Posted by: rotenochsen | June 29, 2009


 Monday, June 29, 2009 9:03:50 AM

The Obama administration has been busy reversing or nullifying most of ex-president Bush’s policies, but the latest decision by the US envoy to Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke to stop destroying the poppy fields has me wondering if this decision came down from the Oval Office in D.C., or was it a unilateral decision by Holbrooke?

If Holbrooke made the decision he should be removed from his position as envoy, but if Obama directed him to stop the eradication of the poppy fields, that produce a major portion of the heroine that is sold on the streets of the USA. Then an investigation should be begun on the reasons why Obama decided to stop destroying these field of misery and death! Who put pressure on Obama to stop doing what stops heroine producing at the source?

The London Telegraph has a story on the Net today that explains Great Britain’s decision to continue eradication of the poppy fields despite the decision by Holbrooke.

The British Government said destroying poppy fields remained a key deterrent to growers and one of the “seven pillars” of its anti-opium strategy in Helmand province, just a day after Richard Holbrooke, the US envoy to Afghanistan, said that destroying the crop only drove poor farmers to join the insurgency.

In a reversal of policy, he said the United States would stop funding poppy eradication and instead concentrate on encouraging farmers to grow alternative crops.It sounds to me like one of the continuing policies of the erudyte talker we elected a president, who thinks we can talk anyone out of doing things we percieve as bad.
It is a fallacious argument, and planting agricultural products is a lot harder and requires proper cultivation. Whereas the planting of poppies is a simple and money making crop the Afgans have been doing for decades. I doubt talking will make them change. Destroying the crops make sure that the heroine does not get made, and the Britts realize that!

The Afghan government backed Britain’s stance and defended its previous efforts, which relied heavily on ripping up or flattening poppy plants, as “perfect

General Khodaidad, Afghan minister for counter narcotics, said his strategy had been “the right path”.

“We are happy with our strategy and we are working according to our strategy. I don’t see any deficiencies in our strategy, our strategy is perfect, our strategy is good.”

Mr Holbrooke’s reversal is the latest change in policy as the US struggles to stem a growing Taliban-led insurgency.Unfortunately the only way to stop the Taliban is to kill as many as we can. Talking and teaching them to grow crops will not stop those who hate us from trying to kill us. All out war including destruction of towns and hamlets that are known hiding places of Taliban leaders must be done! Else we are fighting a war of attrition like Viet Nam, and should leave for home now!

Ten thousand US troops have arrived in Helmand this month with commanders admitting overstretched British troops are at a “stalemate”.

International governments have repeatedly disagreed on how to tackle Afghanistan’s rampant opium business which supplies more than 90 per cent of the world’s heroin and feeds hundreds of millions of dollars to insurgent fighters.

Britain and other Nato allies strongly opposed former US plans to destroy poppies with crop-spraying planes saying it would only strengthen the increasing insurgency.

Mr Holbrooke, speaking at a Group of Eight summit dedicated to Afghanistan, said he now felt eradication was “a waste of money”. He said it “might destroy some acreage, but it didn’t reduce the amount of money the Taliban got by one dollar”.

He added: “The farmers are not our enemy, they’re just growing a crop to make a living. It’s the drug system. So the US policy was driving people into the hands of the Taliban.”

Britain leads international reconstruction efforts in Helmand province, where 60 per cent of the Afghan opium crop is produced.

The British government is spending more than £290 million on a three-year-programme of eradication, support for farmers and pursuit of drug barons and traffickers.

And the British have good reason to want to eradicate thepoppy fields.According to the NHS report, most new heroin users are aged 18 to 35, but a significant number are between 14 and 16.
In some areas, children between 10 and 12 have even been trying the drug.
Heroin use is spreading out of inner cities across the country due to cheap and easily available supplies, said the report.
Users are both smoking the drug and injecting it.

British officials denied there was tension with the US over the policy change and said the detail had not been decided.But they made the right decision!

A spokeswoman at the Department for International Development said: “Eradication is a key part because of the deterrent effect, not because we are going to destroy the whole crop.” She said eradication targeted big growers rather than poverty-stricken small farmers.
What I want to know is why did we change our policy. The reason that they will join the Taliban if we destroy their crop of poppies doesn’t wash. What are they using as statistics to back up their disastrous decision to stop eradication?


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