Friday, May 12, 2006

Afghani farmers fight back

Also via DRC it appears there's trouble in Afghanistan. Farmers rebelled against eradication efforts being conducted at the insistence of the US.
Under pressure from the West, particularly Britain and the United States, the government of President Hamid Karzai has declared a jihad against opium, but the government's efforts are hampered by its weakness, its infiltration by drug trafficking interests, and its awareness that too aggressive an eradication campaign could benefit a reinvigorated Taliban, which has promised to protect opium farmers in the south. The Karzai government is undertaking only limited eradication efforts and has rejected the use of aerial eradication.

Tuesday's violence, the most serious so far this year, occurred in the province of Sar-i-Pul in the north. "Police faced resistance from armed people among the farmers," provincial police chief General Nadir Fahimi told Reuters. "Two farmers were killed while nine policemen were wounded, three of them critically," he said.
People tell me Bush's one positive accomplishment was the war in Afghanistan. I have to wonder how they measure success. Granted the Taliban were horrible but being ruled over by war lords doesn't seem to be much of trade up to me. We destroyed their infrastructure in that war, we didn't destroy al-Qaeda, which was presuambly the purpose of the war and now the country's economy depends on poppy production.

Yet the Bush administration insists the central government, which has a tenous hold on power at best, perpetrate their insane eradication politices in the war on some drugs but we offer no alternate means for the country to make money. It's unsurprising the farmers are beginning to fight back. They have nothing to lose. If they don't have a daughter to sell in order to repay their debt to the war lords, they'll be killed and even if they do, with no other income, they and their families are likely to starve.


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