Thursday, June 24, 2010

US dilemma in Afghanistan

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Peninsula readers' letters: June 24

From Daily News Group readers

Posted: 06/23/2010 11:27:28 PM PDT
Updated: 06/23/2010 11:27:29 PM PDT

US dilemma in Afghanistan

Dear Editor: In Afghanistan, the U.S. is between a rock and a hard place. Afghanistan now produces 90 percent of the world's opium, which ends up on the streets of the world as heroin. According to one U.S. report, the area devoted to poppy production has nearly tripled in the last two years, and the country is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state. You can see why — drugs are about the only thing that poor country has that anyone else wants to buy.

The funny thing is, the U.S. is acting as the chief drug lord there, in a way, because it made it possible for all the smaller drug lords to come to power.

The U.S. hasn't exactly been a virtuous liberator, because while it proclaims how it's installed a new, more democratic government in Afghanistan, what it's actually done is set the drug lords and warlords free to operate again and control most of the country outside Kabul, the capital.

The U.S. has also taken advantage of Afghanistan's lawlessness to convert its bases there into what one human rights advocate called "an enormous U.S. jail." You see, since the Sept. 11 terrorist attack, one of the strategies of the U.S. in its "war on terror" has been to lock up anyone considered a suspect on any sort of grounds whatsoever, and where better to do it than in Afghanistan, where there's no legal system to challenge them and very few lawyers or human rights advocates to harass them and complain. Especially in the U.S., where most Americans stopped caring about Afghanistan a long time ago.

Ted Rudow III,MA

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