Buckley Goes Poppies, Pops Afghan Question

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William F. Buckley, arguably the top conservative to have come out against the War in Iraq, isn't much cheerier when he turns his gaze to Afghanistan. He notes that despite U.S. occupation, the (illegal) opium-poppy crop is up about 50 percent, making Afghanistan supplier of some 92 percent of the world market for such plants.

After detailing the popular resurgence of the Taliban–"It is as if in 1950 the German people had drifted back toward life under Nazism"–he concludes:

God works in mysterious ways, among them His failure to act at all. Mr. Bush acknowledges the complexity of the terrorist problem, but his triumphalist rhetoric is at odds with realities that have us wondering what to do about poppies, let alone devising means of educating 30 million people in the depredations of life under such a regime as is nevertheless making its way back to power and popularity. Sometimes bedevilment shakes its unruly head and says: Give those people the poppies and require them to inject themselves every day with their delirious substance.

All right, all right, one gets carried away. But what can the leader of the free world do, beyond reiterating our homilies?

More here.

NEXT: Armitage Opens Up; Feels So Bad, He Feels Like a Ball Game on a Rainy Day[*]

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  1. Buckley was one of the first saying that the war on drugs would be counterproductive. Apparently that neuron has flaked out too.

  2. Buckley is also more a true conservative than many of the religious right types like Santorum and Frist.

  3. Tom,

    Indeed; Buckley always reminds me why I was once a conservative, but with the Santorum/Frist(although he’s done marvelous work with the Transparency Act, which passed the Senate last night) types having co-opted “the movement” I’m still ashamed to admit it. Conservatism was once merely allied with the religious right; now it is dependent on it.

    I’m not sure what Ron Hardin’s comment is supposed to mean, though.

  4. The neocons expected the Iraqis to behave like Eastern Europeans after the fall of Communism; Buckley expects the Afghans to behave like Germans after the fall of Nazism. Both are bemused and confounded that a nation of people who are very different culturally from ourselves should not react as we would in a given situation. I always thought Bush and his advisers were idiots in this respect, but I thought better of Buckley.

  5. Perhaps we could cut the cultivation of opium down if we paid the poor farmers not to grow the crops? Oh wait we already tried that didn’t we. How about we let the Taliban take over and give them money to enforce the laws and destroy poppy fields? Damn we already did that one too.

    I haven’t heard it in a while but I recall them going with the “if you use drugs your supporting terrorists,” line to propaganda to battle the WoD. Now since we paid off the terrorists directly in the past does that mean that if you are in favor of a drug free world you then support terrorism? Only difference being whether your support is taken from you by the government and handed to the terrorist or if you buy some substance they produced on your own.

    Again it shows how absurd our politicians are to think they can mandate the erradication of a plant. Just because most of them have the mental capacity of a potted plant we are all forced to suffer. What kind of ego must one have to honestly think they can stop a plant from growing. It was growing long before you ever outlawed it but nevermind that your in power now and it will never be allowed to grow again! Yeah right and Social Security is as solid as a rock as well, great job.

  6. Perhaps we could cut the cultivation of opium down if we paid the poor farmers not to grow the crops? Oh wait we already tried that didn’t we. How about we let the Taliban take over and give them money to enforce the laws and destroy poppy fields? Damn we already did that one too.

    I haven’t heard it in a while but I recall them going with the “if you use drugs your supporting terrorists,” line to propaganda to battle the WoD. Now since we paid off the terrorists directly in the past does that mean that if you are in favor of a drug free world you then support terrorism? Only difference being whether your support is taken from you by the government and handed to the terrorist or if you buy some substance they produced on your own.

    Again it shows how absurd our politicians are to think they can mandate the erradication of a plant. Just because most of them have the mental capacity of a potted plant we are all forced to suffer. What kind of ego must one have to honestly think they can stop a plant from growing. It was growing long before you ever outlawed it but nevermind that your in power now and it will never be allowed to grow again! Yeah right and Social Security is as solid as a rock as well, great job.

  7. Considering that poppy seed muffins and bagels (my favorite!) can make you pop positive on drug tests, I’m surprised the Nanny Nazis at the Bush administration haven’t moved to have such muffins, mixes, and seeds removed from every grocery store and Starbucks, in addition to all the other “War on Drugs” idiocy.

