April 5th, 2010
09:23 AM ET
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Jack

    Why don't we buy those poppies in a little higher price than the Taliban and we can use it to make medical morphine here in the US and sell the rest to the other governments of the world? We could be a great importer and exporter of those poppies and this would not only break the Taliban and Al-quaeda's money making and it would give us the power to restrict the 90% or so heroine addicts of around the world and we could make a good profit on it by helping the world, I don't know how complex it would be to engage in this business idea but it sounds good to me....

    May 2, 2010 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nathanael [desert voice]

    I should point out that I am not for "burning the Taliban." My hope is, and will remain, that President Karzai sees the light and convinces the Taliban not to interfere in Kandahar! Burn the poppies, yes, by all means. But the Taliban are human beings, and as such, they should be left alone if they choose a peaceful coexistence!

    April 8, 2010 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |
  3. Buggie Owens

    A. Smith...sorry but your statements about the Taliban's drug ban are not correct. Yes, they did apply a ban but that was due to a serious opium stockpile that had accrued. The price had dropped greatly. How do you bring the price up? Have an opium ban that would effectively raise the prices again. Also, although the statement that opium use is against Islamic principles, it is not really pertinent since opium has been grown for hundreds of years in the Golden Crescent region.

    However, I agree with everything else you wrote

    April 7, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. A. Smith, Oregon

    When the Taliban were in charge of Afghanistan there were very few Opium Poppy fields as they as strictly taboo in the Shiite Muslim religion.

    When the Taliban returns and the US Military pulls its troops out, the Opium Poppy fields will be largely destroyed. Opium smuggling across the middle east carries a death sentence in nearly all Islamic ruled country's, the Clerics controlling the Taliban fighters know this and certainly abide by those beliefs.

    It was ONLY after the US Military troops drove out the Taliban from Afghanistan that Opium Poppy fields expanded some 50 TIMES they were, making Afghanistan the number one Heroin producer in the world.

    Under Taliban rule Opium and Heroin production was certainly not Legal. Under handpicked Afghanistan President Karzai and his Opium exporting brother, both on the CIA payroll Afghanistan has legalized Opium and Heroin production.

    It's clear the CIA is directly involved in the Heroin production and legalizing Opium production in Afghanistan. The CIA's hand picked Afghanistan President legalized growing it, while it was illegal under the Taliban rule.

    It's clear that Karzai's brother is a major Opium and Heroin exporter in Afghanistan.

    It's clear that both Karzai and Karzi's brother are on the CIA pay-rolls.

    April 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. DAVE Muliigan

    BURN THE POPPY FIELDS DOWN! This is stupid to let them harvest the poppy, burn it all to hell with the taliban!!!

    April 7, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  6. SED

    I think we should move on the Taliban as soon as possible. If they feel they are being protected by Karzide, then he becomes the enemy and the USA must oust him in a coupe, since he is no longer stable or a reliable leader of a country that presents vital interestes tho the USA. Keep in mind that Pakistan is on it's eastern border, and Iran on the Western border. Consequently like it or not, we need to insure that the Taliban can not use Afghanistan as a area to regroup and attack a Nuclear Paistan, and Iran is always up to no good.

    April 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Buggie Owens

    As my dissertation topic is on the long historical involvement of the United States in Afghan opium, I can tell you that the vast majority of commenters have little clue about the role of American foreign policy in the creation of conditions that exist in Afghanistan today. So many of you are just saying "destroy the fields.' That is an easy statement to make if your boots are not on the ground in Afghanistan. You are overlooking the fact that often American allies in Afghanistan are also producing and selling opium and heroin. Pick one war: war on drugs or Afghanistan. You may get a victory in one but not in both of them. And for the uninformed who claim that "people are seeing CIA conspiracies everywhere," eviscerate your ignorance by reading Dr. Alfred McCoy's "The Politics of Heroin: the CIA complicity in the global drug trade." Otherwise, you clearly come off as not knowing what you are talking about to those of us who have some understanding of the nexus between intelligence and criminal networks

    April 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Whyee

    Destroying the poppy is like throwing the baby away with the bath water. Let give the people in charge chance to do the work that they were sent there to do,I mean the military. They know what is best for the Afghan people.Destroy the crop or not to destroy should be the decision for the military

