Afghanistan & Pakistan Open Thread

I'm making this open thread because so much has come out this week about Afghanistan and now Pakistan. Topics for discussion after the break include record opium production, the losing war effort in Afghanistan and the new alliance between Pakistan and Osama.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan's world-leading opium cultivation rose a "staggering" 59% this year, the U.N. anti-drugs chief announced Saturday in urging the government to crack down on big traffickers and remove corrupt officials and police.

The record crop yielded 6,100 tons of opium, or enough to make 610 tons of heroin — outstripping the demand of the world's heroin users by a third, according to U.N. figures.

A, help me out, when supply outstrips demand, what happens to cost? So, the price of heroin is going down? When heroine hits the streets for prices lower than crank or crack, I hope the Republican parents of these addicted kids remember who is responsible.

KABUL, Afghanistan — NATO's commander here has set a six-month deadline to reverse a Taliban insurgency terrorizing southern Afghanistan or risk alienating Afghans undecided about whom to support.

British army Lt. Gen. David Richards said his troops must prove to Afghans in the south that the fundamentalist Islamic militia won't be able to undermine the democratically elected Afghan government or stop efforts to rebuild the shattered country.

Soooo, if we don't win the war in the next six months, then Afghanistan is lost to us for good. Gosh, if only we had 150K troops to spare for the War on Terror instead of the War for Bush.

MIRAN SHAH, Pakistan Pakistan's government and pro-Taliban militants near the Afghan border have signed a truce aimed at ending five years of violent unrest.
The deal demands that militants halt attacks on Pakistani forces in the semiautonomous North Waziristan (vah-ZEER'-ih-stahn) region and stop them from crossing into eastern Afghanistan to attack U-S and Afghan forces hunting al-Qaida and Taliban remnants.

Senior army officers and militants hugged and congratulated each other after signing the agreement.

Many of the tribesmen are believed allied to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network. The terror leader is believed hiding in the porous border region.

Pakistan is on Osama's side. Enough said.

Comments

New Democratic Agenda

1. Letter to the President outlining the above points and calling for an immediate invasion of Afghanistan with enough troops to destroy the Taliban and end the poppy farming.
2. Refuse to allow any defense/terrorism/intelligence bill to be heard until there are hearings on what is happening in Afghanistan. Procedural motions, stunts, whatever it takes.
3. Tie Republicans to the LOSS in Afghanistan as well as to the QUAGMIRE in Vietnam...did I say that, I meant Iraq.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I read

that there might be a temporary price drop in heroin, but that it would quickly rebound as demand skyrockets. Can't find the link, but that seems like a reasonable prediction.

I don't go along with #1 above. Why don't we just invade Venezuela too? And Mexico?

Points.

So, what your saying is that we are going to have more people using heroin, so the prices will stay high. How nice for the drug trade, how bad for our children, the addicts.

I still believe we need to bring Osama to justice and that we need to destroy the Taliban as the sponsor of the attacks on 9/11. I would never have supported invading Afghanistan before 9/11, bombing Osama yes, attacking Afghanistan, no. The drug trade in Afghanistan is secondary to me, that is the means they are using to fund potential future attacks on the planet. I don't think we should have let Osama get away in the beginning, but we did, now I think we have to fix that mess.

I would not invade a country just because of their drug production. I would work with the government to create other avenues of farm revenue and to fight the drug cartels.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

I'm all for gettging Osama

but these days my feelings about the Taliban are in flux. We have our own Taliban here in the US . . . fundamentalist Christians . . . and they are a big source of support for the war on Iraq. To draw the analogy too far . . . they have supported attacks which have resulted in tens of thousands of deaths of innocent people in Iraq.

I'm overstating the case to make the point that there is extremism everywhere . . . as well as people who support extremism. Our target is Osama, not the Taliban. To the extent we can keep such distinctions clear, we'll do a better job focusing on what matters most. There are no countries we need to invade, except maybe Poland.

Let's say that we found out...

that the Church of God with Signs Following was responsible for hiding, feeding, outfitting, and training the abortion bomber Eric Rudolph. And, he was hiding in a large compound (say 10,000 acres) they owned in, let's say Texas. Would we go into the compound to get him? If they started shooting at us to protect him, would we shoot back?

Osama was housed, fed, protected, and equipped by the Taliban government. That makes them complicit in the 9/11 attacks. If they had given up Osama, and now one wonders if Pakistan is not in the same boat, then things would be different.

I'm not all gung ho about invading other countries, but if you kill 3000 men, women, and babies - you have to pay the consequences.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

The 1st thing we do is seize Poland and than Wendy's

There are no countries we need to invade, except maybe Poland.
* A

WTF? Poland is the most invaded state on the Planet.

I am Polish lover since the evil twins brothers are running
the place. Now leave them alone and let them kick George
Bush ass for once.

Heroin.

I think something to keep in mind here is that we invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban, which outlawed heroin growing. We then gave the locals in Afghanistan no support and with no government to stop it, they turned to poppy. The poppy is made into heroin and shipped all over the world, including to the United States. The statistic above is just crazy "The record crop yielded 6,100 tons of opium, or enough to make 610 tons of heroin — outstripping the demand of the world's heroin users by a third, according to U.N. figures." Heroin is not just grown in Afghanistan, but that country's crop alone will provide more heroin than the entire world currently uses and then another 1/3 as much. The possible outcome would seem to be that prices will drop, causing an increase in usage. If what A says is right, then once usage goes up, prices will go back up. But, by that time the users will addicted and will continue to drive the demans. It's nice when you product causes people to be addicted - guarantees profits. Just ask the cigarette makers.

Why doesn't this seem to concern the parents of the world? Why doesn't it get airtime on the national news?

The scariest part:

Costa was less upbeat. “It’s going to take possibly 20 years to get rid of the problem,” he said, citing the experience of former opium producers like Thailand, Turkey and Pakistan.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Speaking of tobacco...

You might have thought Big Tobacco had cleaned up its act after its 1998 landmark $256 billion settlement with 46 states including Nebraska.

You would be wrong — dead wrong.

Since then, tobacco companies quietly have been boosting nicotine levels in cigarettes. Nicotine was higher in 92 of the 116 brands tested, Massachusetts officials said.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me