Archive

ShareThis Page
Afghanistan’s ‘harvest’ | TribLIVE.com
News

Afghanistan’s ‘harvest’

A U.N. report finds Afghanistan has regained its title as the world’s leading producer of opium and heroin, returning to levels not seen since the 1990s. That’s when the country produced 70 percent of the world’s illegal opium.

The campaign to relegate the Taliban to history may have actually helped Afghan drug traffickers, who supply Southwest and Central Asia, Eastern and Western Europe and all of Africa.

“The power vacuum in Kabul caused by the aftermath of 11 September 2001 enabled farmers to replant opium poppy,” according to the U.N. report. By the time an interim administration was seated, most poppy fields were ready for harvest.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has banned opium production — a cash cow for terrorists. And the government offers farmers $500 per acre to obliterate poppy fields. But drug traffickers reportedly are paying more than $6,000 an acre.

Now there’s concern that Afghan heroin traffickers may partner with Colombian cartels and broach new markets — in the United States, where heroin use and overdose deaths are on the rise.

And what share of the profits will al-Qaida claim?

Meanwhile, Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban’s supreme commander, reportedly is reorganizing a campaign against U.S. forces and the Afghan government.

Post-war Afghanistan must become more than a blip on the U.S. radar screen. Or we’ll pay dearly for that disregard.


TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.