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I'm sure most people here have seen this by now, but in case not, check out this post on the state of the drug war and its impact on Afghanistan. An excerpt:

Let’s say you’re trying to rebuild a country shattered by 25 years of terrorism and brutal civil war. Corruption, political instability, and warlordism are daily sources of terror. Most of the country is completely dependent on foreign aid. Farmers cannot support themselves on traditional crops, and grinding poverty is the norm all throughout the countryside. But there is one glimmer of hope: a lucrative trade that now supplies 60% of the entire GDP and employs one out of every ten people in the country. What should you do?

Obviously, you should shoot the farmers and burn their fields until their only lucrative cash crop is eradicated!

...Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that the trade is also fueling many problems for Afghanistan. Narco-trade is helping to foster widespread corruption, political instability, gang violence, and possibly some hefty smuggling profits for Taleban militants in western Pakistan. So the answer is… to escalate a violent conflict to keep Afghanistan’s only cash crop traded completely on the black market?

...A little while ago when NPR was running a similar story on the radio, they quoted some functionary from the Karzai government, who piously intoned—without giving any reasons—that if the opium trade isn’t brought under control, the experiment in democracy has failed. I don’t know; it seems to me that that should be the least of their concerns. How has Drug War imperialism come to warp our priorities so far beyond recognition that burning two thirds of a desprately poor country’s economy to the ground seems to be the only option anyone considers viable? Have they lost themselves so thoroughly in the twisted labyrinth of statist policy goals that they can’t see that they are effectively proposing a terror famine for the sake of controlling the trade in pain-killers? Have they flown so far off the handle that they just don’t care anymore?


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There's a post on my blog on

There's a post on my blog on the problem of opium addiction among afghan women, and the lack of treatment for addicts -- if you're interested.



ATSRTWT? As they say, read

ATSRTWT? As they say, read the whole thing.