Why don't we Napalm the Afgan Poppy fields?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by D_Pubert Stabbingpain, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. D_Pubert Stabbingpain

    D_Pubert Stabbingpain Account Disabled

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    Seriously, if the majority of Taliban income that they use to buy guns comes from the opium poppies, why did the U.S. not napalm them years ago? Did the Russians ever try that?

    Is that too simple of a solution?

    Is it because the U.S. encourages the Afgans to plant other crops in those fields? How long does it take for fertile soil to return after napalm?

    Afghanistan is Obama's Iraq and will be for years to come. It makes no difference how many #1 or #2 guys the drones gun down. They need to totally cut off their income.
     
  2. Calboner

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    I don't know the details, but it seems to me that if this were a possible solution, there would not be poppy farms all over the world.

    Anyway, there is something that smells bad about the country that leads the world in the consumption of opium destroying the livelihood of the people who supply it.
     
  3. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    Russia leads the world in heroin consumption. However, since there are about two million heroin users in the United States, perhaps we should focus on addressing the demand side before dealing with supply?
     
  4. vince

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    Ironic isn't it?-

    JALALABAD, Afghanistan (February 15, 2001 8:19 p.m. EST
    U.N. drug control officers said the Taliban religious militia has nearly wiped out opium production in Afghanistan -- once the world's largest producer -- since banning poppy cultivation last summer.

    A 12-member team from the U.N. Drug Control Program spent two weeks searching most of the nation's largest opium-producing areas and found so few poppies that they do not expect any opium to come out of Afghanistan this year.

    "We are not just guessing. We have seen the proof in the fields," said Bernard Frahi, regional director for the U.N. program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He laid out photographs of vast tracts of land cultivated with wheat alongside pictures of the same fields taken a year earlier -- a sea of blood-red poppies.

    Afghanistan, Opium and the Taliban
     
  5. sargon20

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    What would be the point? Temporary solution. People have been getting high for millenia. The world isn't pretty and we need some relief.
     
  6. Calboner

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    Whoops -- I was careless. Just had another look at my distinguished source (Wikipedia) and noticed a word that I overlooked before:
    Still, even if we're not the leader in the consumption of illegal opium products, we must be way up there.
    Yes.
     
  7. Gillette

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    Because addiction isn't as simple as all that.

    Take a look at tobacco. Smokers know it's bad for them and the education helps prevent people from starting in the first place but the process is painfully slow as a means to eliminating the industry. Did big tobacco need a bailout?

    Now, eliminate all tobacco crops and smokers will go through a hellish but brief withdrawl period (about three weeks to be free of nicotine addiction) and then everybody is a non smoker.

    The only way to effectively deal with an addiction is to prevent the substance from entering the body to feed that addiction. Eliminating the substance is going to be significantly more effective than saying, "Drugs are bad, Mmmkay."
     
  8. D_Fiona_Farvel

    D_Fiona_Farvel Account Disabled

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    No doubt the United States has issues with prescription opiates as well, so I think the data offered in Wikipedia is relevant to the drugs discussion, just not the illegal consumption that funds the Afghan drug market.

    Does anyone recall the propaganda from about 2002 stating that the terrorists were trying to kill Americans by spiking heroin and cocaine with poison? *If one can somehow distinguish what's already in highly stepped on cocaine from poison :09: :biggrin1:* Perhaps we need another media campaign offering a similar terrorist angle - it could work. :rolleyes:

    My point is this, napalming Afghan poppy fields will accomplish nothing. Even if partially eradicated in Afghanistan - which does not address other opium producing nations or synthetic opium available in the street drug market - heroin will rebound in Afghanistan, like the Coca has in LatAm after decades of failed "War on Drugs" policy.

    So either, one attempts to deal with the reasons why the drug is consumed, which, to this point, has proven unsuccessful, or find a way to offer it to users in a way that does not support "terrorists".

    Would also like to add, I do not think drugs are bad. In fact, I support the individual right to use drugs as the person deems fit. My issue is bad policy, and trying to keep illicit substances away from people is a futile drain on resources and certainly a waste of good napalm.
     
  9. joyboytoy79

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    I know i'm crazy for suggesting this, but... well, i know i'm crazy anyway.

    What we need to do isn't to destroy the sole income of a nearly impoverished people. The Opium farmers don't get paid nearly what their crop is worth. Why? Because they're selling it to people who in turn sell it on the black market. The farmers can't sell it in an open and regulated market, where they might stand a better chance of profiting from the actual value of their crop.

