UNODC Director Insults Entire World With Absurd Declaration

The discussion surrounding opium cultivation in Afghanistan has spiraled out of control as public officials who've accomplished nothing attempt to update us on their progress.

From the Washington Post:

"History teaches us that it will take a generation to render Afghanistan opium-free," UNODC executive director Antonio Maria Costa said in a statement.

What the hell is he talking about? The history of what? I’m not aware of any historical event that demonstrates the effectiveness of drug eradication, yet Costa is offering us a time-table. Pete Guither says it’s pathetic and I agree. But it’s also insulting to anyone who has better things to do than read made-up nonsense in the newspaper.

Apparently, the surprising news that Afghanistan is on the way to being free of opium emerged from a UNODC and World Bank study, which has been widely covered in the press this week. Yet it remains unclear what on earth they were studying.

Meanwhile, Costa has more to say:
"I ... propose that development support to farmers, the arrest of corrupt officials and eradication measures be concentrated in half a dozen provinces with low cultivation in 2006 so as to free them from the scourge of opium."

He said this would help double the number of provinces free of the opium poppy, the raw material for heroin, next year.

Again, I’m utterly confused. He wants to focus on areas where the problem is small in order to increase the number of places where there isn’t a problem? How is he going to eradicate opium from Afghanistan by focusing on regions with low cultivation?

Fortunately, their strategy is multidimensional:

The U.N.-World Bank report also called for a "smart and effective" strategy to curb demand in consuming countries, mainly in the West.


Basically they’re saying, "we’ll implement the world’s first effective program for substituting crops and eradicating widespread corruption, while you guys focus on developing the world’s first effective strategy for convincing people to completely stop doing heroin."

It’s a 210-page report and these, I assume, are the highlights.

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