Wednesday, December 03, 2003


I will never be what they call in the blogosphere, Insta-launched. Now I admit I started reading the Instapundit when I read about the phenonemon. This guy Glenn Reynolds is apparently the number one blogger in the world and if he links to you, thousands of people will hit your page. So I thought hey, that would be pretty neat and I checked out his stuff.

I read his page for three days and the only thing we agreed on was his stance on duct tape. He's so to the right, no way is he going to launch my stuff but I read him somewhat regularly nonetheless because I find him a mannerly and fairly reasonable voice for the right. I want to consider adverse arguments on the issues and he at least does not raise my blood pressure.

He posted something on Afghanistan today however that I couldn't ignore and I emailed him.


Afghanistan's two main northern warlords handed over dozens of tanks and heavy guns Tuesday, putting aside their personal hostility and placing a measure of trust in the U.S.-backed government of President Hamid Karzai. . . .

The weaponry was surrendered to the new Afghan National Army under a deal between the warlords brokered with the help of British peacekeepers.


Interesting indeed. If you read the entire article, it's not really all that cheery. He seems to have missed the reference to the Taliban resurgence. You remember the Taliban of course, we freed the Afghani people from their evil regime.

Karzai's government has little control outside the capital. Much of the country is controlled by warlords, and resurgent Taliban rebels have stepped up attacks in the south and east in recent months. Many officials believe that national elections scheduled for June will have to be postponed because of the security situation.

In southern Uruzgan province, an Afghan soldier fighting alongside U.S. forces was killed Monday in a clash with unidentified gunmen in a former Taliban stronghold, the U.S. military said.

Peace in the north also remains shaky.

Yeah, already one of the warlords is complaining he gave up more stuff than the other guy did. It didn't really sound like that good news to me, especially in light of this link that came in this morning's mail, from the Christian Broadcasting Network by the way.

Poppy Fields and Terrorism in the New Afghanistan – KABUL, Afghanistan — Two years ago, U.S. and coalition forces toppled Afghanistan's Taliban regime. Today, the Afghan people have more freedom, but the country's economy is literally hooked on opiates. And it seems the Afghan poppy fields may be funding Al Qaeda terrorists.

...Satellite images reveal a nation in the grips of a drug boom. A record number of Afghan farmers are feeding the world's opium habit.

...In a country where annual incomes barely reach $170, farmers can earn up to $6,500 a year from opium production.

Opium trader Rehmath Shah said, "In Afghanistan, there are no factories or industry in which we can work, there is no other business. We only have this and in all the villages you will find the same thing."

A UN report released this November outlines just how bad Afghanistan's drug culture has become. Farmers in 28 of the country's 32 provinces have turned wheat farms into poppy farms.

One poppy farmer said, "I earn enough in two months to provide for my family for a year. We keep hearing about aid coming to our country, but none of it reaches us, so we keep growing poppies."

...And the Bush Administration has come under fire for ignoring the drug trade. Critics accuse the U.S. of allowing warlords and traffickers to operate freely in exchange for their cooperation in fighting the remnants of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

But Yasini says the huge drug profits are funding terrorist attacks against coalition forces in Afghanistan. "I am getting very credible reports that today the drug traffickers are directly supporting Al Qaeda, are directly supporting the Taliban," he said.

Does that sound good to you? I sent Glenn the link and an email saying he might want to consider the bigger picture before pronouncing the news to be positive. To his credit and much to my surprise, he responded with a very polite note that nonetheless set me off again with this one sentence. (I've been very cranky today).

...I view drug flow as inevitable anyway, and the Taliban didn't really stop it

So you know me folks, I fired off another response.

How can you say the Taliban didn't almost eliminate the poppy market there? Our own government cited them for the accomplishment not that long before we bombed the bejesus out them.

The flow of drugs is inevitable yes, but it didn't start flowing out of there until the United States reduced the country to radioactive rubble and then abandoned it and its indigenous people. Why isn't there a Burger King at the Kabul airport as there is in Baghdad? Why haven't 7 international law firms set up shop in Kabul to offer up the unexploited free trade market to those who have the money?


Glenn and I both had more to say to each other but since the theme somehow led to the streets of Kabul tonight, I'm giving the last word to Zulgai, one of the Mazar-e-Sharif residents who made it clear they wanted an end to warlord power. As quoted at the end of Glenn's link.

"We have seen a lot of fighting here and we are fed up," said Zulgai, a 52-year-old taxi driver who uses only one name. "We want the United States and the United Nations to disarm the whole of the north and to provide the people with jobs."


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home