Saturday, January 31, 2009

General Says Shoot Dealers in Afghanistan

A U.S. soldier surveys a poppy field as smoke rises in the distance near Spin Boldak in southern Afghanistan. Poppy seedpods produce opium, which can be refined into heroin. A recent United Nations report found that despite a multimillion-dollar effort to eradicate poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, production reached record highs in 2007. (Photo from National Geographic)

From The New York Times:

BERLIN — NATO’s senior military commander has proposed that the alliance’s soldiers in Afghanistan shoot drug traffickers without waiting for proof of their involvement with the Taliban insurgency, according to a report in the online edition of Der Spiegel magazine.

The commander, Gen. John Craddock of the United States, floated the idea in a confidential letter on Jan. 5 to Gen. Egon Ramms, a German officer who heads the NATO command center responsible for Afghanistan, Spiegel Online reported Thursday.

General Craddock wrote that “it was no longer necessary to produce intelligence or other evidence that each particular drug trafficker or narcotics facility in Afghanistan meets the criteria of being a military objective,” the news magazine reported. A NATO official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the wording of the letter, and several NATO officials said publicly on Friday that no such orders had ever been given to NATO troops.

Read more ....

More News On The Proposal Of Shooting Drug Dealers In Afghanistan

Nato split over order to strike Afghanistan drug smugglers -- Times Online
NATO High Commander Issues Illegitimate Order to Kill -- Der Spiegel
NATO Officers Reject Order to Kill Afghan Drug Traffickers -- Deutsche Welle
Leak about Afghan tactics throws spotlight on NATO -- International Herald Tribune
NATO official criticized for killing order -- Times Of The Internet
Afghanistan: Order to Kill Angers German Politicians -- Europe News
NATO orders leak probe after Afghan drug report -- Reuters
NATO launches probe into leak of classified document -- China View

My Comment: The drug industry in Afghanistan has resulted in making 1,000,000 Afghans dependent on drugs. Societies and families have been eviscerated as a result of opium and its derivatives .... both in Afghanistan and in the rest of the world.

In addition, the opium industry provides the money to the Taliban and their allies to purchase the weapons that they need, and to employ the desperate men in their ranks to fight ..... thereby continuing the misery.

The farmers who grow these crops and the dealers who sell them are just as guilty as the men who prepare suicide bombers to attack civilian targets. They may not have a weapon in their hands .... but they are the merchants of death and misery.

The elimination of Afghanistan's poppy fields should have been done a long time ago. Sigh .... better late than never.

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