Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Opium Wars? (This one was published)
"If they destroy our opium crop, how will we feed our family?" asks the farmer in Kim Sengupta's report in the Independent (p 26, 27th February). Answer: they will not be able to feed their family, so they will have to ally themselves with the drug barons and warlords who range themselves against the Afghan and British troops sent to carry our this harsh task. The way to control the poppy is for the West to buy the crop from the farmers and use it for pharmaceutical purposes, incinerating any excess. There is no substantial reason not to do this. It will be easier and cheaper for all concerned, not least the longsuffering squaddies in the British army.