  8. “I’m surprised the Nanny Nazis at the Bush administration haven’t moved to have such muffins, mixes, and seeds removed from every grocery store and Starbucks”

    If the DEA’s anti-hemp policy hadn’t been struck down by a court, they probably would have done that eventually.

  9. Perhaps we could cut the cultivation of opium down if we paid the poor farmers not to grow the crops? Oh wait we already tried that didn’t we. How about we let the Taliban take over and give them money to enforce the laws and destroy poppy fields? Damn we already did that one too.

    I haven’t heard it in a while but I recall them going with the “if you use drugs your supporting terrorists,” line to propaganda to battle the WoD. Now since we paid off the terrorists directly in the past does that mean that if you are in favor of a drug free world you then support terrorism? Only difference being whether your support is taken from you by the government and handed to the terrorist or if you buy some substance they produced on your own.

    Again it shows how absurd our politicians are to think they can mandate the erradication of a plant. Just because most of them have the mental capacity of a potted plant we are all forced to suffer. What kind of ego must one have to honestly think they can stop a plant from growing. It was growing long before you ever outlawed it but nevermind that your in power now and it will never be allowed to grow again! Yeah right and Social Security is as solid as a rock as well, great job.

  10. The neocons expected the Iraqis to behave like Eastern Europeans after the fall of Communism;

    The eastern Europeans didn’t get their cities bombed for 10 years and they were not ‘liberated’. They did it on their own and for the most part bloodless. So, it is rather naive to believe Iraqis would behave the same way.

  11. how is it our business what plants people are growing in asia anyway? if we really want the afghan poppy industry to go under, why doesnt the gov. just start huge poppy farms out west using illegal immigrant labor, and export to the rest of the world, driving demand down? after, all, we all need to get high with a little help from our friends right?

  12. “just start huge poppy farms out west using illegal immigrant labor, and export to the rest of the world, driving demand down?”

    Uh, J Gray, just where did you study economics?

    I hope what you meant to say was “flood the market and drive the PRICE down.”

  13. Ha ha stupid americans never do anything right.
    All the mess they created & now they have absolutely no friends in the world.

  14. mr maggot you are right

    the opiumgrowers don’t want us dollars
    they get their dollars from local warlodrs of afganistan & are qiute pleased to know that their hi quality products are killing thousands of americans every year

  15. Ha ha stupid americans never do anything right.
    All the mess they created & now they have absolutely no friends in the world.

    Nations don’t have “friends.” They have “interests.”

    That said, expecting Afghan farmers to give up the easy profits to be had on opium, just so a bunch of nitwits in the USA have a harder time smoking/shooting their way to oblivion is, umm, naive. That’s one word for it. Heck, if I were an Afghan farmer, that’s the only damned thing I’d be growing.

  16. mr maggot

    I am not a US citizen. I (and many other Canadians) consider myself a friend of the US and its people.

    This does not mean we agree with all the US policies and will not criticize them, it just means we think that the USA is a good thing, for the most part.

    Whenever one of our loudmouth anti-Americans sounds off & blames the USA for all the world’s problems, I as them what other world power in history they would prefer as a neighbor: The English? The French? The Germans? The Chinese (shudder)? The Russians (double shudder)?

  17. “the opiumgrowers don’t want us dollars
    they get their dollars from local warlodrs of afganistan & are qiute pleased to know that their hi quality products are killing thousands of americans every year”….

    I dont think so. They are farmers, growing the only product worth the effort, which has guaranteed buyers, who pay in cash. Not unlike Columbian coca growers….theres no rural infrastructure (decent roads, bridges, etc) in rural Columbia….are cessnas gonna fly in to pick up loads of potatos??
    And in both cases its valuable because its illegal.
    Right now, Turkey has almost a monopoly on supplying the LEGAL market for opium derivatives. Want to bet Afghan farmers could supply the same product cheaper? Or just end this cockamamie drug war, remove the vast profits (not realized by the farmers, remember- they mannage to survive OK on what they make, thats all…..

  18. If the Aghans would just switch to growing Cannabis, many of us baby-boomers would be glad to help their economy.

  19. yo, dude… Ive had Afghani weed. Whoa……

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