Who Hijacked Our Country

Friday, January 26, 2007

Afghanistan, Opium and the War on Drugs

Afghanistan is one of the world’s poorest countries. On top of that, they’ve been in a perpetual state of war since 1979 when they were invaded by the Soviet Union. War with the Soviets; civil war; being enslaved by the Taliban; and now civil war again as the Taliban threatens to take over again. And about the only lucrative industry in that whole country is growing opium poppies.

But wait! You peasants can't grow opium. You stop that right now! Don’t you realize? Millions of incredibly wealthy people (compared to you) ten thousand miles away are getting themselves addicted to an opium byproduct. Sorry, all you dirt-poor farmers. Sure you'd like to eat and put a roof over your head. Tough shit!

You understand, of course. Americans are choosing to get themselves hooked on the heroin which is derived from your opium poppies. This in turn gives another excuse for our moralists and Biblehumpers (America’s equivalent to your Taliban) to go on the warpath and start spewing fire and brimstone. Their predecessors used to round up thousands of heretics (infidels to you) and do unspeakable things to them. They had tortures that your Taliban haven’t even dreamed of.

Nowadays, thanks to our secular democratic form of government, our Taliban/ Biblehumpers are pretty much reduced to just going on TV and making douchebags out of themselves.

But, our government spends hundreds of billions of dollars every year, just to create laws against drug use and other victimless “crimes.” Then we spend hundreds of billions more dollars to lock up millions of people who violate these laws.

And as you dirt-poor Third World peasants know all too well, the world revolves around what the American government wants. What it wants, it gets. (Just ask Salvador Allende.) And it wants YOU to stay poor and miserable, so that the American Taliban can stay smug and happy.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has been a sore spot for years. I remember they used to call it the Golden Triangle along with Burma and another country. I also remember when the late Columnist Jack Anderson used a show documents that the US would spend hundreds of millions buying the opium crop - then burning it but what do you know Heroin still made the Market. That's because the farmers would just throw anything in the fire and then sell the opium on the Market.

We were supposed to be putting all sorts of money into subsidizing their farmers to grow other crops. Another promise broken I guess.

Has anybody noticed that our Drug Money just goes to pad pockets rather then fight drugs? Just like Homeland Security it gives localities an opportunity to apply for grants just to say they will fight for drugs.

It seems to be a better waste of money to keep it here, hiring more police and getting new equipment then it does by sending it overseas to some sorry third world country and trying to encourage their farmers not to grow drugs.


January 27, 2007 at 6:48 AM  
Blogger libhom said...

The war on drugs is a terrible waste and shame. Applying it to the Afghan people truly is mean and small.

One thing to note: our government is not that secular. The guy illegally occupying the White House due to two stolen elections is a militant, Christian fundamentalist who pushes the agenda of the Christian Taliban.

January 27, 2007 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Erik: Yeah, it’s a total waste. This War on Drugs has been a breeding ground for every scam ever invented. There's no way something this lucrative is ever going to be squelched by law enforcement. You'd think our supply-and-demand free-enterprise conservatives would understand this. Poverty-stricken farmers are obviously going to grow whichever crop brings in the most cash. If they can make more money growing coca leaves or opium poppies than by growing corn and potatoes, then that’s what they're gonna grow.

Libhom: You're right, this is mean and petty as well as being wasteful. In the linked article, our government wants to poison the opium crop with chemicals that'll also poison the water supply, livestock, wildlife and other crops. And yes, Bush and his puppetmasters would be exactly like the Taliban and al Qaeda and the Spanish Inquisition if they weren’t restrained by our system of checks and balances. Thank God we still have them (for now).

January 27, 2007 at 12:22 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

What a lot of people don't realize is that opium is both a cash bounty for the Taliban AND a reason a lot of Afghanis are turning towards them again.

Thanks to the El Shrubbo del Estupido policy of turning our backs on Afghanistan in favor of starting a new war that was unneeded, a good many Afghanis were left in the new "democracy" El Shrubbo crowed about as little more than slave laborers on the opium plantations of warlords. For these people, even life under the Taliban was better.

January 27, 2007 at 7:24 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jolly Roger: Our government really dropped the ball with Afghanistan. We should have either not invaded them in late 2001, or finished what we started.

January 28, 2007 at 1:20 AM  
Blogger J. Marquis said...

I hate to be cynical but as long as there is an Afghanistan they will grow opium poppies. Unless we're willing to subsidize them like we do American farmers.

January 28, 2007 at 7:19 AM  
Blogger People in the Sun said...

On the one hand, we have the example of the US, which was built on hemp produce. A change in produce in Afghanistan is possible with enough government assistance. When I say assistance, though, I don't mean simply destroying the present livelihood of farmers who will happily turn to the Taliban for assistance, but a world effort to change the economy of the country with as little interference in farmers' livelihood as possible.

On the other hand, you're right when you talk about supply and demand. The answer has to come from regulation rather than by a false war on drugs.

January 28, 2007 at 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Tom Harper said...

J. Marquis: If our government was serious about the War on Drugs, and if that was a worthwhile undertaking (which I don’t think it is), then the only way to make it work would be paying Afghani farmers not to grow opium and paying South American farmers not to grow coca leaves. And of course paying millions of pot growers not to grow the evil weed. But that approach is only for members of the Corporate Agribusiness community.

People In The Sun: Yup, if we want to interfere with the livelihoods of Afghani farmers, we need to follow through by subsidizing them and/or helping them switch to other crops. It’s not enough to just march in and say “stop growing the one crop that'll pay your bills for you,” but that seems to be how the American government deals with third world countries.

January 28, 2007 at 1:10 PM  

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