Pubdate: Wed, 09 Jan 2008
Source: News & Observer (Raleigh, NC)
Copyright: 2008 The News and Observer Publishing Company
Author: David Page


Regarding the Jan. 3 article "Record Afghan poppy crop expected again 
in '08": The Afghan poppy crop is increasing by one-third, and the 
Taliban gets 20 percent to 60 percent of its money from heroin. All 
this according to the Associated Press.

On National Public Radio, the U.S. ambassador favored aerial 
spraying. Gen. Dan McNeill said NATO "would not be involved in 
eradication of poppies from the fields but could bear down on drug 
growers and dealers connected to the insurgency."

Good luck. Spraying means poisoning and depriving the poor farmer of 
his livelihood. Why don't we simply buy the poppies and have a big 
bonfire? The cost would be less than running the war in Iraq for two 
weeks. We would make friends -- not enemies.

If the Taliban takes the money from the farmer, then the Taliban 
makes an enemy. Aren't we supposed to win the hearts and minds of the people

David Page
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom