Even Opium-Poppy Farmers Are Feeling the Squeeze

Times is tough all over, pal:

Afghan farmers, who produce more than 90 percent of the opium used to make the world's heroin, slashed poppy cultivation by a fifth after prices plunged to 2001 levels while narco-cartels increased their strength and influence in the country, a United Nations study shows.

Opium-poppy cultivation fell 22 percent to 123,000 hectares (303,810 acres) as average farm-gate prices for dry opium dropped 34 percent to $64 a kilogram (2.2 pounds), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime said in a report. The 2009 harvest yielded up to 6,900 metric tons (7,605 tons), enough to make about 1,000 metric tons of heroin, the Vienna-based UNODC said.

More here.

Meanwhile, at the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan:

Secretary of State Clinton ordered an investigation on Tuesday into the Animal House revels of private guards at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan - including booze, hookers and other "deviant behavior."

More here

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  • ||

    booze, hookers and other "deviant behavior."

    I thought Teddy Kennedy was dead. What's he doing in Afghanistan?

    -jcr

  • ||

    Since when have US embassies employed private security guards? My dad was a foreign service officer, and all the US embassies I ever saw had US Marines at the gate.

    -jcr

  • Anonymous||

    They took everything. Even the stuff we didn't steal!

  • @||

    This isn't your father's State Department.

  • ||

    But you can't hold a whole embassy responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole embassy system? And if the whole embassy system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our diplomatic institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg--isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Prostitutes allegedly were brought in for birthday parties, drunken guards engaged in brawls and boozy lawn parties turned into naked affairs where guests urinated on one another, according to photos and videos obtained by the nonprofit group.

    I'd imagine it would be hard to find prostitutes in Afghanistan, but there you go, I guess.

  • Cabeza de Vaca||

    Sounds like fun, except for getting pissed on. Someone would get killed if they did that to me.

  • ||

    The Marines still provide small 'honor guard' protection with backup from Diplomatic Security in most embassies. But in dicey places like Iraq and Afghanistan, where a rifle company plus support is necessary, the Marines would rather be out in indian country rather than providing tasty targets for suicide bombers.

  • ||

    But I want them on that wall. I need them on that wall!

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Well, I'm sure anonymity guy will appreciate the lower opium prices.

  • ||

    Madam Secretary is shocked? I recall no such reaction to the state dept homosexual baccanal in Bahgdad a few months back.

  • anarch||

    What actually is the mental image that "pissed" in the sense of angry is supposed to connote?

  • Tommy||

    Where's da video?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    anarch,

    I'm thinking it refers to a negative reaction to someone "taking the piss out of you", the meaning of which I don't understand.

  • ||

    Maybe they brought the hookers in from Berlin in the diplomatic pouch. You know, the one they send the opium out in.

  • T||

    Booze, hookers, and deviant behavior sounds like a typical weekend when I was in the Army. I also thought the "private contractors" weren't held to the same standards. So, this should be just peachy, right?

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Maybe they brought the hookers in from Berlin in the diplomatic pouch. You know, the one they send the opium out in.

    Well, then the State Department should consider a Hookers 4 Heroin program. Sure it might create a long and painful string of international incidents, but it's the kind of bold thinking that solves crises.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Odd, T. In every unit I've been in, the standard weekend activities involve simply intramural sports and Bible studies. ;)

  • T||

    Odd, T. In every unit I've been in, the standard weekend activities involve simply intramural sports and Bible studies. ;)

    Well, you're in the new Army. We were being all we could be and you're just getting strong.

  • ||

    We could expand the program to include trading marijuana for fissile materials.

    Peace out, dooood.

  • Anonymous||

    simply intramural sports and Bible studies

    Perverts. Song of Solomon is about a woman.

  • ||

    So um, cheap drugs right? Does that make 9/11 part of medicare part D?

    And this:

    You've bought it this time, buster!
    I'm calling the oval office!
    I'm going to revoke your contract!
    If you mercenaries try one more thing...
    one more, l'll kick you out of the country!
    No more fun of any kind!

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    We were being all we could be and you're just getting strong.

    "Be All You Can Be" was definitely the best slogan, but at least it's no longer "Today's Army Wants to Join You".

    Song of Solomon is about a woman.

    We were just grateful there weren't illustrations.

  • T||

    We were just grateful there weren't illustrations.

    You weren't looking hard enough. Although I haven't seen a hardcore version yet.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    You weren't looking hard enough.

    True, but it's probably more overt than the hidden anti-'batin message in the Old Testament.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Sounds like fun, except for getting pissed on.


    Kanitundila!!!

  • T||

    Kanitundila!!!

    I forgot to ask yesterday: is that specifically for getting peed on by monkeys? Or just getting peed on generally?

    A word for getting peed on by monkeys seems awfully specific unless that's a common problem.

  • Kris||

    It's more common than you think, T. More common than you think.

  • ||

    It is, but mostly on Tuesday.

  • ||

    """I'd imagine it would be hard to find prostitutes in Afghanistan, but there you go, I guess."""

    It's the State department, they can fly them in on the taxpayers dime.

  • Happy Jack||

    Where's da video?

    No video, just stills.

  • ||

    Secretary of State Clinton ordered an investigation on Tuesday into the Animal House revels of private guards at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan - including booze, hookers and other "deviant behavior."



    Well, I guess that'll be one place scratched off Bill's list of places to visit.

  • ||

    They could pay the hookers 10 grand a week and write it down as security expenses.

    You wouldn't want to cut back funds for securing our embassy staff would you? ;-)

  • T||

    They could pay the hookers 10 grand a week and write it down as security expenses.

    Morale, Welfare, and Recreation funds for the staff. You always hide the hooker budget there. That way if you're caught, you didn't lie about the use of the funds.

  • han||

    Yet even after the 10 percent drop

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