Buried News: Taliban destroys Afghanistan's entire heroin poppy crop in months - putting the U.S. to shame again
We like to think of the Taliban as barefoot, snaggle-toothed, stone-age barbarians waving rifles, who, through the miracle of Joe Biden's incompetence, managed to humiliate the U.S. militarily on the world stage in 2021.
But it turns out they're competent in more than one thing, and arguably heroic.
According to ZeroHedge:
It has already been called “the most successful counter-narcotics effort in human history.” Armed with little more than sticks, teams of counter-narcotics brigades travel the country, cutting down Afghanistan’s poppy fields.
In April of last year, the ruling Taliban government announced the prohibition of poppy farming, citing both their strong religious beliefs and the extremely harmful social costs that heroin and other opioids – derived from the sap of the poppy plant – have wrought across Afghanistan.
It has not been all bluster. New research from geospatial data company Alcis suggests that poppy production has already plummeted by around 80% since last year. Indeed, satellite imagery shows that in Helmand Province, the area that produces more than half of the crop, poppy production has dropped by a staggering 99%. Just 12 months ago, poppy fields were dominant. But Alcis estimates that there are now less than 1,000 hectares of poppy growing in Helmand.
Instead, farmers are planting wheat, helping stave off the worst of a famine that U.S. sanctions helped create. Afghanistan is still in a perilous state, however, with the United Nations warning that six million people are close to starvation.
Who would have thunk these guys could solve not one, but two, supposedly intractable problems at once, not only saving their own population (and ours) from the ravages of drug addiction but also making a big dent in the global hunger crisis brought on by Russia's war against Ukraine? And they did it in less than a year.
Wow. Just wow.
That's serious moral cred from just about the last people you'd ever expect to solve any problem whatsoever, let alone an 'intractable' problem.
And I am sure it was done pretty crudely, with little use of pronouns and no respect for the criminal class. But they got it done.
That raises questions about just what the U.S. has been doing all these years as the opium trade grew -- and grew -- to the point where a sizable percentage of the Afghan population were hopelessly addicted to opium and heroin, and the nation became a pariah state because of all its drug production. Were U.S, drug eradication efforts useful at all? This went on for decades, with absolutely zero progress. If anything, U.S. efforts produced the opposite of their intended effect, given the descent of the country.
The problem was so bad the Soros-led punditocracy managed to create the "narrative" that the problem was intractable, unsolvable, impossible to do anything about, so the only "solution" was drug legalization. That created the current homeless/drug addict problems in America's blue cities, which is being responded to with yet another layer of incompetence.
Now the Taliban has marched in and shown the world how it's done. I'm sure it was draconian. I am sure there was a lot of 'swift and certain' punishment for resisters. But they got it done, much as President Nayib Bukele of El Salvador got rid of crime in his country by jailing every last criminal in sardine-box conditions as a means of deterrence. Yes, it's very crude and there's probably a lot of bad behavior, but drug dealers are merciless and crude, too. Maybe what it takes is coming down to their level instead of all the bureaucratic regulations and human rights concerns of the U.S. swamp ethos abroad.
Now the U.S. stands humiliated a second time.
The Taliban is now in the oddly catbird position of being able to advise other nations awash in drug production/cartel disasters -- looking at you, Colombia -- on how to get rid of this problem in the space of a year. If the Taliban went over to Colombia, offered to show the Colombians how to get rid of their country's newly resurgent cocaine production problem -- at a price, of course, of kicking out the U.S. military presence there to help eradicate drugs -- who would criticize them?
That of course would be rather bad news for the U.S., getting kicked out like that on its most important South American ally owing to its incompetent results. With Colombia now run by a far-leftist, I would argue that there's a not-zero chance of this scenario happening.
So much for the U.S. being a "can do" nation. The Taliban took that title from us, too. Maybe a future administration can learn from them about what works. It won't happen with this one.
Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License
This one may be even more humilating: