UN warns of soaring Afghan opium

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by msr, Sep 2, 2006.

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  1. msr

    msr LE

    Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is expected to soar by 59% this year, providing 92% of the world's supply of opium, the United Nations says.


    You've got to hand it to Antonio Costa's mastery of the understatement: "The political, military and economic investments by coalition countries are not having much visible impact on drug cultivation."

  2. It seems ludicrous in the extreme to want to destroy the opium crops in Afghanistan when there's a worldwide dearth of it for producing pharmaceutical drugs.

    It's the simplistic Septic mind - opium, baaaad! no opium, but plenty of christianity, goooood! patients in intense pain because of a lack of suitable drugs, who gives a fück!

  3. Couldn't agree more! We need the stuff for legit medical uses, so why the hell don't we initiate a massive programme to support these farmers; buy the stuff at a good (fair) market price, and in the process undercut the Taleban and their criminal associates who are at present flooding our "underground economy" with low grade, "dirty" heroin?!

    1. Protect the farmers & their crops.
    2. Provide agricultural support/ advice etc. Plus medical aid to families etc..
    3. Give them regular contracts as licenced suppliers to pharmaceutical firms; in return they get a guaranteed good living & the means to improve their lives.
    4. Totally undermine both the Taleban in Afghanistan AND much of the illegal trade in heroin to/ in the West.

    Yes, expensive initially, but hardly more so than the present situation, but in the long-term would pay great dividends by tying their essential interests to our own. At present they're terrified that our "campaign" will leave them destitute, and guess what? - Mr Taleban & Co. play on this fear to great effect!

    "Hearts & Minds"?! IMO, our leadership is just plain thick - criminally so.
  4. Sorry to interject and totally agree with the concept of taking the drugs away from the dealers but i seem to remember in the dark days following Sept 11 it was stated that a side effect of overthrowing the Talibs would be an increase in the production of opium as, as well as holding hands, wearing make up and banning women they had also destroyed opium production throughout afghanistan. Sorry I'll get back in my box now :)
  5. They did, but not now! Heroin is a nice earner, and even better if it's undermining the foul Infidel! Next you'll be telling me that PIRA are all good Catholic "boyos" who'd have no truck with numbers rackets, illegal gambling, drugs & prostitution! And all those fine upstanding Calvinists of the "Red Hand Commandos" et al wouldn't deal with such filthy things either!

    In my experience, when dealing with religious fanatics of any ilk (Jew, Christian, Muslim or whatever) you can be sure of only the following:
    1. They're hypocrites.
    2. They don't give a toss about anyone who isn't in their club.
    3. They'll do anything to prevail over those whom they regard as damned.

    At present, the Taliban are representing themselves as protectors of the farmers' essential interests; a great propaganda line that's serving them well. We should, IMO, be attacking this directly with counter-propaganda plus hard-nosed commercial initiatives (backed by military force) that represent a clear "win - win" scenario for us and Afghan poppy growers.
  6. Wessex Man is absolutely right. Global shortage of painkillers, and not too far away from Afghanistan is India with a developed, skillful and growing pharmaceutical sector. With some nerve, some imagination and good logistics the opium crop could be bought by the international lending organisations - World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Fund (put your money where your avowed opposition to terrorism is, guys) and sold on to Indian pharmaceutical producers.

    Some Afghan farmers might then see the benefits of farming to supply a legitimate business, others could be encouraged to diversify. Some, of course, will continue to support the Taliban. But it would be a start.
  7. In complete agreement, one major hold the Drug Barons have over the farmers is that they will lend money against future crops of opium at better rates than the loan sharks, so in times of need (and lets face it farming in Afghan is not a soft number) they become indebted. Some of these debtors have been told that all debts will be forgiven if they take up arms against you know who. The EU & UN launched a micro credit scheme to try to fight this, but typically it is almost impossible to get a loan unless you are used to filling in forms in triplicate, are VERY PC and Gender aware and can wait the six months while it is all processed. All while your kids are starving. No wonder they say fcuk it and walk down to the market to shake hands with the local Mr Big. I would.

    Also the cost of buying the entire harvest at source would actually be rather cheap, it's not pricey up country you know.
  8. The Government should be striking deals to get them to grow crops for Biofuels...
  9. Bio fuels could be a good alternative, especially with the price of crude at the moment. You could give the farmers a better than good price to get them on to that crop.
  10. Bio fuels is a very good plan, just depends what type can grow there - I shall do some reseach.

    Good call Fatbadge.
  11. Can someone who knows about these things tell us where denial of production at source has ever worked? I recall the money and effort put into Columbia and they seem to be still on line. The vast profits will invariably overtake the money Governments can spend - even where a sizeable proportion of that money is not skimmed off in corruption. I understand that places like Singapore are doing quite well - death to traffickers. Let them grow the filthy stuff. Stop them marketing it should be effective if done with appropriate sternness. The old idea of tolerating users so as to get to the head of the distribution snake has to go. Cut down on the users and get serious with the distributers.
  12. Good call Fatbadge.

    You can get vegetable oil from Poppy , but I guess I wouldn't want to be sitting behind a car powered by that at the traffic lights :D

    Go here, to see how many gallons per hectare you can extract. Poppy is one of the biggest!

  13. What type of crop can grow there? Hemp, Mary Jane, weed. It'll grow anywhere. It's a fückin' weed, man.

    Oil from the hemp, plus paper and textiles from the stalks. In addition, hemp is one of the very few plants that actually enriches the soil, even as a monoculture. It also requires practically no weedkillers to keep it healthy and you can produce five times the amount of paper from a given area than from trees grown on the same acreage. Plus you can harvest forever.

  14. msr

    msr LE