    April 7, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joe

    All the information about just how much money is earned by the sales of the illegal products of the plants (try half of Afghanistan's GDP...). Yes, it would make sense to slash and burn the fields and cut off the head of the problem, as it were, but because it is truly a cash crop, there would be resounding effects that would not be fixed for no doubt decades to come, if at all. Go figure that although there have been bans on the cultivation of poppys, the bans go into effect after the seeds have been planted. Is there a ban on the sale/trade of opium and poppies into and out of Afghanistan? Again, go figure, there is not.

    April 7, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. fred miller

    Three words......OIL FOR OBAMA

    April 7, 2010 at 11:51 am | Report abuse |
  11. Nathanael [desert voice]

    Giggity says that, "if you remove their poppy income from that region you would fill the Taliban with thousands of new recruits." That is precisely what I call wabbling! You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't! So, Giggity gives us a "solution": "we need to engage in a balancing act of some sort." Again, wabbling: I do not like "balancing acts"! They remind me of Lord Chamberlain! No balancing acts, please! The poppy crop buys ammo for the Taliban. The campaign starts in two months. Are lives of American soldiers expendable? If not, deny Taliban this source of income! Worry later about "balancing acts"! If you find a buyer for all poppy crops in a week or so, it's OK. But beyond that, don't risk the soldiers' lives. Which means: destroy this year's crop for a reasonable cash compensation to the farmers!

    April 7, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jay

    In response to CentreField's suggestion that we genetically modify poppiies. Bad idea !!!
    Afghanistan is not the only place in the world that sustains poppy and marijuana crops. Both of these "God-given" plants grow rather nicely nearly anywhere. Papaver Somniferum (the opium poppy) grows in many many old established US gardens. There simply is no other crop that can be grown that would bring as much income to the Afghani farmers/economy. Too, the whole world NEEDS the morphine that comes from opium poppies. Can anyone imagine going through open heart surgery or a devastating (bomb blast?) injury without morphine to ease the pain? To my knowledge, there is still no more effective, cheaper, available, pain remedy than that which comes from the poppy. Whether prescribed or street-bought, it's the best and safest drug we have to alleviate excruciating pain. Please THINK before you suggest genetically-modifying it. The best solution, in my opinion, is to seize it ... and control it's production and distribution and the procedes from its sle around the world.

    April 7, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  13. Noel Ingle

    The locals will just get pissed off if we destroy the crop. Why don't the world's pharmacutical companies just buy this stuff up? Just buy it out from under the Taliban and put it to industrial use. The military can deal with a few guys and their donkeys.

    April 7, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nathanael [desert voice]

    The solution is only one and simple: give President Karzai ten days to order destruction of the poppies' crops in exchange for compensation to farmers. In other words, screw up the Taliban prior to this Kandahar invasion! Anything else is an unthinkable blunder! Either President Karzai does it himself, or the Coalition does it for him. End of the story! There should be not a single poppy left by the time the invasion starts! The farmers will be happy with equal amount of cash. The world will be spared the damage that is inflicted each year by opium and hashish! And Afghanistan will get the message that the U.S. isn't wabbling! Only a portion of the crop can be bought by the pharmaceutical companies if the government is willing to protect the farmers who are willing to go this route. But the bottom line is: the American soldiers should never allow Taliban to buy bullets that will later kill them, using this year's crop! This is also President Obama's job!

    April 7, 2010 at 9:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Michael

    I like that people care enough to post, keep posting your opinions, good and bad, so that the elected officials know what we as a people are thinking. Having said that, some of you need to read more than the abbreviated/headlines of news clips if you want to have your opinions validated. What do I mean? 'Afghani' is the form of currency in Afghanistan, while the people are referred to as 'Afghans'. Additionally, the farmers DO grow more than poppies, as there are 4 growing seasons. The problem is the lack of infrastructure to turn a profit on any of their other crops. Spent some significant time in Helmand province over the last couple of years, and it is a problem that will require years of work and billions of dollars. Are we as a nation ready to support that?

