I was reading ABC news about some ghost town in Southern Afghanistan, that was supposed to be a new shining example of coalition rejuvenation.
The Army's $10M Afghan Flop
I decided to look at the pictures and one of the captions mentioned the US had recently reversed its stance on opium field eradication.
What?? I thought, this really had gone under my radar. I'm usually on the ball with stuff ike this.
So I Googled it to get some MSM perspective on it but guess what, 107 results - mostly blogs and less well know news outlets.
My Google Search
In fact I couldn't find any mention in the MSM about this.
Here are a few of the ones I did find:
US Makes "Historic Shift" in Counter-Narcotics Policy in Afghanistan:
Move to End Poppy Crop Eradication Hailed as Monumental Step by ICOS
LONDON – The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) today hailed the monumental move by the US to stop the failed policy of
poppy crop eradication in Afghanistan, and it called on the US, UK and the rest of the international community to back its Poppy for Medicine proposal
in the war-torn country.
SHIFT IN U.S. DRUG POLICY FOR AFGHANISTAN HAILED AS POSITIVE NEWS
Associated Press reported several days ago that the U.S. announced a new drug policy for Afghanistan, declaring that it was phasing out funding
for eradication programs while significantly increasing its funding for alternate crop and drug interdiction efforts.
The U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, told The Associated Press on the weekend that eradication programs weren't working and were only
driving farmers into the hands of the Taliban.
"Eradication is a waste of money," Holbrooke said to AP.
This prompted the The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS), formerly the Senlis Council, to issue this press release
The Ottowa Citizen site claimed that they got their info from a contact at the AP, however I cannot find the story on AP, and wouldn't it surely
would come up on a Google search too?
Okay, no big deal really, just the policy of a few years being changed without major news coverage.
But this is where the fun begins.
These stories came out on 1st July 2009
Let me give you some stories from 2nd July 2009
US opens 'major Afghan offensive'
US troops start major
offensive in Afghanistan
Dubbed Operation Khanjar, or "Strike of the Sword," the military push was described by officials as the largest and fastest-moving of the war's
new phase, involving nearly 4,000 of the newly-arrived Marines and 650 Afghan forces. British forces last week led similar, but smaller, missions to
fight and clear out insurgents in Helmand and neighbouring Kandahar provinces.
The Pentagon is deploying 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in time for the elections and expects the total number of US forces there to reach
68,000 by the end of the year. That is double the number of troops in Afghanistan in 2008.
I'll draw you attention to this sentence:
to fight and clear out insurgents in Helmand and neighbouring Kandahar provinces.
These two provinces specifically, take a look at this:
(You can see Helmund and Kandahar are the regions in orange down the
bottom, with the huge increases in opium production for 2007)
So let's get this right.
The day after a poorly reported major policy change on Opium field eradication is announced, the US and UK undertake a huge military offensive. Oh
yeah, in the two provinces that have the largest opium growth per hectare and among the largest increases in Opium growth in Afghanistan.
Now those figures are from 2007 but the reports say the policy has failed so we must assume the current numbers must be similar.
Oh and the reason for this policy change, other than the old one wasn't working involves the 'Poppy for Medicine Proposal'.
The Council called on the US to implement its proposed Poppy for Medicine programme to license the growing of the poppy crop in Afghanistan for
localised, tightly controlled production of morphine, currently unavailable to 80% of the world’s population.
That's right folks, the US wants to take all those poppys used for making heroine, and use them instead to make morphine. Now obviously they'll be
able to control where the opium goes, making sure none of it ends up AS heroin....of course.
So essentially, they've turned the opium field from a criminal entity to a commodity without letting the MSM know, they've done it without the
approval of their allies:
After the US announcement, the UK government spoke out against the new stance by the US and vowed to continue its own eradication efforts.
They did it very quietly, before unleashing a masive offensive to secure this cash crop.
God Bless America. (I'd put UK too but it doesn't have the same ring to it!)
[edit on 30-7-2009 by kiwifoot]
[edit on 1-8-2009 by Skyfloating]