Drug War hamstrings war on Taliban
When the death-threats began, she approached the nearby British military base for protection. Since the Western rhetoric at the time of the invasion was all about how we were committed to women like Jamilla, she assumed her school would be offered immediate protection. The individual British soldiers were very sympathetic – but explained, “We’re not in that business.” Their orders do not include directly protecting female civilians and girls’ schools from Talibanist slaughter. Sorry.This is so pathetic. It fills me with rage at our government. (I know that in this case it's a British area, but I assume that their occupation policy was developed in coordination with us.) Can't we do anything right? The article goes on to talk about how the Drug War causes this:
Over the past five years, with British and American military support, a sinister corporation called DynCorps has been going to the fields of the poorest farmers in Afghanistan and systematically destroying them. This is because they are growing opium poppies, used to make heroin that is freely bought on the streets of the West. Emmanuel Reinert, the Executive Director of the Senlis Council, explains, “The Taliban revival is directly, intimately related to the crop eradication programme. It could not have happened if the US was not aggressively destroying crops. It is the single biggest reason Afghans turned against the foreigners.”This is another example of how we're funding our enemies, and driving potential allies into their arms. The Drug War produces enough moral insanity domestically. But now it's funding and supporting the very group that sheltered Osama bin Laden. If only for national security reasons, we need to change our policy.
How would we react if we were already starving – a quarter of all Afghan children die before their fifth birthday – and a foreign army declared its intention to wipe out 70 percent of our economy? Reinert adds, “If you look at where the Americans have carried out the forced eradication programmes, it’s where people cannot feed their families. That’s where the Taliban is opportunistically gaining support.” People whose crops are being trashed will support anyone who rallies to defend them – even this monstrous Islamist Khmer Rouge who have swiftly seized on the heroin eradication programmes along with the evidence of US torture camps, not least Guanatnomo Bay, to show “the West is waging war on Islam”.
What blows my mind is that all this stuff must be glaringly obvious to our commanders and officers on the ground now that we've been there for so many years, just like the situation in Iraq. But the observations don't make it up the chain of command. At some point they get blocked by top down notions of how things should be. It's like your hand is telling your brain "I AM TOUCHING A RED HOT STOVE!" and your brain replying "That's defeatist talk. There is no stove. Stay the course and the heat will dissipate. Then you can move." Of course with Afghanistan, it seems as though the brain has forgotten the hand even exists.
To be fair, I doubt a Democratic administration would have the guts to change our idiotic drug policy despite the glaring problems with it. But it desperately needs to be done.