    April 7, 2010 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  16. Sensible soldier

    I am a soldier in the US Army, and I am going to Afghanistan in June. It is not so simple to just say, "Hey! Let's go tomorrow to another country with all our supplies and gear!" It takes weeks to plan, prepare, train, and move. Furthermore, all of you liberals who elected Barak Obama must now realize that it was HIS decision to go there at this specific time and not the military's. He has all ready sent brigades of troops to regions in Afghanistan as part of his surge, but they are not in Kandahar.

    The roots of this poppy problem go back to the 1950's when we wanted to contain communism and create a little America in Afghanistan. It didn't work, and we destoyed the farming in Kandahar and Helmund that, ironically, set the perfect conditions for poppies.

    Troops cannot fight properly because of politcal correctness: Various regulations and laws prevent us from doing our job effectively lest someone become offended or cause undo suffering or whatever. War is war, and it is horrible no matter what we do to change that. We fight with one arm tied behind our back while the enemies don't care and unleash what they can.

    April 7, 2010 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
  17. Dean

    A JOKE... our pathetic attempt to minimize American casualities has turned into a joke! Unless it violates the Geneva Convention – we should be utilizing every means available to end this Joke of a War. Can an American soldier call a "time out" to attend the harvest of his families farm (a crop most likely that is not tied to the drug trade)?

    Come on US... pull the trigger!!!!

    April 7, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  18. DFW2

    We think we own this country but we don't. I support the war on terror and out troops but it appears we are going to devastate another innocent country. What has the Taliban done to us. Why didn't we go after Saudi Arabia after 9-11. 17 highjackers were Saudi citizens. Of course that would have meant no more Hummers.

    April 7, 2010 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  19. Brian Snyder

    American Law is not International Law. As I stated earlier, it is legal by Afghani law to grow poppy and other opiates. The US govt, in conjunction with the International Fair Trade Bureau (IFTB) is working on bringing sustainable and internationally available crops, such as wheat, to these farmers. We are so used as Americans to immediate gratification with our fast food and on demand video that we don't realize that it takes months, if not years, to set up a successful agricultural system. it takes a year for the plants to initially grow, along with the training the farmers on harvesting machinery and proper growing techniques for the specialized crops. This is not something that can be done in 4 and a half days. so be patient, the US Armed Forces and NATO are in the process of switching the Afghani crops to internationally recognized ones. Our troops are doing one hell of a job overseas, and all of you who are bashing the govt and troops need a reality check. We are the most powerful nation in the world BECAUSE we have brave men and women serving in the military and protecting freedom. We are in Afghanistan to iradicate the Taliban and free the people, so that they can experience life as peacefully and freely as we do. As a US Marine, I am willing to lay down my life in the preservation of freedom for all the people oppressed around the world, because to me there is nothing more valuable than human life, and it is incredibly unjust for people to live under the yoke of opression. Unless you are willing to make this sacrafice, then do NOT speak negatively of the men and women who are on the edge of the sword of change, making the world a better place for humanity, and not just Americans.
    God Bless America and God Bless the troops,
    2nd Lt. Brian Snyder, USMC

    April 7, 2010 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  20. monkeys

    Why don't we buy the poppy and destroy them. Then pay the farmers more to grow lets say food? Maybe this is to simple?

    April 7, 2010 at 8:16 am | Report abuse |
  21. dude1111

    It will take decades to alter afghan farming by teaching and instructing at a high cost in lifes worldwide, leaving the country in the dissaray a drugeconomy produces. At the same time I respect not goin for "let them eat kossaksaddles" its been done before.
    How about something inbetween?

