Monday, August 27, 2007

Reason #213 Why We're Failing in Afghanistan

August 28, 2007

Afghan Opium Crop at Record High



KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 27 — Opium cultivation in Afghanistan grew by 17 percent in 2007, reaching record levels for the second straight year, according to a United Nations report released today.
Despite a $600 million American counternarcotics effort and an increase in the number of poppy-free provinces from 6 to 13, the report found that Afghanistan still produces more narcotics than Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined.
It now accounts for 93 percent of the world’s opium, up from 92 percent last year, the report said.
Antonio Maria Costa, the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes Policy, which issued the report, called the new figures “terrifying.” . . . “The longer we let this cancer spread the deeper its going to get into the economic system,” Mr. Costa said. “And the more difficult it’s going to be to cut it out.” _____________________________________________________________________ The longer we let you spout off about the only cash crop Afghanistan has, Mr. Costa, the longer we will avoid reality. American drug policy and the elevated prices that policy supports is destroying nations. Without exception, those are poor nations and without exception the farmers of those countries are paying the price, while the politicians prosper. The United States cannot rationally continue to punish the poor nations of the world for what is, almost exclusively, an American drug habit and market. Mr. Costa is part of the problem and his (and our) phony solution is impoverishing already broken national economies.

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