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  • US debating new Agent Orange

    There's an initiative to destroy Afghan opium crops by spraying from aircraft. Thoughts, comments? Anyone? Anyone? What will Afghanistan's economy do without opium-this I think is a fundamental question.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071008/...fghan_drugs_dc

    "Artillery adds dignity to what would otherwise be a ugly brawl."
    --Frederick II, King of Prussia

  • #2
    Yay! Lets deprive Many farmers of their income and **** them off, and help the baddies out.

    Or we could, Buy the poppy crop, giving the farmers an income that helps out their government and give them an incentive to grow more profitable crops (Say a small % value of land has to be made to food or Other uses). Then use the Opium in medicines and for medical research, which is short of opiates (or so I hear).
    Winnie says
    ---------------------------------
    "He fell out of a Gestapo car, over a bridge, and onto a railway line. Then was run over by the Berlin Express.

    It was an Accident."
    Herr Flick.

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    • #3
      Glyphosphate is a very safe herbicide speaking from the perspective of human and animal health. So, there will be no medical side affects like occured with the dioxin from Agent Orange used in Vietnam.

      I would recommend paying the farmers not to produce opium first, and spraying the field only if they do not conform.

      Eradicating the opium will do a lot to reduce the illegal drug trade and financially cripple the Taliban.

      Yes, there are several agricultural crops which can be grown on these soils. The USDA has sent volunteers over to help these people learn about the crops, how to grow them, harvest them and market them. Last week the first USDA volunteer from the Forest Service was murdered. The convoy in which he was in was hit by a terrorist IED. Most of the crops in North America can also be grown in Afghanistan. Vineyards were a traditional crop in Afghanistan for centuries. The Taliban tore down virtually all the vineyards since the fruit could be used to make wine (& now they are are promoting heroin? Talk about double standards!).

      Killing the crops will hurt the Taliban more than anyone else. In war you hurt your enemy.
      Last edited by Trailboss49; 08 Oct 07, 19:22.
      "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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      • #4
        Its naive to think its just the Taliban who have fingers in this. Afghanistan is a criminal state by our standards those in power have, do and will make money from the opium harvest. It is hugely more profitable than any equivalent non-drug crop up to 10 times so.

        Also under the Taliban opium production shrunk.

        But like all areas that become lawless criminals step in and exploit it. Return law to these places and people no longer need to assure their futures in this way.

        Defeat the Taliban with conventional forces.. Do not doubt it is possible it will take an effort and a will. Return, law and order to the land create the situation for stability and economic diversification will follow. It is all the more harder as the regime is just a bunch of former crooks themselves.

        Opium is a symptom not a cause lets cure the cause.

        I believe we will need to occupy the country for at least 20 years to change the mindset that prevails.

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        • #5
          I have rreservations about such a step:

          1. Depriving the farmers of their cash criop will not suffice unless a viable alternative is available.

          2. Once the practice is started, it will require extensive patrolling and constant respraying to keep the farmers from simply regrowing, unless the agent is persistent.

          3. If we can do this in Afghanistan, we will have to do it throughout South America to eliminate the source of cocaine, then start in again throughout our own natrion as well as South America to stop the flood of marijuana.

          It is interesting that we avoid certain excuses to intervene in foreign nations. The mere suspected presence of WMD's was sufficient to justify invading Iraq; however, shipping tons of deadly narcotics into America from well known locations with which to poison our citizens and our children and cost us billions of dollars in enforcement and treatment costs is downgraded to a mere "law enforcement" issue. Are not large-scale narcotics "weapons of mass destruction"?
          Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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          • #6
            Glyphosphate is and has been used in Central and South America as a herbicidal spray for a few years now. So, yes, it is used down there. It really doesn't make news down there since the governments do it as just a matter of course. Same as Forest Service employees burning up plantations of marijuana on Federal lands.

            No, glyphosphate is not persistent, whatever is green it kills, once it contacts the soil it adheres to the soil and becomes inactive. Which is why it is usually sprayed after the opium has become large, but not mature, and if killed it would be too late to replant before the fall frost.

            There are other viable agricultural crops which can be grown on these crop fields.

            Yes, I tend to agree, narcotics are as bad as nuclear radiation to the welfare of our society and the health of our families.
            "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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            • #7
              I'm almost wondering whether it's worth letting them go. The more Poppy plantations equals more heroin, and I'd much prefer to deal with addicts on heroin, than addicts on things like methamphetamines and Ice. Heroin is not that bad for your you physically (save ODing), but the chemical concoctions worked up in someone's backyard are nasty, and more importantly from my point of view, make you really dangerous.

              Just thinking about it, as the heroin supply around here has largely run dry (really hard to get a hold of), and instead of drying out, the addicts have moved onto Ice, which as well as making them psychotic, also deadens their senses so they're damned hard to put down.
              Now listening too;
              - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov View Post
                I'm almost wondering whether it's worth letting them go. The more Poppy plantations equals more heroin, and I'd much prefer to deal with addicts on heroin, than addicts on things like methamphetamines and Ice. Heroin is not that bad for your you physically (save ODing), but the chemical concoctions worked up in someone's backyard are nasty, and more importantly from my point of view, make you really dangerous.