    April 7, 2010 at 8:01 am | Report abuse |
  22. Dennis

    I posted earlier but also want to follow up on Brian Snyder's comments. Read about the Agribusiness Development Teams made up of National Guard farmers from various states that have gone to Afghanistan to help update their farming techniques, manage their water, help rural widows earn an income when they cannot own land, treat hundreds of farm animals herded to free veterinary clinics, etc. They make this old farm boy proud. Similarly, read about the Female Engagement Teams that are going out and meeting with the females hidden away in family compounds to find out their needs. Read about the Provincial Reconstruction Teams led by various nations that are out building roads, schools, bridges, dams, digging wells, hosting free medical clinics, etc. See pictures of our troops playing with the kids. In comparison to us, these people have very simple "wants" that are nevertheless what we consider the most basic needs such as: safety, jobs, food, access to medical care, education for their children, and hope that their children will have a better life. The Taliban provides its brand of justice/safety and jobs for people, but cannot provide much of anything else and denies girls an education. Terrorists are like cockroaches in that they cannot be completely eradicated. Nonetheless, they are contained once our motives are recognized as honorable and our alternatives are recognized as superior by the average Afghani family. These families will then seek to root out the still-militant Taliban and crime syndicates from among their populations. Things won't always work out like we may have planned when there's war going on and a history of corruption, but we're finally pursing our objectives in manner that makes sense to me and nothing gets accomplished without actually trying to do it.

    April 7, 2010 at 4:35 am | Report abuse |
  23. CenterField

    What is the status of genetically enineered poppy polen? If we can drop/spread just enough it goes into the next generation of poppies and makes them less potent and potentially sterile. It would be hard to separate just by looking at the seeds/bulbs. It would be much better and last for more seed gnerations than the pesticides. We should cultivate our own bee farms( with native bees to Afganistan) to spread this pollen.It's a crazy sounding idea, but it could dent the poppy crop.

    April 7, 2010 at 3:28 am | Report abuse |
  24. Jason

    Why don't we get all of the Taliban fighters hooked on heroine? Pretty sure they wouldn't be very good fighters if they were drug addicts.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  25. griffin

    i am sure the seeds will end up on a bagel.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Gman

    Being a Vet from both Iraq and Afghanistan I have a GREAT IDEA for defeating the war on drugs. Hows this for a thought what if all the actors/actresses, politicians, business people and the soooooo called upper class stop using drugs and then they have no market for it. Simple supply and demand. Oh thats right you have your freedom to do what you want even if its wrong. Well I have news for all you druggies YOUR KILLING SOLDIERS!!!!!!!! Of course if you're jane fonda that's no big deal because she's coward away from saying that she killed American Service Men during the Vietnam War even though she was suppose to be a PEACE protestor. Enjoy your drugs upper class hope they're worth the cost.

    April 6, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
  27. George

    Where is Madam Clintons big mouth when it is needed. our children die from these pretty poppies, if you are going to fight a war on drugs, you are in the perfect place to kill two problems at once. seize the moment napalm and agent orange sounds good, that is too easy only Washington can mess up a wet dream by making it to complicated. I think Ben Ladin was killed two years ago so lets praise our faithful service men and women and destroy the cash crop and what ever else gets in the way. burn and destroy the farm land depart the area and tell Karzhi mission accomplished, if we have to come back it will be a clash of "titans"

    April 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
  28. surfsup

    Picking poppies is like making bullets for the Taliban to shoot troops. All Afgan civilians should be warned they can be shot for growing poppies. If Afgan government or Tribal chiefs don't agree leave the country ASAP. Next terror campaign started in Afganistan use some cruise missles and stealth bombers to take out the government. They had their chance. The Afgans are with us or against us. Time for them to decide.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  29. giggity75

    Well the problem is if you remove their poppy income from that region you would fill the Taliban with thousands of new recruits. Its the livelyhood of that entire country unfortunately. You take that away right now and everyone in that country would be fighting UN and US troops. Its a tough balancing act. I have no idea how to fix it. You need to get the Taliban out of there and then address the opium problem.

    April 6, 2010 at 7:04 pm | Report abuse |
  30. john burgess

    can you imagine the party they can have with all their poppy crops. "PARTY ON GARTH"

    April 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Dawn

    This is absolutely crazy. Why can't we burn the poppy fields? This is war, everything is fair game. The money from these fields are coming back to Afghanistan to directly harm our troops. Where else is the taliban getting money to buy guns, ammo, & rpg's. Here we are again, with our hands tied. I'm so sick of this. Burn the fields & get out now.

