Thursday, December 03, 2009

A Man, a Plan, Afghanistan

I’m probably going to sound all Libertarian here—and frankly, I’d be more sympathetic to some of their perspectives on personal liberty and societal freedom if they weren’t all so conspiracy-theory happy and if those kids who man their information booths had better complexions—but so be it: I really do think that a better way to end the war in Afghanistan (or at least, an alternate strategy) than sending 30,000 additional American troops over there (at a minimum cost, if we figure a million bucks a year per soldier of something like thirty billion dollars) would be to legalize heroin and make it available on the model of prescription drugs if not—and this, I think would be the preferred way—in the same way that alcohol is sold: only to people over 21 and with lots of taxes to pay for prevention and treatment programs for people who get hooked on it.

I can’t believe that much of the strife in Afghanistan isn’t over resources and money; from everything I’ve come to understand, the terrorists get a major part of their funding from the opium poppy trade. I, for one, would rather have giant multinational pharmaceutical companies making the money off heroin than scary multinational terrorist organizations.

If the trade in opium poppies were legal, then the destabilizing forces that result from local warlords controlling things would be, I think, alleviated and the chances for a secure government and a successful economy would be enhanced. Instead of 30,000 additional American troops, we might find instead a whole bunch of pharmaceutical salespeople and physicians supported by them.

Admittedly, my proposal would lead to some increased use and abuse of heroin in this country. But I contend that the social ills that would result from more addicts and overdoses are outweighed by the social benefits of not fighting another unwinnable war and not having beloved sons and daughters die in battle overseas.

But maybe I’m just high.


Blogger Deb's Lunch said...

Obama's plan to send more troops to Afghanistan really disappoints me - I woulda voted for Hillary if I wanted this business-as-usual approach to war.

8:40 AM  

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