Here’s another fascinating report from Michael Yon in Afghanistan.
Great pictures of the opium crops — which are apparently everywhere. The poppy flower is ironically beautiful.
It’s a tough situation:
The Afghan farmers are only trying to grow a living. Their goal is not to make kids in Italy and Indiana into heroin addicts, but simply to scratch a life from the desert. When crops like wheat and corn are eschewed for poppy, the people who make the real dough will not be the farmers, but those higher up the profit chain who are willing to undertake the risk of a nefarious enterprise. So, much of the money flows into grimy hands. Not only that, but the people who deal in legal agricultural products are also damaged. No economy-of-scale benefits can be derived from products such as wheat when those products are relegated the minority market-share: In 2006, opium will bring more money into Afghanistan than all other revenues combined.
Take a look at the pictures of the real-life nomads. Oh, and the Afghan whip fight at the very bottom. Everyone loves a good whip fight.