    April 6, 2010 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
  32. JD

    Just remember, don't believe everything you see or read from the media. They are extremly adapt at making storys more than they are. That sells paper and airtime.
    If the polititions would stay out of this and let the military do what we are trained to do, we would have been out of here years ago. This is another Korea, Vietnam and Persian Gulf.
    Congress needs to set the objective and then let us do what we do best without interferance. During WW 1 and 2 thousands of civilians died and everybody said that that is the price to free Europe. We are tying to give the world the right to live in peace without fear from extremist.

    April 6, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  33. MattCDF

    We have lost the war. We need to leave now. United States no longer has the means to produce victory over our enemies. The poppies need to be burned, period. Not only are we endangering the lives of our troops, but we are also supplying a dangerous drug that undermines society to our people. Either fight the war or leave. My official vote is that our government is incompetent. I will no longer vote for any incumbent Democrats or Republicans. It time for REAL change, and not the polarized game playing we have up on the Hill.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Jason from CA

    Most of you seem to just not get it at all. We can't just mow down the farmer's fields, because they were likely *forced* by the Taliban to grow poppy. If we can't win over the every day Afghans there's no point in being there. What would the Taliban do with all the money anyway? Buy more weapons... So what? This isn't some world class army we're fighting against. These guys don't stand a chance against except to run and hide anyway. We have to win over the Afghans who want stable lives or we may as well just leave now.

    April 6, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  35. shawn

    alright so most of you who dont know the cia has been involved in Afghanistan since the cold war, the afghani people most profitable source of income is poppies. when the cia last took down a major terrorist group there they also took down the poppy network, they then chopped up the business and gave it to ruling families there in return of peace in the region and as long as they didnt harvest more than so much poppy. the cia made a deal with the devil so as to the devil would stay in his own back yard. now we have a full military operation there and the afghanis see the cia and our military as the same people, america. if we dont help them then we will truly be screwed when we loose all friendly tribes in the area.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  36. anti daniel

    well daniel

    the afganis having been growing opium along time and they do indeed use it to finance a war against who ever their clerics tell them. its amazing you know how to use a computer with the intelligence youve displayed. drug dealers selling more drugs couldnt possibly get better guns than the police could they?

    April 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
  37. kim

    Your wrong that we aren't fighting the war on opiates/poppies there. we are but it isn't as highly publicized as everything else. There are groups there teaching the afghani's about other crops to grow and obtain an income but currently the afghani farmer knows opiates work and pay a decent sell priceplus you have some guy with a gun telling you that you will grow this so its a process. So just to set it straight there is an effort but it doesn't happen overnight, I believe Hillary Clinton even discussed this effort a few months back about teaching about alternative harvests.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  38. Gus

    I believe the US should assist the Poppy Farmers with fresh fertilizer immediately. Bleieve Napalm would work very well!

    April 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  39. JC

    It's kid of ironic that the Taliban had almost eradicated poppy fields before we kicked them out. Now we are claiming they are the one's promoting poppies. It is very hard to believe anything our government says when it comes to our endless state of war.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  40. ndginla

    The farmers are trying to make a living and they are under pressure from the Taliban and others to sell the crop to them. Why can't the US distroy the crop and pay the farmers damages. The farmers would be off the hook because their crop was distroyed without complicity with the US, and the US cuts off a major source of funding to the Taliban at wholesale prices.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  41. BAS

    Call your Congresman now. Ask him or her why American troops must absurdly watch and do nothing while Heroin producing plants are being harvested in front of them. Ask, if this is only cash crop they have to raise, why we have not provided another and created an artificial market for it.

    It would be cheaper and strip the Taliban of their funding and end the war sooner. Ask, why if the Afgan's need modest financial aid why we can't write them all a check. Consider that it sounds expensive, but is it really cheaper - how much do they really need to live and what do they really pocket in U.S. dollars from those Poppies; they probably see a few dollars of that money.

    So, why are we acting like idiots - unless of course we want those Poppies grown and the Taliban to keep fighting us. Lets use some common sense. Call your Congressman and ask him or her why we are avoiding the simple solution. Oh, and lets quit pretending we don't run the country shall we - the people want a better life and their corrupt leadership is not providing it, so lets please do the right thing by those people and by our citizens and eliminate the drug crop. We just look like idiots to the rest of the world.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Aziz M

    I really recommand and encourage CIA not touch their form yet due to only resource of income for them . First bring the replacement of what they do then you can destory the corps, . It is a very touchy area for success of this operation hold on to the people and edcucating themn about the side effect of what they do .

