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UN Video Proves Afghanistan’s Crackdown on Opium Production Depends Upon the West

Aug. 19, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—The United Nations Office on Drugs & Crime (UNODC) yesterday put out a short video entitled “Taliban’s Poppy Ban: Can It Work?” It relates how, in April 2022, Afghanistan’s Taliban government banned all cultivation of opium poppy under strict new laws. Previously, Afghanistan was the source for 80% of the world’s illegal opium. Quoting UNODC: “While the 2022 harvest was largely exempted from the decree, the Taliban have strictly enforced the ban this year, aggressively eradicating poppy plantations and leaving farmers with limited economic opportunities.”

The UNODC Alternative Development Program works with communities in Afghanistan to help develop new crops, e.g., wheat, tomatoes, okra and citrus. It has also been helping with poultry production. However, international aid is dropping, and “a sustainable reduction of opiate production can only be achieved if accompanied by countrywide and long-term development support.”

The video is clear as far as it goes, but it barely mentions irrigation. The simple reality is that Afghanistan is ripe for the TVA-style hydroelectric development program that the U.S. had pushed in Afghanistan in the 1950s and 1960s. The electrical power, along with the water management and irrigation projects, are an obvious pathway forward. So obvious, one must ask: Is the West addicted to having its populations addicted?

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