Sunday, May 22, 2005

Stop Giving Money to the Killers

The Scotsman seems to think that Afghanistan is backsliding, that it is on the verge of renewed civil war. I think that the Islamic radicals would certainly hope so. Waheed of Afghan Warrior is talking about the riots stemming from the Koran desecration reports, but seems relatively unaware of any grand disaster in the offing.

Democratic governments are weak. They have a hard time controlling their people, and change comes slow. Nevertheless, they usually work better than tyrannies in the long run. The Afghan people are better off than they were in 2001. We know that from the fact that so many people have decided to go back. Nevertheless, there are admittedly some serious problems ahead for them.

The enemies that I see in Afghanistan are poverty, ignorance, corruption and fanaticism in that order. The source of future problems will be, no doubt in my mind, the corruption and easy money that come with the flourishing narcotics business. If Afghanistan can't beat that problem, and it probably can't, it will become like Colombia, a continuing low grade war with perpetual threats to democracy.

Our fault is not that we fail to provide sufficient assistance, military and economic, to the legitimate Afghan government. It is that we provide, all too easily, the financial assistance that the warlords and fanatics need to continue their activities. We do this indirectly by our insatiable demand for the drugs that Afghanistan, and Colombia, provide.

The solution is blindingly simple. Stop importing drugs from the bad guys. How do you do that? Start importing drugs from the good guys. Guess what! We could actually make money doing that and probably reduce the overall drug use in the US at the same time. We could certainly reduce the overall drug casualties by removing the violence from the process and removing money from the hands of violent people.

5/22/2005 11:54 PM

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