    April 6, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Paul

    Brian Snyder, USMC, said it well on this board. The mission in Afghanistan is just complex enough that the Mrs. Buckinghams and Daniels of the world tend to get easily confused. They try their best to offer a solution but are simply not intelligent enough to engage in rational discourse. The CIA isn't running the opium market, we actually landed on the moon and the world will not end in 2012. The U.S. Troops are actually doing a very tough job, exceptionally well. Counter-Insurgency efforts take time. We can't storm into every village, spray chemicals all over their crops and burn farms...the Russians did that and we know how that worked out. The goal of the U.S. in that region is clear to anyone possessing an IQ above 135 (That's me, thank you). The goal is to prevent terrorist groups from using the area as a launchpad for strikes around the world.
    Thank you Brian, for keeping me and my family safe the next time I take the kids to Dodger Stadium...and we don't get blown up!

    April 6, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  44. tammie

    until you are there and fighting this war, you will never understand. Some of your comments lead me to know some of you have no clue till you walk in my boots. Amen

    April 6, 2010 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
  45. Gee

    Wow, Let me get this straight. I am allowed to comment but only after I pass the apropriate test. Well test this. Men died so I could openly speak my mind. Now they die so the taliban can get their poopy crop harvested.Everybody get head out of your a** . Burn the d@mn plants and let the troops finish it before it consumes them.Don't let our boys down again. There lives are cherised by us all. Yet we abandon them when they fight for us.They are Americans. If you want to really support them stop baking cookies and use your voice.

    April 6, 2010 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  46. Brian Snyder

    The harvest of Opium is the one way that these people obtain money. Afgani law states that it is legal, so the NATO forces in country do not have the jurisdiction to stop the harvest. instead of trying to push through and create more problems, NATO is waiting for the harvest to be over. This may allow the Taliban to displace and regroup its militants and weapons, but the NATO high command sees this as a price to be paid in order to allow the Afghani civilians to continue their lives as normally as possible.
    To all the people who say "Just get out" or "Bomb the s**t out of them and end it", you all take what you have for granted. You expect other countries to adjust to the "American (or Western)" way of thinking, without respecting their traditional ways of life. These people know nothing but growing poppy, and when US soldiers with guns come in and say "NO! you cant do that any more!" its not very hard to see why the Taliban keeps coming up with new recruits. the DOD Agri program is aimed at slowly weening the Afghani people off of growing opium and onto other crops that will be available for trade with the rest of the world. So before you run your uninformed mouths, stop and think about what you are saying. All of you who speak without thinking are the reason that we as Americans are viewed as ignorant.
    God Bless the troops and God Bless America,
    2nd lt. Brian Snyder, USMC

    April 6, 2010 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  47. JackV

    the fact we have been in Afghanistan for over 7 years, and we have done nothing about the Poppy Crop, is like Alice in Wonderland.
    The Whole thing is a Joke, for 7 years the only real source of money to buy the guns & bullets has been the Poppy Crops.
    If the Almight US Military / Government cannot do this one thing and do it well then all is lost.
    If anyone thinks to bring the Taliban in to the Government that too is of Alice in Wonderland.
    The Taliban are Nazis, they execute whole villages, babies, children, old women, women, and you think they are (as they are younger men 20s, 30s, 40s) going to be civilized and go along with what Democracy, Women in Government, Women in School, Kids flying kites – If you think that they will change their ways to have some of government when they want it all. They think they are the Righteous Ones, why would they stop.
    You can only stop them (as you cannot kill them all – Remember Vietnam) one way and that is to stop the MONEY. Because you can win over the Afghan people, but the Taliban as now will come from the 70 million poor people of Pakistan, so it will never stop.
    As the CIA, does not seem to learn these people do not think in days or months or years, so 600 years from now we are going to be doing the same thing. The Iranian Clerics, all the dictators of the Middle East and their money does not want US to succeed, so 600 years it is.

