Just say No to No?

Queen Beach

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If the efforts in 2006 to manually eradicate the crops resulted in a bumper crop....what the hell lead one to believe that their efforts will have any different results in 2007????? Why wait till 08 to start spraying this shit down? :uhh: :mad:

Afghanistan Won't Spray Poppy Plants

A tractor eradicates opium poppies, as workers and security police officials are seen on the field in the lal Pur district of Nangarhar province, east of Kabul, Afgahanistan on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2007. Afghanistan's heroin-producing poppies will not be sprayed with herbicide this year despite a record crop in 2006 and U.S. pressure to allow the drug-fighting tactic, officials said Thursday. President Hamid Karzai's Cabinet decided on Sunday to hold off on using chemicals for now, said Said Mohammad Azam, spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Counter Narcotics. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)


KABUL, AFGHANISTAN — Rebuffing months of U.S. pressure, Afghan President Hamid Karzai decided against a Colombia-style program to spray this country's heroin-producing poppies after the Cabinet worried herbicide would hurt legitimate crops, animals and humans, officials said Thursday.

The decision, reportedly made Sunday, dashes U.S. hopes for mounting a campaign using ground sprayers to poison poppy plants to help combat Afghanistan's opium trade after a record crop in 2006.

Karzai instead "made a very strong commitment" to lead other eradication efforts this year and said if that didn't cut production he would allow spraying in 2008, a Western official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.

The spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Counternarcotics, Said Mohammad Azam, said this year's effort will rely on "traditional techniques" — sending laborers into fields to trample or plow under opium poppies before they can be harvested. A similar campaign during 2006 failed.

Fueled by the Taliban, a powerful drug mafia and poor farmers' need for a profitable crop that can overcome drought, opium production from poppies in Afghanistan last year rose 49 percent to 6,700 tons — enough to make about 670 tons of heroin. That is more than 90 percent of the world's supply and more than the world's addicts consume in a year.

The booming drug economy, and the involvement of government officials and police in the illicit trade, compounds the many problems facing Afghanistan's fledgling democracy as its struggles with stepped-up attacks by insurgents loyal to the former Taliban regime.

Top Cabinet members — including the agriculture, defense and rural redevelopment ministers — pressured Karzai to reject the spraying plan, saying herbicide would contaminate water, hurt humans, farm animals and legitimate produce, officials said.

The ministers also feared a violent backlash from rural Afghans, the Western official said.

Afghan farmers have sometimes turned to violence to protect poppy plants, which are harvested in the spring and whose profits are believed to flow partly to Taliban militants. Police said two eradication workers were wounded by gunmen Wednesday in western Herat province.

"We're happy with Karzai's decision. Spraying affects the animals and vegetables, even humans," said Asadullah Wafa, the governor of the top drug-producing province, Helmand.

"There is another way to eradicate, like launching operations through all the districts, and I hope the international community will give us tractors and provide more troops to destroy poppies."

U.S. officials have said the herbicide in question — glyphosate, sold as Roundup in the United States — is safe. It would have been applied by ground spraying rather than planes to allay Afghan fears of chemicals falling from the sky.

U.S. Ambassador Ronald Neumann said this week that Afghanistan has eradicated 1,483 acres of poppies so far this year — compared to none by the same time last year.

Still, that's only a fraction of the 407,000 acres of poppies that were cultivated in 2006, including 173,000 acres in Helmand province alone, according to U.N. figures.

There were indications the U.S. was ready to implement spraying if Karzai had approved the project.

"We're prepared to do spraying if the Afghans want us to do it," said Gregory Lagana, a spokesman for Virginia-based DynCorp International Inc., which runs the U.S.-backed aerial eradication campaign in Colombia and is also present in Afghanistan.

U.S. and Afghan officials agree eradication must be matched with a crackdown on traffickers as well as programs to help farmers switch to legal crops and get their produce to market. Few Afghan crops can be transported far without spoiling or damage because of insecurity and poor roads. By comparison, poppy resin, the main ingredient in heroin, can keep for years.

