Obama Goes to War Against Afghan Opium

In a renewed effort to stamp out the Taliban by cutting off their cash flow, Obama is sending 20,000 troops into opium producing regions of Afghanistan. It's going to be a disaster. Jacob Sullum dug through this New York Times story and found several reasons why this plan will fail spectacularly:

1. Although the Taliban "often fade away when confronted by a conventional army,"
they "will probably stand and fight" to protect their revenue stream.

2. "The terrain is a guerrilla's dream. In addition to acres of shoulder-high poppy plants, rows and rows of hard-packed mud walls, used to stand up grape vines, offer ideal places for ambushes and defense."  

3. "The opium is tilled in heavily populated areas...The prospect of heavy fighting in populated areas could further alienate the Afghan population."

4. "Among the ways the Taliban are believed to make money from the opium trade is by charging farmers for protection; if the Americans and British attack, the Taliban will be expected to make good on their side of that bargain."

5. Opium poppies are "by far the most lucrative crop an Afghan can farm."

6. "The opium trade now makes up nearly 60 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product, American officials say."

7. "The country's opium traffickers typically offer incentives that no Afghan government official can: they can guarantee a farmer a minimum price for the crop as well as taking it to market, despite the horrendous condition of most of Afghanistan's roads."

8. "Even if the Americans are able to cut production, shortages could drive up prices and not make a significant dent in the Taliban's profits."

There's also the fact that there's enough opium buried somewhere in Afghanistan to supply the entire world for years. Sorry guys, eradication won't work. Stop trying it.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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This time will be different

Our troops have a shiny new car, "the Stryker, a relatively quick, nimble armored vehicle that can roam across the vast areas that span the frontier." That will make all the difference.

Just after inauguration I wrote to the White House and pointed out the alternatives. The a-holes are doing just what the drug war fanatics demand of any U.S. government.

IMPEACH OBAMA, BIDEN AND CLINTON FOR GROSS INCOMPETENCE.

Dispelling notions

There is a notion that Obama is smarter than George W. Bush was. But even Bush saw the futility of going to war against the farmers. That this would not win hearts and minds.

Obama is an authoritarian thug. A bully both at home and around the world.

Obama is just another pharma puppet...

The opuim that comes out of Afghanistan should be allowed into the legal world market.

Pain medicine is desperately needed and in short supply... but pharma wants that world supply to be their synthetic opiates... at horribly inflated prices.

Nothing christians hate more than something natural.

we do not need the amount of

we do not need the amount of opium that is coming out of that country the government needs to shut down most of the farms and control the amount that is grown!The situation that is going on is bad if you dont sut down the farm the taliban will continue to have funding.To me opium is just as bad as cocain AND FOR ALL YOU AMERICANS THAT USE THESE DRUGS YOU ARE HELPING OUT ALL THE BAD PEOPLE THAT are trying to hurt helpless peoplein there country and ours the people of the nation will see this but at what cost i do not know

What right to be in Afghanistan?

We have no right to be there at all.

This new American war enterprise, like the last few, is simply a using-up of guns and missiles to keep the military-police state complex rolling. It is imperialism, the likes of which has formerly came from old Russia and other totalitarian nations.

Ask yourself: what would I do if suddenly military aircraft and soldiers, tanks and missiles from some foreign nation, were present in this country? Would you invite them in for tea, or rather make up a shitload of Malatov cocktails?

No bully survives long in the schoolyard. You might be able to keep nukes from these people, but there are plenty of other, even worse methods of mass destruction they can appeal to that are easily manufactured and distributed. Should such a travesty ever occur, realize it is the American government that has asked for it.

And let's not forget Israel and oil, the two reasons we occupy the Middle East. Yet still, no occupation in the Sudan, or Rwanda.

This country is now run by criminals just like the mafia ran cities. The illusion of choice makes us think we are free, when either the red or blue team representative has already been cleared by the representatives of big banking, insurance, big business, police, military, and pharmaceutical industries.

As for what this has to do with pot's being legal? Probably not much. It would be in such a complex's interests to keep the sucker-stooge people happy. Bread and circuses, as Caesar said. In fact, I think legalization will be accelerated, so more atrocities can be committed while we celebrate.

AC

Why don't we....

