Tuesday, June 24, 2008

More Bush Failure

Today the BBC has a report on the Taliban and how much money they make from opium in Afghanistan. The problem of course is that opium is financing the Taliban. They use this money for arms and ammunition. And the Bush administration seems to be doing nothing about it.

From Taleban's '$100m opium takings' by Kate Clark:

The Taleban made an estimated $100m (£50m) in 2007 from Afghan farmers growing poppy for the opium trade, the United Nations says.
"The closer we look at it, the closer we see the insurgents [are] to the drugs trade," said David Belgrove, head of counter narcotics at the British embassy in Kabul.

"We can say that a lot of their arms and ammunition are being funded directly by the drugs trade."
Let’s step back in time to almost TWO years ago.

From High on Opium, Not Democracy by Robert Scheer:
The good news, for drug fiends, is that Afghanistan has just harvested its biggest opium crop ever, up a whopping 59 percent from last year and big enough to cover 130 percent of the entire world market. The street price for illegal heroin, 92 percent of which now comes from Afghanistan, should be way down from Bangkok to London, and for those shooting up in the back alleys of Chicago. The bad news, for the rest of us, is that in Bush-liberated Afghanistan, billions in drug profits are financing the Taliban.

Remember them, the guys who harbored the Al Qaeda terrorists, who gifted us with the 9/11 attacks five years ago, that President Bush promised to eliminate? Well, it turns out that while he was distracted with Iraq, the patrons of terrorism were very much in business back where the 9/11 attack was hatched, turning Afghanistan into a narco-state that provides a lucrative source of cash for the "evildoers" Bush forgot about.
What the Bush Administration will not confront in Afghanistan, or in Iraq, is that its ill-conceived and disastrously executed nation-building schemes are sinking into the swamp of local and historical realities. Enamored of American military might but having little understanding of the world beyond, Bush and his team have ignored Gen. Colin Powell's reported "you break it, you own it" warnings, floundering after initial military victories and ultimately strengthening the hand of local and international terrorists. Rather than take care of business in Afghanistan after 9/11, Bush and clueless US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld allowed bin Laden to slip out of the Tora Bora caves to plan more attacks and the Taliban to regroup. Instead, Bush and Co. threw the bulk of our military and aid resources into a disastrous attempt to remake oil-rich Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, into an American puppet state.
Does President Bush care about this problem at all? Is he doing anything about it?

Speaking of terrorism. This is what we get from the McCain camp today.

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