Opiate of the Asses

CNN writes today about the difficulty caused by Afghanistan’s reliance on opium as a cash crop.

Afghani opium production isn’t a problem for the United States, it’s an opportunity. Here’s how.

The Taliban runs on opium profits, extorted from local farmers in a protection racket. The farmers grow poppies because they’re just about the only thing the crappy soil can support that’s worth a damn. Without killing them all, we are not going to stop either the farmers from growing poppies or the Taliban from extorting the farmers. Take that as a given.

We should purchase each farmer’s entire output of opium poppies each year for a price double the going market rate. We should pay Xe (nee Blackwater) to provide protection for the farmers and their fields. We should take delivery of the poppies and process them into opium, morphine or whatever. What we don’t need, we burn.

We pull our troops out of Afghanistan, leaving it to fend for itself. If Afghanistan can’t get its crap together in ten years, it’s not our problem any more. The imminent departure of American troops and money will likely have a clarifying effect far greater than another ten years of our presence.

Heck, get all libertarian, legalize government-purchased Afghani heroin in the United States and tax the snot out of it. Sell it at government run drug stores. That alone would probably pay for the Afghanistan operations, plus throw off taxes to cut into our national debt.

‘Puter’s half-serious proposal has several advantages. It’s cheaper than military operations. It takes heroin off the market, or offers a new revenue source, depending on approach. It permits Afghan locals to live as they have for ages, growing poppies. And it bankrupts the Taliban. Oh, and we get to bring our troops home. Or move them to Pakistan, where the real problem resides.

It makes so much sense, it will never happen.

About 'Puter

Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this. ’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies. The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig. His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred. He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently. Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet. 'Puter suggests the Czar suck it.