Saturday, December 12, 2009

Discussions of Issues : Afganistan

Political discussions seem to get framed in I'm for or against. In Health Care its do nothing vs. Various full blown systems. In defense its stop a war vs a send more soldiers. Most issues demand a more nuanced discussion. I will post a number in succession.

Todays post is about Afghanistan. The usual rationale for sending troops is a mixture of vengeance, incoherence and misleading moral discussions. The facts are is that Al Quaeda has moved on, is in many countries not mainly Afghanistan and 911 was caused not by people plotting against the United States but by nonexistent internal security which the terrorists took advantage of. All of the reasons given about Afghanistan seem incoherent.

Here is a coherent reason for being in Afghanistan. 93% of the Worlds heroin is estimated to come from Afghanistan. Mostly all of it is grown by farmers who are quite poor and sell the best cash crop they have. The US could easily buy up the entire crop, fashion a price support system for crops to wean the growers away from heroin and sequester the entire crop. The net effect is to cause a drastic rise of prices on the street. Similar efforts could be made elsewhere. The cost to us would be much less than our favored method of politics sending troops and this would have a positive immediately relevant effect. What is interesting indeed inexplicable i9s the3 lack of discussion of the drug problem along avenues that might cure it. One suspects that while there is considerable desire for political theater on the subject there is no real interest in halting the drug trade which is a tremendous source of profits for politicians.

While not directly relevant Gary Webb documented the use of Crack Cocaine sold in LA by the CIA connection to fund the Iran Contras. For this revelation he ultimately paid with his life. While there seems to be substantial interest in inflicting needly suffering in Afghanistan, there is little in solving substantial problems for which there is evidence that the the problem needs solution.

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