To the People

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Good News for Afghanistan

It feels good to do an up-beat Afghanistan post. Who even knew it was possible?
From the Independent:
A Downing Street spokesman confirmed last night that Mr Blair is now considering whether to back a pilot project that would allow some farmers to produce and sell their crops legally to drugs companies. His change of heart has surprised the Foreign Office, which recently denied that licit poppy production was being considered. A freedom of information request has revealed that the Government looked carefully at proposals to buy up Afghanistan's poppy crop as early as 2000, under the Taliban. The removal of that regime - justified to both US and British voters partly in terms of a victory in the "war on drugs" - has made it politically difficult to financially reward poppy farmers.

But the links between drug warlords, terrorism and the Taliban are clear. Traffickers hold poor farmers in a form of bondage through the supply of credit, paid back in opium. Many of those fighting British troops during the winter months will return to their villages to harvest poppy crops in the spring and summer. The traffickers' huge profits help to fund the fight against NATO troops.
Whether this plan goes anywhere or not is anyone's best guess. What's important, is that a major NATO ally is discussing the possibility of a change of course in Afghanistan. Count that alone as a victory against the global War on Drugs.

Related links here, here, and here. Knock yourself out with the "Afghanistan" tag to see a few of my previous posts. Full article here.

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