    April 6, 2010 at 2:57 am | Report abuse |
  48. RC

    Dennis and JD,
    I can't agree more and hope this is the plan that we adopt/ are currently adopting. As for Daniel's comments at the top of this page. Ignorant. I would ask anyone who shares these views to educate themselves on the amount of sacrifice our military makes to ensure that the loss of civilian life is minimal. Perhaps CNN.com posts these on top to serve as a lightning rod for comments, but I certainly hope that this view is only shared by a limited number of people.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:25 am | Report abuse |
  49. Jerry Kambic

    This story really makes me mad. We have our troops wait until the poppy harvest is complete? Are you kidding me? For real? Then are enemy uses the same poppies to fund weapons to kill our troops? WTF? Whoever is in charge of these troops needs to be replaced. Our troops deserve to pack it up and leave. This reminds me of how the Vietnam war was fought. I have an idea, lets have our troops help them pick the poppies too, but not with their hands, lets have the military use a Daisy Cutter. Drop a few daisy cutter bombs and the entire harvest will be complete in a few minutes. No wonder we are losing the war on terrorism in that part of the world. I have a better idea, lets give the Taliban a stimulus grant so they can fulling fund their war against democracy and freedom. Is it me or is this just crazy? Hey Pres. O! I voted for change, stop screwing around with NCAA basketball brackets and get our troops out of both these wars. Come on man!

    April 6, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  50. mr.me

    at talibans time people could not use drug,send drug to other countrys..sence the americans invaded afghanistan,there is mre drug being sent europe american and all the other countrys...sooo umm..whos da real drug dealers here...


    April 5, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Chris

    The locals would be mad if the poppies where destroyed before they had a replacement crop that's how they are controled by the Taliban. They have no other means to support themselves and the soldiers would be seen as taking that away and the Taliban as supporting them. Or is that to obvious for all the semi-informed, ametuer, conspiracy theorists who see a secret CIA plot every where. If the CIA was really as powerful and capable as these people think we wouldn't see this footage at all and the war would be over. Quit watching "24" and keep up with the world news. Nothing is as easy as these simplistic as some of these comments make comments make it out to be. For these conspiracies to be true CNN would have to be in on it. You think CNN is an arm of the CIA?

    April 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Chris

    My god really you people you see a conspiracy in everything. The CIA this and the CIA that. You've got TV and movies on the brain.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Jim Lambert

    Kandaha Offensive,
    It's not in the best intrest of the military to annouce an offensive action to be taken place in any war or wars of any kind. So for such reason, the American military annoucing any kind of military offensive in any part of the world is a tragidy waiting to occur. This process sets up the military's young men and women who actually fight the war than those leaders that plans the offensive. They are not only putting those who fight the war in danger, they also put moms and dads who will end up raising these solders young sons and daughters once some of them are gone due to the military leaders bad decision. Also, American leaders in any wars worry so much about the loss of civi lian lives than those of the military men and women who actually fight the wars. Wars cannot be worn with out the loss of civilian lives . If you want to win a war let the solders do whatever it takes to get the job done just to cut down on the solders loss of lives. War is not a game where you can loose and come back the next day to make changes and play to win again and again. These countries we are wasting our young men and women will never be willing to loose any of their young men and women's lives for any other country's bright futures, Why must American Moms and dads have grieve for those countries like Iraq and Afghans.

    April 5, 2010 at 8:15 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Dennis

    We cannot destroy the farmer's livelihood when poppies are their only source of income in a Taliban run economy, and then expect them to be grateful to us for getting rid of the Taliban. Since chances are excellent that they are being paid only a tiny fraction of what the processed heroin brings on the world market, I believe we should buy the poppy crop from them at a premium price before harvest and then immediately destroy it. We should provide quality seed for alternative crops (e.g., wheat) for next year, and follow through on a promise that a poppy crop on those same fields next year will be destroyed before harvest without payment..

