Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Iraq Growing Opium; We Lose War on Terror and War on Drugs

One of the largest ways that the Taliban gets money is by growing poppies for the opium.

One of the things we did well in the early stages of the WaronTerror:Afghanistan was to get rid of the poppy crops. Fast forward to 2007, where this year's poppy crop is expected to be larger than last year's record-setting amount.

And now, we read that they are starting to grow poppies in Iraq:

Farmers in southern Iraq have started to grow opium poppies in their fields for the first time, sparking fears that Iraq might become a serious drugs producer along the lines of Afghanistan.

Rice farmers along the Euphrates, to the west of the city of Diwaniya, south of Baghdad, have stopped cultivating rice, for which the area is famous, and are instead planting poppies, Iraqi sources familiar with the area have told The Independent.

The shift to opium cultivation is still in its early stages but there is little the Iraqi government can do about it because rival Shia militias and their surrogates in the security forces control Diwaniya and its neighbourhood. There have been bloody clashes between militiamen, police, Iraqi army and US forces in the city over the past two months.



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