Karzai's decision capped months of behind-the-scenes pressure to allow spraying like that already used in countries such as Colombia, where coca plants supply much of world's cocaine.

Just last month, John Walters, top U.S. anti-drug official, said Afghan poppies would be sprayed, although he did not say when. Walters, on a visit to Kabul, warned that Afghanistan could turn into a narco-state unless "giant steps" were made toward eliminating poppies.

However, no top Afghan officials had said publicly the government would carry out spraying.

Joe Mellott, spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, said the U.S. still "stands ready to assist the Afghans if they want to use herbicide."

"We always said that the ground-based spraying is a decision for the Afghans to make," he said. "We understand they are going to focus on a robust manual and mechanical program to eradicate poppies this year."

___

Associated Press writers Fisnik Abrashi and Amir Shah contributed to this report.
 

Gypsy

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What do you want to bet there wasn't really any effort to eradicate the crops? :uhh: Michael Yon has written several columns on the poppy fields...good read if you're interested.
 

pardus

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No way they are going to give that up and honestly I cant really blame them.
 

Marauder06

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,,, Why wait till 08 to start spraying this shit down? :uhh: :mad:

Afghanistan Won't Spray Poppy Plants

Freefalling can probably speak to this better than I, but it's an extremely sensitive topic for the Afghan government. Not only are they eradicating the livelihoods of a lot of individual farmers (no sympathy, but it's a concern for the government), it's going to be a HUGE propaganda coup for the other side if they can spin the poppy eradication flights as some kind of chem warfare attack. Also, it's extremely dangerous for the low-flying eradication plans to operate in the areas where the majority of the poppy growing is occuring. :2c:
 
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Looon

Guest
It'll never happen. Destroying the crops would destroy their economy.

Id love for them to be destroyed but it just won't happen.:2c:
 
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Looon

Guest
If we are unable from preventing the marry jane from being the number one cash crop in the US, with all our resources, how would it apply to other countries?

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=2735017&page=1

Talk about throwing good money away after bad.:doh:
Yep. If we can't control our own drug problems, we have absolutely no place/reason to even look at Afganistan.

California is the worst when it come to weed. 'We' legalized it for medicinal purposes, but of course these pot heads have found ways around it and are abusing the fuck outta it.

I saw a show on it where they showed that all you need, is to pay $250 for a 'prescription' and you are free to smoke all you want.:doh:

Sorry for the slight hijack./
 

Queen Beach

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Only question I have is why next year and not this year? Are there some dramatically different economical changes in the works? I mean if the economy is so reliant on it and all.....

Can we make clothes and stuff from poppy crops like you know ~ the Hemp industry and MJ.

Perhaps they can use the crops for other means. Nice floral arrangements?

I don't get it!
 

pardus

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Only question I have is why next year and not this year? Are there some dramatically different economical changes in the works? I mean if the economy is so reliant on it and all.....

Can we make clothes and stuff from poppy crops like you know ~ the Hemp industry and MJ.

Perhaps they can use the crops for other means. Nice floral arrangements?

I don't get it!

It's putting things off, political stalling.

Imagine being the leader that is solely responible for the almost total destruction of the economy.

The Taliban would be back in power a hell of a lot quicker as well...
 

Queen Beach

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It's putting things off, political stalling.

ahhh I see. So we continue to dump monies into the country and then when next year rolls around they can "stall" again. Nice tactic. :doh:

Why don't we just leave Columbia alone while were at it? I mean the drug cartel they gotta make a living too right? :huh?:


Leadership is about making the tough decisions. How much of the monies from crops go to support Terrorist activities? I don't know the answer to that but it would be interesting to understand.
 
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Looon

Guest
ahhh I see. So we continue to dump monies into the country and then when next year rolls around they can "stall" again. Nice tactic. :doh:

Why don't we just leave Columbia alone while were at it? I mean the drug cartel they gotta make a living too right? :huh?:


Leadership is about making the tough decisions. How much of the monies from crops go to support Terrorist activities? I don't know the answer to that but it would be interesting to understand.
The problem really isn't the countries that make the goods. The problem is us, the US not doing enough to keep it from coming in.

We are to blame.:2c:
 
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