Sorry for the poppies!

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Skynet, Oct 20, 2008.

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  1. Sorry for the poppies!
    A solution to the problem of opium trafficking from Afghanistan is as far away as it ever was

    Nushin Arbabzadah, Monday October 20 2008 16.30 BST

    "It's because of you people that our children are dying of heroin addiction," said my boss years ago when I worked at a German TV station. He had just found out that I was Afghan. I stood my ground but I never forgot his words. Recently, President Karzai has been hearing similar views. That's why when he tours the west, he often apologises on behalf of his people: sorry for the poppies! Then back home he tells Afghans that drugs have tarnished their reputation abroad.

    For the majority of Afghan poppy farmers, reputation is the least of their worries. One of them summed up the reason: "Do you think they give us visas to go abroad anyway?" Their concerns is much more acute. If you click on this link at about three minutes into the footage you see poppy eradication in action in Helmand province. A horrified boy, crying and pointing at noisy tractors that are mowing down the poppies, is saying, "They are destroying our poppies. How are we going to eat with no money?" This is what Afghans call zolom, injustice and oppression of biblical proportions, as embodied in the qur'anic stories of the pharaohs. The Taliban understood this, exploited the situation and came to the farmers' rescue. Click here and four and a half minutes into the footage you'll hear the sound of Taliban machine guns attacking an eradication team in Urozgan. Read this article to understand that the Taliban is using suicide bombers to attack government eradication campaigns. This is the Afghan side of the story. The government is protecting serious drug smugglers, while small farmers are forced to seek Taliban protection. Little wonder, than, that Afghans compare their government to a bowl of thin soup, it's so watery and lacking in substance.
    More on the link
  2. Poor argument I feel, probably caused by using the American version of Word.

    Change 'is' to 'are' , remove extraneous word 'protecting' and I think we're good to go.
  3. PTP, you're becoming cynical...!
  4. Never were truer words spoken.

    Wasn't President Kahzi's brother found to have several tons of heroin in the basement of his house?

    Sorry my arrse. Time to break out the crop dusters and put in a bulk order for paraquat. Tell the farmers that if they plant poppies again next year, their land will be useless for years.
  5. Alternatively, the West steps in and pays the going rate for the crop and uses it in the pharmaceutical industry.

  6. I have to agree with Litotes, as there is a shortage of opiates for medicinal use and there is an abundance of poppies in Afganistan, you would think that it would make sense, however the drug eradication program is US lead and they wont look at any other solution.
  7. Far to logical and sensible!

    Why on earth would UK/US Governments want to get and keep people on side when it's easier to destroy their livlihood (and give the Taliban more supportors) rather than look for ways to help them provide for their families?! :roll:
  8. A good idea but I don't think it would work in practice.

    The farmers will not sell their poppies to legitimate, pharmaceutical companies. If they did, the local, Afghan drug barons would kill them.

    The drug barons will not sell to legitimate buyers because they will earn vastly more selling to junkies on the black market. A 300mg dose of diamorphine costs the NHS about £25. I am told by friends in low places that the same amount of heroin will cost a junkie about £60. The junkie end user pays more than double the price that the legitimate end user pays.

    That's the nature of markets. The illegitimate, 'black' market will always pay a premium to divert goods away from the legitimate market. Junkies will steal enough to pay whatever it takes to get their next fix. The opium 'wholesalers' know this so they will not get involved with the legitimate market.

    Bottom line? Agent Orange is the only answer.
  9. That's because it goes through far more 'middle-men' in the illegal market. The drug barons in Afghanistan aren't getting anything like £60 for that dose. That's what some scrote on the streets of the UK sold it for.

    He bought it from a slightly nastier scrote with a bigger flat-screen telly, who bought it from a scrote with a BMW who bought it from some really wealthy scrote running a dodgy trucking company that does lots of jobs on the continent who..

    All these people have their own slice of that £60.
  10. The entire population of Afghanistan is less than 30 million. We'd all be better of just buying them out. Spend enough to fix the place - damn sight less money than the Govt just gave the Banks. The black market will disappear if there is a legitimate market - See Mafia and Alcohol, 1930s.
    OK, they moved into gambling, drugs and prostitution - again areas which disappear if its legal.

    Buy the whole crop at a decent price, pay the Afghans enough that they themselves take out Al Q and the Talib - most of whom will melt into the background and go back to being the farmers/shopkeepers they want to be. Use self-interest to protect infrastructure as its built. the problem at the moment is we are pussy-footing about. The result is we are pissing people off and actually making things worse.
  11. Today I saw dozens, literally dozens of people glorifying this evil trade by wearing poppies on the public! What were they thinking of?