenhafen kommt für die USA und die NATO in dem bisher blutigsten Monat in ihrer nahezu achtjährigen Invasion und Besetzung von Afghanistan. Nach dem Kriegsopferzähler I Casualities sind im Monat Juli bislang 63 westliche Soldaten getötet worden.

via Drug War Chronicle

Es sind zur Zeit über 700 Bundeswehrsoldaten in Afghanistan stationiert, zusätzlich ist die sogenannte Quick Reaction Force seit Monaten im Lager. Bisher sind 33 Soldaten aus Deutschland getötet worden.

Mon, 08/10/2009 - 9:46am Permalink

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