The Wrong Kind of Surge

From the AP, reporting on five U.S. troops being killed in Iraq over the weekend:

The deaths raised to at least 104 American troops who have died in Iraq as April draws to a close, making it the deadliest month since December, when 112 Americans died. The U.S. monthly death toll has topped 100 five other times since the Iraq war began in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count based on military figures.

More here.

Meanwhile in Afghanistan, NATO is cranking up an offensive against Taliban types:

More than 3,000 NATO and Afghan troops are participating in the operation, the latest effort to bring Helmand province under the control of President Hamid Karzai....

The operation will not touch Helmand's poppy fields, which supply much of the world's opium and its more potent derivative, heroin. That could antagonize the 2 million farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing poppy, something the alliance wishes to avoid.

In western Afghanistan, U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces battled with Taliban insurgents over three days, leaving at least 136 suspected militants dead, a coalition statement said Monday.

More here.

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  • Me||

    Cheap, affordable heroin and opium for the masses...
    But I can't afford a tank of ga$.

    People are dying for the manager$ of both commoditie$.

    I know..., this post has no point.

  • Dave W.||

    Cheap, affordable heroin and opium for the masses...
    But I can't afford a tank of ga$.


    heroin has fewer externalities.

  • ||

    I think Afghanistan demonstrates that, when you really get down to it, the federal government isn't interested in "winning" the drug war. We have a fantastic opportunity to decimate the opium trade, but won't.

  • ||

    "The operation will not touch Helmand's poppy fields, which supply much of the world's opium and its more potent derivative, heroin. That could antagonize the 2 million farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing poppy, something the alliance wishes to avoid."

    Look at that, we're actually realizing a benefit from the fact that the administration is ignoring Afghanistan.

  • ||

    The operation will not touch Helmand's poppy fields, which supply much of the world's opium and its more potent derivative, heroin. That could antagonize the 2 million farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing poppy, something the alliance wishes to avoid.

    I seem to recall the "war on drugs" being tied into the "war on terror"...or am I imagining that? If so, why are these poppy fields not destroyed??

  • ||

    Re: 2 million farmers. Could it be that this administration is actually not stupid enough to destroy these crops and push half of those farmers into becoming Taliban? Or is it just that they don't have the bandwidth yet to take on the job?

  • ||

    making it the deadliest month since December

    And it was the deadliest April in nearly a year.

  • ||

    "We have a fantastic opportunity to decimate the opium trade, but won't."

    If we clamped down on opium growing there, it would just relocate elsewhere as long as there is a demand for it.

  • Guy Montag||

    The operation will not touch Helmand's poppy fields, which supply much of the world's opium and its more potent derivative, heroin.

    On major cable television news this was called a poppy eradication effort.

    Seems like different reporters have different facts, or more likely, different reporters tied drugs into a military operation without any facts at all.

  • Guy Montag||

    Re: 2 million farmers. Could it be that this administration is actually not stupid enough to destroy these crops and push half of those farmers into becoming Taliban? Or is it just that they don't have the bandwidth yet to take on the job?

    Since almost all of the other direct US military support of foreign drug erradication is directed at Marxist rebels, or offshoots, you might be onto something. If this portion of the story is accurate at all, of course.

  • Guy Montag||

    Yea, this terrible Iraq war. George Tenet's new book says on pages 325-326 that Iraq had 550 tons of yellow cake that was sealed by the international inspectors and they would not have a nuclear weapon until 2007 - 2009.

    See, if we had just left them alone we would have so much more time for negotiations.

  • ||

    Ohnoes! Low-grade uranium ore, and no processing facilities!

    Why, if they'd acquired a few gallons of vinegar, they could have had...wet low-grade uranium ore!

    Thank god we killed a few hundred thousand people and created an Iranian ally state instead.

  • Guy Montag||

    The Canadians seem to think we are chopping down poppies but MSNBC disagrees and both articles seem to be pretty similar other than the poppy/anti-poppy thing.

  • ||

    So, as a heroin dealer, I am supporting the War on terror? Or am I hurting the War on Drugs?
    Both?

    Gosh, I'm confused . .

  • uncle sam||

    That could antagonize the 2 million farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing poppy, something the alliance wishes to avoid.
    Yet the government has no problem antagonizing millions of its citizens.
    Is that because most of us won't shoot back?

    What names would be applied to an individual that acted like the government?

    1. Stupid
    2. Arrogant
    3. Incoherent
    4. Mean
    5. etc.

  • Guy Montag||

    Hey Nick, don't forget tomorrow is May Day.

  • han||

    The Wrong Kind of Surge

  • han||

    That could antagonize the 2 million farmers whose livelihoods depend on growing poppy,

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