Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Which war wants winning?

By many measures, Afghanistan is falling apart. The Afghan opium crop has flourished in the past two years and now represents 93 percent of the world’s supply, with an estimated street value of $38 billion in 2006. That money helps bankroll an insurgency that is now operating virtually within sight of the capital, Kabul.

Meanwhile… To satisfy Western demands that [the opium] supply chain is broken, Afghan farmers have had their entire crops destroyed. Other farmers who voluntarily gave up growing poppies on the promise of financial help to grow other crops say the help never materialised. Reports have emerged of farmers made destitute by the West’s anti-poppy campaign, who have resorted to selling their children in order to stay financially afloat. The targeting of the poppy fields is widely believed to be a major factor in the popularity of the Taliban insurgency in the south and east. British troops facing some of the most intense fighting are in Helmand, a major centre of poppy cultivation. […] Western anti-narcotics agencies have rejected the suggestion of cultivating Afghan opium for medicinal use … Doctors propose using Afghan opium as NHS pain-killer

Evidently, the War on Drugs trumps the War on Terror as the fruits of the former undermine the prosecution of the latter, with the Afghan economy in the crossfire.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Just Damn

Officers said they tried to conduct a field sobriety test, but Ingram was nearly too intoxicated to stand.
...and solar powered flashlights work splendidly in the sunshine.