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Afghanistan update

Discussion in 'The OT' started by lee635, Feb 19, 2004.

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  1. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    Apr 17, 2002
    From the UN:

    "Last year Afghanistan produced its highest amount of opium since 1999 – an estimated 3,600 tons, or more than three-quarters of the global supply – and the country is poised to exceed that amount this year, according to the results of a United Nations survey released today.

    "Two farmers out of three interviewed … stated they intended to increase significantly their opium poppy cultivation in 2004," the Vienna-based UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) says in its Afghanistan Farmers' Intention Survey 2003/2004.

    UNODC Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa blamed poor social conditions in the country for the spiking drug cultivation. "Persistent poverty, high opium prices and loans from traffickers are the main reasons for the higher opium production expected in 2004," he said.

    According to the report, farmers were clearly aware of the government ban on opium production, but the short-term benefits of the activity continued to outweigh the potential risks of breaking the law.

    Overall, a quarter of Afghan farmers engaged in opium poppy cultivation in 2003. Opium plantations covered 27 per cent of the land they cultivated, but produced more than 60 per cent of their annual income, the survey found. Poppy seeds are easy to obtain, either from the previous harvest or the local markets.

    "The results of this survey impart the unequivocal warning that illegal opium production will continue to thrive unless resolute actions are taken: economic assistance for farmers, eradication of opium fields and interdiction of traffickers," Mr. Costa stressed. "The formidable threat which the opium economy poses to peace, stability and socio-economic recovery in Afghanistan will otherwise continue to increase."
     
  2. HappyGoLucky

    HappyGoLucky Banned User

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    Think of it as if you were a farmer in Afghanistan. You could grow wheat or corn and make a couple hundred dollars a year, at best, barely enough to feed your family with most still going hungry. Or you could grow poppies and harvest opium and make 50 times that amount, giving your family enough food and clothes to survive. Which would you choose?
     
  3. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    The Poppy is the National Flower of Afghanistan. With an average annual family income below that of the typical street person in America, who can blame Afghanis for doing what they must to improve their lot.

    There was a time in this country when buffalo were a cash crop.

    To them, opium poppies are just a crop. For us, it is a predicament.
     
  4. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    Apr 17, 2002
    Yes, but it's interesting that opium production is rising now...with all the US involvement?
     
  5. UnMan

    UnMan Guest

    I think its the absence of the Taliban more so than US involvement
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    UnMan???

    Speaking of absence, "UnMan", is your username a not-so-subtle reference to an earlier M-to-F transition?
     
  7. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    Apr 17, 2002
    I'm certain that Nick can post many sources to show the link between the CIA and illicit drugs....only during democratic administrations of course. ;)
     
  8. bryan92

    bryan92 Legend

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    Dont buy opium and they wont produce it! :grin:
     
  9. sampatterson

    sampatterson Icon/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I agree with bryan92. It is a demand problem, not a supply problem... Not a "US being involved" in Afghanistan problem. It is a US based demand for opium derived products.
     
  10. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Let's see. It's not Afghanistan's fault, nor the Taliban, or even the fault of the American presence in Afghanistan. So, it must be the users' fault. Eliminate the users and the demand dries up. How do we eliminate the users? Jail them? Deport them? Execute them?

    There seems to be no ready answer, no realistic, workable solutions.

    So, should we just quit trying? Bring a halt to the war on drugs? Should we decriminalize, legalize and tax drug production, importation and usage so the government can 'control' it?

    There are many, many questions, but no viable answers in sight. It is likely there are no answers at all.

    Some Americans have called for the U.S. to give up the war on drugs. Eliminate the DEA, recall the field agents and withdraw funding of local drug task forces. They point to the continued existence of a 'drug problem' as proof that we are losing the war, therefor, we should stop trying.

    What kind of logic is that? What would American life be like if we gave up the fight and simply allowed drugs to permeate into every corner of the land?

    I don't want to find out.

    /Nick
     
  11. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    You forgot:

    Stabilize agricultural prices so that growing legal crops can allow a farmer to earn a decent living.
     
  12. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Lee, if you are referencing my previous post, since your comment was so far off-topic, you need to show relevance.

    Regarding your lead comment above, I didn't forget anything. Your post re agricultural price stabilation is irrelevent to the topic of your own thread. If the price of crops is an issue for you, why not start another thread.

    :rolleyes:

    /Nick
     
  13. FritzM

    FritzM Legend

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    I don't suppose there is any valuable data out there that shows what happens if drugs are decriminalized. Will the county go to hell in a handbasket? Who knows? Would I run down to Osco Drugs and get some heroin, coke, and marijuana? Nope.

    All the current drug policy is doing is filling prisons faster than we can build them. Is that a good thing?
     
  14. Bogy

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    You cannot stop drug use by trying to dry up the supply, or the supply chain. Not when you have a demand for the product as large as we have. There is too much money to be made. You cannot destroy all the crops, jail all the farmers, etc. If you eliminate all the suppliers. Get rid of one and two more take his place, drawn in by the lure of huge profits to be made. The only way to get rid of the problem is to dry up the demand. How to do that? Jailing doesn't work. In many cases drugs are available in prison. In many cases rehab programs are no longer available in prison, so when the addict gets out the first thing he/she does is get a fix. Warehousing addicts is not a sulution.

    Its time to undo Reagan's big mistake and renew the drug rehab programs that Nixon started. Changing people's lives is the answer.
     
  15. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    Apr 17, 2002
    Yes, you did. Many of the farmers resort to growing illicit crops because they can't support a family with legal crops. Helping these farmers to use more modern farming methods to increse crop yields, as the US currently does in South America, and the desire to grow illict crops goes down. Decreasing the supply at the source is not the single, magic bullet, answer, but it is a part of the solution.
     
  16. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    Excuse me, Lee. When you said "Stabilize agricultural prices so that growing legal crops can allow a farmer to earn a decent living.", I naturally assumed you were discussing national farm policy and the economic plight of American farmers. I failed to consider that you were referring to having the U.S. artificially propping up prices of foreign farm produce with huge infusions of American cash just so they will grow potatoes instead of poppies.

    My bad. :rolleyes:

    /Nick
     
  17. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

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    Actaully, you've misinterpreted my position again, I'm taking about technical assistance to help farmers become more productive and assistance in developing vertical market systems, so that goods can more efficiently make it market.

    Price supports would only work during the period that the supports were in effect. And you don't expect the US to supply such long term support, do you?
     
  18. Richard King

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    Yea, that way we can ship the farmers' jobs overseas along with the manufacturing jobs. Then people can post headlines about all the farm jobs lost in the economy. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

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    No, you specifically said, and I quote you directly, "stabilize agricultural prices...". Nothing from you about "technical assistance". If your "position" has been misinterpreted twice, either you are not clear in your own mind, or you have failed to adequately convey your thoughts.


    Chris, don't ever attempt to turn your words back on me again. I'll slice & dice you like a turnip - in a literary sense, of course. :nono:

    I don't expect, nor do I want the U.S. to provide any price supports whatsoever.
     
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