...just buy the crop? It would probably be cheaper and safer in the long run. I think the Afgan farmers and citizens could appreciate that, and not hate us further. Of course that would mean cooperating and not dominating. Can we do that?

terrible shortage of morphine based pain relief in third world

It seems logical to buy up the opium crop and distribute it to the medical systems in poor countries. The objection seems to be that Afghanis will just grow more and sell to us and the drug dealers. That explains why it wouldn't be a complete panacea, but not why it wouldn't reduce the problem of illegal opium sales funding the Taliban. If Afghani farmers were giving an allotment of opium to legally grow, we would only be taking on farmers who got greedy and wanted to grow more, not farmers only trying to sustain their families.
Obama's drug policies have been a mixed bag of good and bad, and this is one of the losers.

Why are we dealing with this?

Honestly, I don't see why we should be working on this. What is done in Afghanistan should be dealt with by their own authorities. We just can't be the authority everywhere; there is no way for one group to keep everything under control.

Support for Drug War is TREASON!

And children are nothing more than cannon fodder.

Central to any Afghan policy is the opium crop. In his October 2007 report to the U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute military strategy expert John A Glaze asserted that: "...an estimated 70 percent of the Taliban’s income now comes from protection money and the sale of opium."

Foreign policy and Afghan expert New York University Professor Barnett R. Rubin in September 2006 told the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee(Including Obama foreign policy advisor and drug warrior Sen. John Kerry): "The international drug control regime, which criminalizes narcotics, does not reduce drug use, but it does produce huge profits for criminals and the armed groups and corrupt officials who protect them. Our drug policy grants huge subsidies to our enemies."

"Our drug policy grants huge subsidies to our enemies." And still Barack Obama and the Democratic leaders support this policy!

Since then nothing has been done by the U.S. government to address this significant foreign and military policy issue.

Knowing these things anyone in the United States government who continues to support the drug war is supporting giving America's sworn enemies financial "aid".

Since the 1990's the drug war leadership in America has known for fact that bin Laden is using heroin not only as a source of funding but also as an asymmetric weapon against the west. Literally to destabilize western culture.

Heroin In The Holy War
Dec 1998, Indian Times
"The crop will be opium and the farmer will be Osama bin Laden, the most wanted terrorist in the world. Bin Laden, accused by the United States of bombing two of their embassies in East Africa this summer and a string of other attacks, sees heroin as a powerful new weapon in his war against the West, capable of wreaking social havoc while generating huge profits, according to sources in eastern Afghanistan and in Pakistan."

Drug warrior, and Obama foreign policy advisor, Sen. John Kerry told reporters as the World Trade Center and Pentagon still smoldered, "That's part of their revenge on the world," Kerry said. "Get as many people drugged out and screwed up as you can." 21 Sept. 2001

In 2003 Newsweek gave this campaign targeting western children a name, "silent jihad".
Flowers Of Destruction
July 2003, Newsweek
Some militants view opium as something more than a source of cash; they say it's a legitimate weapon in what they call a "silent jihad." Khurshid, a 20-year-old Nangarhar native, says drugs are Afghanistan's way of striking back at the West for sending "liquor, obsceneTV and pornographic films" into Afghanistan: "Immoral Western culture destroys the minds of our children, so it's only just that we export opium and heroin to destroy Western youths."
==========

Support for the war on drugs then provides both financial "aid" and tactical "comfort" to America's sworn enemies.

re "why are we dealing with this"

If we're going to be in Afghanistan, we have to deal with the Afghan opium crop because it because it's a major funding source for the Taliban. The Afghan gov't has neither the will nor the power to take them on. We're in Afghanistan because that's where the September 11 attack was planned and the Taliban continued to support al-Qaeda after the attack.
In general I agree with the earlier post that attacked American imperialism, but Afghanistan may be a special case.
But the war there is going badly, the government is hopelessly corrupt, and taking on every opium grower in the country isn't going to help at all. It's a mess and there's another one right across the border in Pakistan
-newageblues

The Un-Christian

"Nothing christians hate more than something natural."

Not christians, though faux christians- the romish-masonic of the criminal apostate shadow government.

Nothing in the Bible supports the drug war.

Afgan Heroin

...let's get real, we don't know how to peacefully settle the heroin problem. Pain ,suffering, & killing is all this government knows. Instead of paying a better price for the horse than the Taliban ( thus keeping our troops out of harms way) we will try again to fight another war we can't win. As long as Obama has the imperial power to throw American forces in harms way, no logical solution will ever be reached.

