[ExI] US Gives Up On Eradicating Afghanistan's Opium
thespike at satx.rr.com
Sun Jun 28 04:29:57 UTC 2009
<http://therawstory.com/>US Gives Up On Eradicating Afghanistan's Opium
STEPHEN C. WEBSTER - The Raw Story
[My friend Stephan Schwartz comments:]
Years ago, when I was in government during the Viet Nam War, I was
put on a committee whose focus was what to do about the drugs grown
in the Gold Triangle. We were, at the time, spending tens of millions
-- today it would be hundreds of millions -- on an eradication
program that not only didn't work, but was alienating the locals.
There was a CIA guy on the committee, and I asked him once over
lunch, what did the locals get for their work? If memory serves he
said the warlords, who controlled the whole thing made about $23
million. I was stupefied, and at the next meeting I asked, why don't
we just buy the damn stuff from the warlords, and turn it into legal
medical morphine--of which we were then having trouble getting
enough. An incredibly supercilious little functionary sent over by
the White House pronounced, "We will never do such a thing. It is
against Administration policy to buy illegally grown narcotics." I
responded, but it would only cost a fraction of the money we are now
spending, it would break the source linkage that was leading to the
addiction of American servicemen, and people would stop hating us.
Everyone looked away as if I had farted in church and the
conversation rolled on. I was taken off the committee three days later.
I wonder what it would cost to buy all the opium in Afghanistan, and
if we have learned anything at all in the intervening four decades.
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