Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Poppy Is Also a Flower

Today is Wednesday, 4 November 2009.


I’m 57, and have had arthritis since I was 20. I love autumn, and, every October, the transition of seasons plays particular wicked with my joints, particularly my back. Who feels like writing? And now, I think of the Third World.

Chronic pain, which I have, to greater or lesser degree, about 66% of the day … for lack of a better word … “sucks”. There are meds I could take, which I choose not to at this time, due to side effects … but, the point is, I could take. In the Third World … lots of luck.

This year, we … us/US taxpayers … will spend more than $3 billion to eradicate the poppy fields of Afghanistan, which produce 80-90% of the world’s heroin.

In the Third World, in hospitals, painkillers are in short supply. Very frequently, patients must pay a bribe to receive them. Otherwise: agony.

In an Op-Ed piece in The New York Times several years ago, which I can’t find at the moment, the author suggested that, instead of eradicating the poppy fields, they be cultivated under international supervision, and processed into morphine, which would then be provided at very low cost to the Third World. Afghan farmers would prosper, and needless suffering in the Third World be lessened.

But where’s the fun in that?

Since the beginning of the USA/USE “intervention” in Afghanistan under the Carter regime, we’ve supported warlords who profit greatly from the heroin trade. No eradication program has ever worked. Perhaps … because it would harm “our” warlords?

A successful international poppies-for-medicine program would cut the warlords off at the knees. And then, where would Karzai etc. be? Where would (narco)state building be?


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