Another (Inevitable) Byproduct of the Iraq War
According to an article
in The Independent
(UK), "The cultivation of opium poppies whose product is turned into heroin is spreading rapidly across Iraq as farmers find they can no longer make a living through growing traditional crops... The first poppy fields, funded by drug smugglers who previously supplied Saudi Arabia and the Gulf with heroin from Afghanistan, were close to the city of Diwaniyah in southern Iraq. The growing of poppies has now spread to Diyala, which is one of the places in Iraq where al-Qa'ida is still resisting US and Iraqi government forces. It is also deeply divided between Sunni, Shia and Kurd and the extreme violence means that local security men have little time to deal with the drugs trade. The speed with which farmers are turning to poppies is confirmed by the Iraqi news agency al-Malaf Press, which says that opium is now being produced around the towns of Khalis, Sa'adiya, Dain'ya and south of Baladruz, pointing out that these are all areas where al-Qa'ida is strong."
But don't worry, Iraqis: If John McCain has his way, U.S. forces will be helping you make opium as big a cash crop as it is in Afghanistan for the next 100 years!
(BTW, I don't mean to offend other Repugnicans — and Hillary Clinton — who I'm sure would like to keep us in that country for at least that long as well.)