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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Blood for poppies?

The lead editorial in today's Saskatoon StarPhoenix deftly traces out the disastrous connection between the United States' War on Drugs and its foreign policy in Latin America and Afghanistan:

Although it is estimated that the U.S. taxpayers already have squandered half a trillion dollars in the war, there have been few reported successes. In fact, by ignoring the best advice of its own officials, the U.S. has contributed to the strengthening of an industry that, over the years, has extended a minor political squabble in Colombia into the longest-running insurrection in this hemisphere, fuelled the insurgency in Afghanistan, disrupted attempts to govern Southeast Asia and seriously damaged the economic benefits of the third partner in the North American Free Trade Agreement.

It has also cost the lives of Canadian soldiers, who are under instructions now to attack at will those Afghans who've been forced to participate in the drug industry due to lack of alternative opportunities and the determination of Taliban fighters to fund their operations with the illegal trade.

The announcement of a "war on terrorism" is deemed to have been foolish, because of the impossibility to measure successes in such an endeavour. It is even more foolish to pretend that such a phony war somehow can be won by putting even more soldiers into the field, employing heavier military equipment and supporting the darkest of regimes on the promise they'd become anti-narco allies.

For every gain in the drug war, there are a dozen losses. When the U.S. got control of the privateers who ran cocaine through the Caribbean, it caused a consolidation of illegal forces to spring up in Mexico. When the U.S. focused on shutting down the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia, Afghanistan's fertile fields to sprang into poppy blossoms.

Read the rest.

The Western Standard on an other way for NATO to deal with poppy production in Afghanistan.

Posted by Kalim Kassam on February 3, 2009 in International Affairs | Permalink


...maybe Saskatoon should first look about cleaning up its own backyard. West Saskatoon is a no go zone for a lot of cabbies.

Posted by: tomax7 | 2009-02-03 1:37:10 PM

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