Afghan Democracy In Action

From the BBC:

"Leaders of a south-east Afghanistan tribe have told its members they must vote for Hamid Karzai in presidential polls or their houses will be burned.


"Militants from the Taleban, who are active in the same area, have repeatedly threatened to kill people who do vote in next month's election.

"A Karzai spokesman refused to condemn the announcement."

"Vote Threat To Afghan Tribesmen" by Crispin Thorold, 24 September 2004
Is the Heroin trade still ticking along nicely?
Lovely ,

I do like to hear stories ,where our calming influence has had a beneficial effect on the local economy. :D
PartTimePongo said:
Is the Heroin trade still ticking along nicely?
According to UN figures, a bumper crop of 4000-plus tonnes this year. No one's yet managed to persuade Afghan farmers, far less the warlords funded by the opium profits, that they should switch production when they can make five times more per acre growing poppies than growing wheat. It's a depressing bottom line.

Simply eradicating the poppy fields will only drive the rural Afghans directly into the Taliban ranks. It's a no-win mess.
The UK-led campaign against the narcotics' trade has arrested just 20 people of the 1.7m involved in the business in Afghanistan and destroyed a stockpile of 32 tonnes of opium paste, the base blocks which are processed into heroin, out of 4100 tonnes. Not a great track record. There are rumours that they've been told to adopt a "softly-softly" approach to avoid upsetting anyone on the run-up to the Afghan elections.

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