    April 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
  55. JD

    T. van Boven,
    We are trying to teach the Afghanies to farm other crops. It is called the DOD Agri program. Herbacides are not the answer, these cause great health problems when used in great amounts.
    From Afghanistan,
    Before some of you say anything bad about the men and women of the military. Take a minute and think of our living conditions while you sit at home with in a heated/air condtioned house with indoor plumbing and clean water. And the real reason we are here? We are here to prevent another incedent like 9/11.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
  56. R. Glovan

    Just allow the U.S. soldiers to spray fome paraquat (sp?) like the did to the marijuana fields in Mexico back in the late 70's.

    No more money for the Taliban, then just pay the villagers a slightly higher price for the crop they lost.

    Works for me.

    It will save U.S. lives too!

    April 5, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  57. monasterymonkey

    What is wrong with this picture? Let's reschedule the fight against terrorism so the poppy crop can be harvested which in turn from the sale of heroin will fund future terrorists activities

    Somebody needs to get real with whoever is running Afghanistan. Either we pull the trigger or we pull the plug. Time for negotiating is over.

    April 5, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  58. T. van Boven

    Poppy = Money = Taliban = Resistance

    Just get it over with, destroy all these poppy-fields. Make these farmers plant other things for there own benefit, and not the Talibans.

    My guess ... America has there own plans with all this poppy.

    April 5, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  59. JD

    Get real, the byproduct of the poppies fund the terrorist's. Civilians unfortunatly do end up on the wrong end because these coward Taliban use them as human shields. We try very hard to avoid civilian deaths and injuries. Until you come over here and see for your self, keep your comments to yourself. The Taliban will not fight like men. They bite then run like dogs.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  60. Jay

    I have to agree with Daniel ... something very fishy about this report. The troops are afraid that "the whole village" might be pissed-off if the crop were destroyed? C'mon !
    This issue has more to do with the international "war on drugs" than the Taliban, per se.
    Nobody REALLY wants to "win"/end the war on drugs. It employs millions of "warriors" on both sides. And the "war" ensures steady/increasing prices. Destroying poppies in Afghanistan would put millions of police, judges, drug counselors, jail contractors, etc out of work ... around the world. It's big business. Our US economy would absolutely tank without the jobs that the war on drugs creates. "Follow the money!" It's always about money.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  61. A. Smith, Oregon

    Indeed, explaining to Interpol and the rest of the world why the CIA wants the poppy fields unmolested is a big problem for America. The old Washington Two-Step. While American citizens are harassed routinely under the guise of America's War on Drugs, the CIA appears to be one of the major suppliers of DRUGS around the world.

    Yes, that could be a problem if and when American citizens begin to realize that. Under the horrific Republican administration of Bush-Cheney Opium production in Afghanistan increased 50 TIMES, making Afghanistan the world's largest Opium producing area in the world, ALL under the protection of America's CIA.

    The hard sell however is the FACT that Opium and Heroin bring severe penalitys in all of the Muslim ruled nations in the Middle East, including Iran. That must make the US State Dept's mission to discredit the CIA's direct involvement in the drug trade very difficult.

    April 5, 2010 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  62. Rick McDaniel

    The poppy harvest, is a questionable activity. It is doubtful that the poppies will be used for their floral appeal, but rather for their drug appeal.

    I shall not concern myself if those fields, happen to burn, during the offensive, personally.

    Those whose livelihood is basically to belong to drug cartels, deserve no protection from the war, as the Taliban are the main beneficiaries of the drug market.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  63. Darlene Buckingham

    This is war – why can't the US troops stop the Taliban when they are picking Poppies right in front of them and why wait for 2 months to attack Kandahar. What are they waiting for? This story does not make sense. The US is fighting the War on Drugs in Mexico yet they are not stopping heroin in Afganistan whom they are at War with?. Something is not right here. The US is waiting for the poppies to be harvested to provide funds for the Taliban. No wonder the US is losing the war.
    I am against this war continuing – it is becoming ludicrous the rationale for continuing this war. Nothing makes sense about this war. The more I read the more silly it becomes except for the real loss of dignity and life. What a tragic farce this war has become.

    April 5, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  64. Daniel

    Now we see more of this right-wing propaganda as if the Taliban were going to use opium as another means to fight NATO troops.NATO,after all,has all the state of the art weaponry plus all those godless drone aircraft slaughtering both civilians and "militants" alike.What more do they need?

    April 5, 2010 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |