The Opium Of The Asses
An article in the Houston Press that drew heavily from a report issued by ACBAR remarks on the declining popularity of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan: Goodwill toward foreign forces is eroding across Afghanistan because airstrikes and botched raids … Read More
Goodwill toward foreign forces is eroding across Afghanistan because airstrikes and botched raids by U.S. and NATO troops have killed at least 230 civilians this year, an umbrella group for aid agencies [ACBAR] said Tuesday.
The complaint followed reports of dozens of civilian deaths in recent days during fierce fighting sparked by a Taliban offensive in Uruzgan, a key southern province.
And the next:
Noncombatant casualties the past several days — whether caused by foreign troops or the Taliban — have fed public anger toward President Hamid Karzai's government and the foreign soldiers supporting it.
So in other words, everybody's mad at everybody except…you guessed it: the Taliban! At least according to this article. We're left to wonder whether the Afghan people really blame the violence on U.S. and NATO forces more so than on the Taliban, with whose tactics they're all-too-familiar.
But if the AP writer had ventured a further look into ACBAR's bulletin archive, they would have found a far less contentiously sinister report on U.S. mismanagement of affairs in Afghanistan that would have exposed an even greater threat to the future and prosperity of Afghan civilians. Bulletin No. 23, June 10, 2007, page 7.
It's on page 7 that we learn that the U.S. is still pressuring Karzai to spray Afghanistan's biggest cash crop with lethal chemicals. The Afghan leader rejected the previous proposal on the grounds that it would be harmful to the people, the water supply, and non-poppy crops of the already beggared country. So now the U.S. supposedly has a 'safe way' of carrying out the plan. What do they expect us to believe? That Burt's Bee's and The Body Shop teamed up to create a green poppycide?
In a country with a struggling economy, where according to the bulletin almost half the yearly income comes from illicit opium sales, the U.S. still thinks it's best to rain chemicals down on Kabul rather than legally invest in the country's most lucrative resource. Afghanistan's main legal resources are embroidered textiles and rubble. The rubble market value declines every day that continued fighting turns the rubble to dust.
If this situation keeps up, where fascists like the Taliban can initiate aggression and manage to watch the blame for the ensuing carnage fall everywhere except on their own heads, I'm going to need a dose of opium so big I'll have to buy the entire 2007 harvest myself.