    The solution, imho, is to decriminalize opium resin. Raw resin. Opium, in it's natural form, is about as addictive as nicotine... some studies (this is off of memory, peeps, please don't ask me to supply the actual studies) a few years back suggested that natural opium resin is actually less addictive than tobacco. Lets decriminalize opium, regulate the hell out of it, and make sure it's expensive enough that purification and rendering into its derivitives is prohibitive.

    If we establish an actual trade in opium with afghanistan it will allow us to remove, or at least, seriously hinder the black market trade. We'll be taking money out of the hands of the terrorists. If we levy taxes on the legal sale of opium within the US we can use that money to fund addiction counseling centers. All the while, we'll be building an industry within our own country, and helping to establish diplomatic relations with a region that thus far has had nothing to gain from establishing such relations with us.

    OK. So, i said the craziness. I'm done now.
     
  10. patrick222

    patrick222 Member

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    What did we learn in Viet Nam ?
     
  11. joyboytoy79

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    You're on to something here. Opium is a poppy. Poppies and their close relatives and allies, are among the most widespread of plants. One reason for their success is that their seeds remain viable (that is, capable of sprouting and growing into new plants) for decades. DECADES. Napalm the opium fields. In 3 years when the toxins have leached out of the soil (and into the water supply), new poppies will sprout naturally. Napalm them again. 3 more years, and a new crop of poppies. We would have to Napalm these fields for decades. The Indus and her people would probably not think too highly of us for that.
     
  12. Principessa

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    Thank you I was thinking pretty much the same thing. Actually, my first thought was, we don't Napalm the Afghan Poppy fields because that is cruel and unusual punishment.:mad: :rolleyes: :duh:
    Napalm can kill or wound by immolation and by asphyxiation. Immolation produces rapid loss of blood pressure, unconsciousness and death in a short time. Third-degree burns are typically not painful at the time, because only the skin nerves respond to heat and third-degree burns kill the nerves. Burn victims do not experience first-degree burns due to the adhesive properties of napalm that stick to the skin. Severe second-degree burns, likely to be suffered by someone hit with a small splash of napalm are severely painful and produce hideous scars called keloids, which can also bring about motor disturbances.[1]
    "Napalm is the most terrible pain you can imagine," said Kim Phúc, a napalm bombing survivor known from a famous Vietnam War photograph. "Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius. Napalm generates temperatures of 800 to 1,200 degrees Celsius."[10]

    As for addressing the demand side first. That really makes no sense to me. Are you saying treat all the heroin addicts first? Cause that is well nigh to impossible. My best friends sister has been addicted to heroin for over 16 years now. She has been kicked out or flunked out of some of the best rehabs in New Jersey and NYC. Heroin is one of the most difficult to treat addictions there is. It's worse than crystal meth, pot, even tobacco.
     
  13. Calboner

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    I think your "craziness" is sanity itself. But I don't expect to see such sanity prevail in US drug policy in my lifetime. The people who are able and willing to think about these issues in a sober and factual manner, and to look at the drug trade as an economic phenomenon rather than as the work of the devil, are far too small a minority.
     
  14. mynameisnobody

    mynameisnobody New Member

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    Napalm the poppy fields?

    Hell of a "carbon footprint" that'd be.

    Meanwhile ... neither major US party seems to be very interested in admitting that the "war on drugs" has been a catastrophic failure. It would be nice if one or the other would show some class and admit that. But I don't see it happening any time soon.
     
  15. lucky8

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    Seriously? SERIOUSLY? Nobody knows the correct answer to this question? Contrary to popular belief, the Taliban used to be against the growing of poppy.

    Before the War on Terror began, the Taliban was the largest policing organization in Afghanistan...this includes the policing of poppy fields. When we went into Afghanistan, we destroyed what little economic infrastucture the country had, along with eradicating part of the Taliban. Since the main polic'er' of poppy fields was eradicated from the country, and the country's infrastructure was destoryed, most Afghan farmers had little choice but to begin growing more and more poppy in order to support their families. On top of this, there are only a few other options Afghan farmers have due to soil conditions, and poppy happens to be the most profitable one. Destroying the poppy fields would wipe out the main source of income for a substantial part of the country, only adding more incentive for the population to join 'terrorist organizations.'

    Besides, the US government has never been against the drug trade, its the unregulated drug trade that bothers them. The government has its hands in everyone's pockets at every chance they get...just look at our ridiculous tax code...EVERYTHING is taxed, and taxes are used as incentives in order to control us...it's reality. Like I said, it's the unregulated drug trade that bothers them. Iran-Contra ring a bell?
     
  16. SpeedoGuy

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    I might be willing to bet that some of our so-called "allies" among the warlords of Afghanistan also get their income from poppy farming. It might prove to be be not-so-simple a matter to to determine whose poppy fields to decimate. Further, it might also prove embarrassing that we'd be eliminating heroin production originating from our foes but not that of our friends.

