Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nuke the plants!

In previous wars targets were based often on their ability to supply troops with goods that were needed for war. Anything from tank to shoe factories could be justified as a target. What was made was created for the purpose of supplying a military. The attacks on such targets were understood by the vast majority of people.

The face of war has changed though. We no longer are at war with other industrialized countries. We have to fight regimes that exist more as an idea with bullets rather than a government. They need only to buy their weapons and materials, and they need very little to create havoc. They are spread apart and work in small numbers that are hard to detect. Honestly, it is pretty brilliant, they use the same ideas that we used during the Cold War to spy on the USSR. Send in a single plane that blended in and keep it far enough out of range and keep it moving and quiet.

Well, it is really hard to attack an idea. So you must resort to attacking those things that support the idea. The militia is hard to target because of how they operate and they are the ones that support the idea. So, you must then attack what supports the militia, money, but you can't run around shooting bills. So, you have to attack the goods that generate money. In this case, drugs.

Opium and heroin are the drugs of choice in Afghanistan, so we blew the shit out of some poppy seeds.

We have declared a war on drugs there (shifting focus away from what really matters) and are now spending munitions on killing plants. I keep having the scene from Predator where Jesse Ventura mows down the jungle with the Minigun go through my head.

I understand the need to destroy the product, but we are going a little over the top with it. From a CNN article on recent bombings:

The military dropped a series of 1,000-pound bombs from planes on the mounds of poppy seeds and then followed with strikes from helicopters.

They were already in mounds! Couldn't have just had a nice camp fire?

The people running the farms are just those trying to make a living and selling poppy makes a decent amount of money and there is a constant demand. It is a smart business move. Then we asked farmers to grow wheat and offered help to farmers by supplying them and giving quick lessons. Well, if I was a farmer and had been growing poppy for years, I really wouldn't be too keen on changing my specialty. You need to find new buyers, new fertilizer, new harvest times and risk pissing off some crazy guys with guns, and who knows what else. I should really go ask a poppy farmer, assuming any are left alive.

But we are at war with drugs to help the war on terror! Damn the farmers! Also, only about 50 percent of the money generated from opium and heroin sales make it back to the Taliban. Somewhere out there is a group, or groups, with the same size and need for these drugs that we are pissing off just as much.

The leader of this fiasco has also given the OK to kill drug dealers and anyone to have any part in the opium business. Damn the farmers! Beyond that though, I have been in the company of drug deals and dealers before (as has anyone who spent much time in Chicago bars) and they keep themselves hidden really well. If they didn't there would be no need for this war to help a war, war — I think I said that right. So, just go out and find drug dealers, dressed in full military garb with a helmet and big guns and fancy cars, right? The military probably has some super-secret drug-ray seeing goggles.

Oh, by the way, Afghanistan produces over 90 percent of the world's opium and heroin. I have a bad feeling we are going to open up a whole new case of animosity with these actions. And despite what we would all like to believe, we are in no position to go picking more fights.

I don't think we should not be at war — we should have just stayed there and could be done with it by now, but we gave them a nice intermission while we wandered around Iraq. What we are doing is not the way to fight this war, we are getting too far away from the real source of the problem. If the Taliban needs money, they will get it, with or without opium.

Please, just think of the farmers.

1 comment:

  1. Debaters debate the two wars as if Nixon’s civil war on Woodstock Nation did not yet run amok. One need not travel to China to find subcultures lacking human rights or to Cuba for political prisoners. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, radicals, and non-whites under banner of the war on drugs. If we are all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance credibility.

    The witch-hunt doctor’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that God did not screw-up when He made the psychoactive plants. The administration claims it wants to reduce demand for cartel product, but it increases demand for imports by extraditing Marc Emery. His seeds enable American farmers to outcompete foreign cartels with better product at lower price.

    Only a clause about interstate commerce provides the CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) with any pretext of constitutionality. The effect of the CSA on interstate commerce is to fatten outlaws and endanger homeland security while the treasury bleeds. Eradicate, do not tax, the number-one cash crop in the land. America rejected prohibition, but its back. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

    Nixon promised the Schafer Commission would support the criminalization of his enemies, but it didn’t. No matter, the witch-hunt was on. No amendments can assure due-process under an anti-science law without any due-process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA halted all research. Marijuana has no medical use, period.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. A specific church membership should not be prerequisite for Americans to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Denial of entheogen sacrament to any American, for mediation of communion with his or her maker, precludes the free exercise of religious liberty.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Puritans came here to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law must hold that the people are the legal owners of their own bodies. Socrates said to know your self. Statutes should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should not deny self-exploration to seekers. Americans’ right to the pursuit of happiness is supposed to be inalienable.

    Simple majorities in each house could put repeal of the CSA on the president’s desk. The books have ample law on them without the CSA. The usual caveats remain in effect. You are liable for damages when you screw-up. Strong medicine requires prescription. Employees can be fired for poor job performance. No harm, no foul; and no excuse, either. Replace the war on drugs with a frugal, constitutional, science-based drugs policy.