The whole point of free speech is not to make ideas exempt from criticism but to expose them to it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Talk about a drug problem... oh, yeah, and free markets.

Afghanistan terrorists thrive on the heroin market. What to do? Keep them from growing poppies? Destroy their crop surplus stockpiles? Or stop buying what they're selling? Hey Bob and Mike, is the black market part of free market capitalism?


Thad Wasson said...

Our foreign policy in Afghanistan is the same we used in the late 1800's against the Indian tribes. Kill the buffalo and tame the population. Kill the poppy and tame the population. With this mindset, we will be there for the next 100 years.

Bob Newland said...

Thad, you impress me more and more all the time.

The black market is the ONLY representative of free market capitalism. No taxes. No regulation. Use the profits any way you want to.

Bill Fleming said...

Interesting. So in essence, we're actually fighting a war on the free market, Bob...Thad?

Or the free market, especially the American black market for the drug trade is funding enemy terrorist operations?

Or what?

Explain it to me, please, guys. Thanks.

Bob Newland said...

One could say we're fighting a war on the free market in our governmental battle to restrict the flow of some substances arbitrarily chosen to be prohibited.

Regardless of one's stance on what should be legal for people to ingest and what shouldn't be, this much is obvious to all but the densest (Pat Powers comes to mind): The mere fact of their illegality provides the reason for about 90% of the street price of any currently illegal substance.

A substance as easy to transport and smuggle as heroin provides a huge amount of the money used by a wide variety of organizations in the world.

This includes, but is not limited to, the CIA, the Shining Path, Al Quaeda, Hamas, and many of your local law enforcement groups and individuals.

No one should mistake this statement as advocacy for legalization. It is simply a fact. Do with it what you want.

Bill Fleming said...

Ok Thad, Bob, here's a wild hair idea.

Tell me what's wrong with it.

Instead of spending a ka-jillion dollars and killing a lot of Afghanis and American soldiers, how about we agree to buy up 100% of the Afghani poppy crop for the next few years or so, on the condition that the money goes to the people, education, infrastructure and humanitarian aid and not to fund Terrorist insurgencies?

In essence, we cut a money deal with the Taliban and take possession of the raw goods that enable the drug market.

Bob Newland said...

That, Bill, would be a great way to double opium production. Not a bad idea in itself, probably, but why should we pay for it?

Bill Fleming said...

Um.... let's win the war on terror and the hearts and minds of the people in middle east?

Bill Fleming said...

...and to wean heroin addicts off of their habits?

I dunno, Bob. Those are probably crummy marketing objectives, huh? I mean, we've got better things to spend money on, right? Like killing people and selling lies and stuff.

Bob Newland said...

Those are worthwhile objectives, Bill, but no matter how much opium we buy from how many different sources, we could never buy 100% of the production. Someone will fill the market demand for those who want heroin.

Michael Sanborn said...

I dunno guys. I don't like the government being in the car business. I'm pretty sure I don't want us in the opium business either.

Thad Wasson said...

Sounds like they might get bored if they dont have to maintain their crops. So bored they might fill the time by beating their women or planting roadside bombs.

Let our Euro allies worry about the drug trade.

betty76 said...

can poppies be used for anything other than heroine or muffins?

Bill Fleming said...

Betty76, Veterans Day lapel pins?

Michael Sanborn said...


The Wicked Witch of the West used poppies "Poppies! Poppies will make them sleep!" to tranquilize Dorothy, Toto and the Cowardly Lion.

The VFW makes fine use of them for Memorial Day.

They do make a fine muffin, don't they? My mom (a Czech) used poppy seeds in lots of recipes.

Besides being a thing of beauty, their most significant use has been in the development of medicine.

Bill Fleming said...

Make it the National Flower?

Les said...

It already is, in the minds of many Bill!

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.