Yeah...

.. we (the USA) will try to destroy some of this years crop so that next years crop will retain it's price. Way to think! Or does Obama assume that once we destroy some of this years crop there will be less illegal opium available ? Not the way to think! Stupid is as stupid does. Theres got to be another way, and thinking people know it. What a fraud!

Other Reasons to Grow Opium

Other than the profits, there is a theft deterrent built into opium production that can’t be duplicated by most other agricultural products.

Harvesting opium involves slitting the poppy bulbs and then collecting the resin all within a narrow 24-hour time frame.  Once collected, the opium can be hidden or quickly sold.  Thieves don’t know the harvest schedule, except that it will fall somewhere within a much longer period of weeks.  So stealing newly produced opium is made difficult by a quick and discreet harvest by the grower.

If the Afghanis grew a conventional crop such as wheat, the big, bulky product could never be transported as easily as opium, and if stored for long periods of time in warehouses the wheat would get ripped off by bandits.

Opium is the perfect crop for the remote and restricted terrains of tribal Afghanistan, as well as for a country that lacks a modern police force that would normally protect stored farm products.  Policing the Afghan hinterland has already proven itself impossible for every invader since Alexander, so good luck to anyone trying to eradicate the Afghan poppy.

Giordano

Restore Afghanistanish hashish

In the early 70's there was a black Afghan hashish product with white mold on the outside, available in Europe where I was able to taste it. The USA proceeded to use its military-economic power to destroy that business for which the heroin became the replacement. In 1980 you could buy a reasonably strong brown Columbian riefer ("Got dat Bo!") but the USA spent billions destroying that business and cocaine took its place. Domestic growers took up the cause growing a high quality green riefer in grow houses but spy planes and heatsensing equipment suppressed enough of that business that those who were in it for the money switched to meth labs instead.

With this new initiative Obama's team may be sending the message that they might listen to suggestions, such as persuading the Afghan farmers to switch to cannabis again, but this time instead of hashish, refined THC to be placed in cartridges for use in E-CIGARETTES.

Unfortunately, those E-cigarettes may not be around

I found this comment over at Radley Balko's blog:

"Showing extraordinary short-sightedness even for a government agency, FDA plans to ban electric cigarettes. "
http://reason.com/blog/show/133265.html

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Nature Rules

I just blogged about this similar issue in regards to Marijuana. Man does not and will never have the power to destroy creation. Plants existed before or however you believe along side of man-kind. Nature is a force far greater than you could ever conquer! Besides, you have people out in this World who disagree with your hypocritical views on Nature, creation, and Goodness!!!

Corporate Greed, Political Corruption, and Environmental destruction only lead to human devastation! Without humans, where is the need for government?

I live in a supposed free Country based on a loosely interpreted document that has been altered as many times as the Catholic Church has changed Popes. The Bill of Rights- What a scholarly joke! I have no freedom to speak...Billy clubs and tear gas silence me. I have no choice of belief in religion or otherwise freely thinking rite. I shall not believe Plants existed before I or that anything my body shall need would be provided to me by the very one who's done so...

I should learn from my free education that the police protect us, the drug users offend us, and the politicians represent us! LOL I love this stupid illogical Country. I love the fact I can sit back free of sin, with compassion in my heart, tolerance like peace in my mind, and acceptance of all things changeable only through effort and grace of good will and know I'm above so many. It's very safe up here. I am eager to share with the Readers here- exactly how making those changes are possible and that the power of creation is the Ultimate Authority and Truth that will unite humanity for humanities sake of thriving in a volitile atmosphere.

I could go on and on and I will, but today I'm done. Nature Rules and Cops, Politicians, and Organized Religions are Poo!

To all those broken

One Balloon Away From Armageddon

As the United States has escalated the intensity of the war on the border with Pakistan the Taliban and other radicals have moved further into nuclear armed Pakistan. And further into its government.

The balloon effect could go nuclear if Obama insists on needlessly escalating the Afghan war.

The UN estimates that for

The UN estimates that for 2006, the contribution of the drug trade to the Afghan economy is of the order of 2.7 billion. What it fails to mention is the fact that more than 95 percent of the revenues generated by this lucrative contraband accrues to business syndicates, organized crime and banking and financial institutions. A very small percentage accrues to farmers and traders in the producing country.

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