Poppies

I agree with Karzai’s cabinet, spraying Afghanistan’s poppy fields with herbicide is likely to poison the groundwater, kill wildlife, damage other crops, and sicken people.

But somehow I don’t think that’s why he made this decision.

Rebuffing months of U.S. pressure, Afghan President Hamid Karzai decided against a Colombia-style program to spray this country’s heroin-producing poppies after the Cabinet worried herbicide would hurt legitimate crops, animals and humans, officials said Thursday.

The decision, reportedly made Sunday, dashes U.S. hopes for mounting a campaign using ground sprayers to poison poppy plants to help combat Afghanistan’s opium trade after a record crop in 2006.

Karzai instead “made a very strong commitment” to lead other eradication efforts this year and said if that didn’t cut production he would allow spraying in 2008, a Western official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

[snip]

Karzai’s decision capped months of behind-the-scenes pressure to allow spraying like that already used in countries such as Colombia, where coca plants supply much of world’s cocaine.

Just last month, John Walters, top U.S. anti-drug official, said Afgfhan poppies would be sprayed, although he did not say when. Walters, on a visit to Kabul, warned that Afghanistan could turn into a narco-state unless “giant steps” were made toward eliminating poppies.

However, no top Afghan officials had said publicly the government would carry out spraying.

-Holden

3 thoughts on “Poppies

  1. Paul in LA says:

    The genocide of poor Colombians using these poisons shows the insanity of such approaches.
    But what can you expect of the genocidist of Iraq? Hundreds of thousands of tons of crystallized half-strength uranium dumped on Iraq will cause how many thousands and millions of cases of childhood leukemia and cancer?
    Preventing births/keeping the resources once no one remains to claim them.
    Call for nationalizing the Iraqi oil fields, find self at Bagram being tortured. “Terrorist” is anyone who seeks justice when the criminally insane run the courts.

  2. cicio says:

    What a coincidence! Just today the BBC published a report on the
    critial shortage of diamorphine (something like that) in the
    hospital systems in Europe and how the poppy harvest could not
    only alleviate it, but do so at very little cost. Also how much more effective this product is compared to the pharmaceutical
    concoctions used. Apparently both US and UK governments, together with the pharmaceutical industry are vehemently opposed.

  3. Hoppy says:

    Poppies can be used to produce opium. Opium has many medical uses. Unfortunately, it also has a use when converted to heroin that isn’t beneficial to the world. So, we want to use chemical warfare on Afghanistan to fix that problem. Corn can be used to produce meat and ethanol fuel. Unfortunately, it also has a use when converted to drinkable alcohol that isn’t beneficial to the world. So, I assume we are planning to use chemical warfare on Kansas and Nebraska?
    I realize that expecting rational thought from this administration is a flight from reality, but please, let’s not join them in the fantasy world.

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