    Best just to pretend poppy fields and opium and heroin don't exist.
     
  17. joyboytoy79

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    This is exactly what i mean by "craziness." There are so many people in this country that have strong moral compasses, but an inability to understand that to be moral, one must be presented with both right and wrong choices. Rather, they feel we're a much stronger nation when morality is legislated for us, so we don't have to make those right choices for ourselves.

    And then they try to preach at us about individual freedoms.

    *sigh*

    I don't disagree that addiction kills people. I don't disagree that opium derivatives are among the most addictive substances in the world. I do, feel, however, that by simply making opium her chemical daughters illegal, we've removed a safety net of regulation and quality control that could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Shooting up with heroin is a bad choice. Smoking opium is also a bad choice. But people are going to do it whether it's legal or not. If it isn't legal, they're going to make even more bad choices about how to get the stuff. They're going to reward other people who've made bad choices, and we're going to be forced to punish many people who haven't made bad choices by burdening them with taxes and locking up their loved ones.

    Make it legal. Clean it up. Make it safer. Establish trade with a nation whose help we need. How is THAT the wrong choice?
     
  18. D_Pubert Stabbingpain

    D_Pubert Stabbingpain Account Disabled

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  19. AllHazzardi

    AllHazzardi Member

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    You know, I wonder how much the drug policy of the US and world really impacts on a lot of motives. Many groups will strike at a target primarily due to repression or unfair treatment.

    For example, Florida produces a large number of Oranges; lots of people like them. If that product were to suddenly be made illegal(Maybe someone synthesizes a drug from the skins), a large amount of the farming population of Florida(companies inclusive) would either be out of work or forced to spend a lot of money investing in a new product. While in the US we can do this relatively easily, what about less highly civilized villages and countries? If a country's native crop(What they grew, know how to grow, and are set up to grow) is illegal, aren't they effectively being excluded from the free market system? It's like the marketplace stopping you at the door of an "equality" oriented plaza saying "We don't like your kind here".

    My stance on drugs is that abuse of them can be harmful. We always call drug addicts "Drug abusers", but then what is a "Drug user"? I believe that would be anyone sufficiently educated in the effects of a substance to consume it safely without developing unfavorable dependencies or side effects, or someone who enjoys the effects or taste and does not concern the damage done, so long as it does not become excessive. I also take a libertarian stance on drugs; I believe what you do on your own time is your choice, just don't cause any problems for anyone else by doing it. If the supply of many drugs whom people are addicted to were readily and cheaply available, you wouldn't have the same breaking and stealing for money for their fix. I think usage should be fully legal and licensed for two reasons. One, an education and licensing system allows people to make their own choices; Teach what drugs do that's bad, what they do that's good, what the proper dosage is, and how to nutritionally compensate for their usage to avoid withdrawal and dependency, show some extreme cases in both directions. Two, when the substance is legal, you have control over its flow and distribution; If you choose to make it illegal, those who want it will still obtain it from those who are willing to break the law, and you have no control over the supply.

    When you control the supply and the sale is legal, the money goes from buyer to seller to producer, all individuals who are in the country and can be paying taxes, when you do not control the supply and the sale is illegal, the money goes from buyer to middleman to criminal, often ending outside the country and with no taxes paid. You could even charge a license renewal fee.

    I mean, if you had a product, and the world shut the door on you, what levels would you be pushed to when you cannot sale the product you can make nor take on a new product?
     
    #19 AllHazzardi, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  20. midlifebear

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    It's rather odd to me that papaveracae somniferum, the opium poppy, was a common garden annual in my grandparent's yards. Then sometime around 1968 the local police came by and told everyone growing the plants to tear them out because they were suddenly illegal. My paternal grandmother continued to grow a few of the plants every year, drying the whole plant after it bloomed and using it to make a nasty tasting vile tea that helped mask the pain of arthritis in her hands and knees, helped her sleep, and worked like a million bucks whenever any of us grand kids had the flu and serious nausea. Most of the seniors her age living in the same little mormon town continued to do the same.

    Now, thanks to Reagan's drug policies that are still in place, if the local law finds one marijuana plant or opium poppy growing anywhere on your property, the government seizes your property and you have no chance of ever recovering it. And then there's the automatic jail time.

    The same poppy sprouts up and grows as a wild flower in most of the world and oddly, there is no problem of growing huge tracts of it for opium production. What a sad, fucked up world it often is in the USA. You have to ask, "Why is heroin and opium so popular with the population in the USA?" There's no question The War On Drugs, after almost 50 years, has failed miserably.
     
    #20 midlifebear, Aug 10, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
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