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View Diary: Buy All Afghanistan's Opium Crop (61 comments)

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  •  Wouldn't greater demand... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamesia, Alec82

    (represented in this case by the introduction of a new well-funded buyer) cause the price to spike in the short term, and new growers to enter the line in the medium and long-term? And in any case, how would the federal purchases keep money out of the hands of the Taliban, etc.?  

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:21:18 PM PDT

    •   The feds would either use or destroy their purch (0+ / 0-)

      while the Taliban and others would re-sell it for profits. That Taliban aren't farmers but are the smugglers and middlemen living off the work and sweat of others.

      Grow Marijuana go to Prison, Torture a Detainee to Death and earn a Medal. No wonder people get high.

      by SmileySam on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:26:35 PM PDT

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      •  In any case... (0+ / 0-)

        removing a large amount from the supply will only create higher prices overall. The Taliban and their allies may not be the farmers in the fields in most cases, but they effectively control the trade on the ground. For the federal government to purchase directly from farmers, they would first have to push the Taliban out of the picture. Seems to me that's what we've been trying to do since 2001. In other words, trying to undermine the Taliban by cutting off opium as a source of funding presents a classic chicken or egg paradox.

        Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

        by JoesGarage on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:33:53 PM PDT

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        •  The Farmers (0+ / 0-)

          Are between a rock and a hard place.

          What we have been doing is torching the fields and leaving them with nothing. That is not a way to make friends and influence people. That is a great way to drive them to the Taliban for protection. They are also quite pissed off.

          A shift may come if people are not made to starve, and are treated fairly. Would you rather negotiate your crops to be sold at a fair price, in the open?

          "Afghanis in southern Afghanistan are increasingly prepared to admit their support for the Taliban, and the belief that the government and the international community will not be able to defeat the Taliban is widespread in the southern provinces," the report concludes.

          Only 19 per cent of Afghan civilians felt that international troops were helping them personally -- with only 6.5 per cent in regions where U.S. soldiers were in control.

          "The widespread perception of locals is that the international community is not helping to improve their lives," says the report.

          Meanwhile, about 80 per cent of civilians said they worried about feeding their families.

          The reality of The Islamic Republic Of Afghanistan is also that not much will grow there now. Water is a huge issue. As well as endless occupations.

          From Bounty to Parched Earth

          In the 1960s and early 1970s, Afghan farmers produced abundant cereals, fruits, vegetables, and meats for domestic consumption and export. Cut flowers were sold throughout the Middle East and Europe, grapes graced the tables of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, and 20 percent of the world's raisins were Afghan grown, the Afghan agriculture ministry estimates. Domestic crop production also climbed in pre-Soviet years. Yet today, food production in Afghanistan suffers from poor management, inadequate investment, and decimated infrastructure, observers say.

          Defeating the Stranglehold that the Taliban has, will take far more than the torch and burn policies.
          It is not working, and is just going to continue this cycle.

          A Creative Revolution- - To revolt within society in order to make it a little better- Krishnamurti

          by pale cold on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:56:41 PM PDT

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    •  Bingo... (0+ / 0-)

      that's what I typed before reading this...

      how would the federal purchases keep money out of the hands of the Taliban

      Better to keep the Afghans impoverished rather than chance this one...

      AAC: Support local arts

      by jamesia on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 01:31:57 PM PDT

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