                Just thinking about it, as the heroin supply around here has largely run dry (really hard to get a hold of), and instead of drying out, the addicts have moved onto Ice, which as well as making them psychotic, also deadens their senses so they're damned hard to put down.
                Nice, very nice, wishing people to die from one poison than another. Just because something is 'organic' does not mean it is any less evil or villanous.
                "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                • #9
                  no, but like it or not, a percentage of the population are addicts, and I'd much prefer they replace the dangerous to society drug with the one with that we can ween them off with things like naltrexone. You can't do the same with Ice and it's cohorts. Education is the key, but zero-tolerance doesn't work; it just drives the price on the street up more which results in more violent crimes as addicts try to get their fix.

                  I'd prefer their were no addictions, but there are, and until someone comes up with a way of ending the dependence, I'm all for harm minimisation, and not just for the addicts themselves, but for myself and the rest of society.

                  curtailing opium production in Afghanistan won't reduce the drug problem; all it will do is drive those addicts to a replacement. And in nine times out of ten, that replacement is more harmful for the addict, and society in general, than the opium was.
                  Now listening too;
                  - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov View Post
                    curtailing opium production in Afghanistan won't reduce the drug problem;
                    A statement that many a drug addict will endorse. Odd how all the judicial systems throughout the world think otherwise.
                    "If you are right, then you are right even if everyone says you are wrong. If you are wrong then you are wrong even if everyone says you are right." William Penn.

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                    • #11
                      TB, I'm sitting in a town atm where heroin traffic has reduced substantially due to the efforts of my colleagues. Instead of seeing less drug-related crime, we're seeing more simply because the addicts have transferred their dependency onto the next readily available substance. Substances like methamphetamine which result in more violent drug-related crime, are more expensive, and are more damaging physically to the user.

                      And because heroin, marijuana, cocaine etc are not manufactured, they're not as readily available as the stuff cooked up in a backyard lab.

                      Now, not all judiciaries think zero-tolerance is the way to go, and most first responders will tell you that it's much better to deal with a heroin junkie than someone hopped up on speed. FREX, to apprehend and detain a heroin addict, you normally need one or two officers. To put down someone hopped up on ice, it regularly takes 4 or more big guys to get them down.

                      That also doesn't take into account the increased cases of DV, the assaults on police and hospital staff, and the physical and psychological injuries suffered by the users themselves.

                      The best way to hurt the Taliban opium trade is to remove the demand, and that starts with education, and confronting the soco-economic issues that lead to substance abuse. Otherwise, it's just a band-aid solution.
                      Now listening too;
                      - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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                      • #12
                        IVAN:

                        Apropo the present thread, I have had a question concerning the "gun roundup" you guys did. Seeing that you are in law enforcement, you make the perfect source. What effect, if any, has it had on your violent crime stats? Just curious, I make no political hay out of it either way.

                        GG
                        "The will of a section rooted in self interest, should not outweigh the vital interests of a whole people." -Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain-

                        "Fanatics of any sort are dangerous." -GG-

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Grognard Gunny View Post
                          IVAN:

                          Apropo the present thread, I have had a question concerning the "gun roundup" you guys did. Seeing that you are in law enforcement, you make the perfect source. What effect, if any, has it had on your violent crime stats? Just curious, I make no political hay out of it either way.

                          GG
                          well, I was still at school when that took place, so I've not noticed much change personally. Afaik, and I must stress, I have done very little research on this, gun-related homicides have fallen, but the gun-related crime has maintained near the same levels.

                          One side effect of it is that gun related crime tends to be more organised, as it takes a bit of planning and effort to get a firearm. Most are stolen from legal sources, mainly people not having properly secured gun cabinets. But gun-related crimes of passion have dropped off, mass-shootings have dropped off, that type of thing.

                          The gun-crime also tends to be centralised around the established criminal underground - not too many hold ups are conducted with firearms for example - normally knives and the like. Now, whether that is a result of the gun buyback, or whether it was always that way, I'm not sure.

                          The academics decided it was a waste of time and money, but it had the positive effect of making it harder for new illegal firearms to enter circulation. A typical hold-up weapon might be a sawn off .22 - semi-autos are fairly rare, and automatics are almost unheard of. But again, whether or not that is a result of the buyback, I can;t honestly say. I'll ask around some of the older guys and see what they say.
                          Now listening too;
                          - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for an honest answer. Please let me know if you gain any additional info on the matter.

                            GG
                            "The will of a section rooted in self interest, should not outweigh the vital interests of a whole people." -Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain-

                            "Fanatics of any sort are dangerous." -GG-

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                            • #15
                              If we get rid of opium in Afghanistan, the opium production will just move elsewhere.

                              Of course, it might move out of reach of the terrorist's wallets, but the opium will still keep flowing.

                              Isn't opium just a small fraction of Afghanistan's crops?

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