Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on March 26, 2002

Afghanistan is the world's leading producer of opium, and it would certainly be a good idea to get them out of the business. According to a story in the Washington Times, the Bush administration wants to use some herbicides and eradicate the crops. The military is saying that they don't want to do it.

"This is asymmetrical warfare, and it would be a prudent force-protection measure," said a U.S. official close to the debate.

The money obtained from Afghanistan's poppy harvest will fuel the guerrilla war that is expected to escalate against U.S. and allied forces in the coming months.

The money from the poppies also will bolster anti-U.S. elements in the Pakistani ISI intelligence service, the officials said.

"If this opium is harvested and permitted to go to market, it will re-empower the negative elements in Pakistan's security service and lead to instability in Pakistan," the official said. "And it will fund a new round of international terrorism."

Well, I think what we need to do is export that most important of American values -- not freedom, not democracy....yes...that's right...something that both Democrats and Republicans can get behind: the farm subsidy.

If we can pay NBA star Scottie Pippin tens of thousands of dollars not to grow peanuts, then we certainly can pay some Afghan farmers a few thousand not to grow poppies. The upside of this is that we first create goodwill with the Afghan farmer. The money won't go to al Qaeda or the guerillas, because they will want the money to keep coming. That's right, like farm subsidies here in the United States, they eventually cause the farmer to become dependent on the subsidy. The mere threat of cutting subsidies will be enough to keep the Afghans in line.


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