Tuesday, July 21, 2009
US Blows up 300 tons of Afghan bagle seeds
Hmm, looks like Monsanto & USAID are making significant progress in bringing about, their signature program, the "Green Revolution", to Afghasnistan and Pakistan. I can't help but wonder, though, why they didn't just compost all those seeds so the soil would be a little easier to spade. Oh well, I suppose that Monsanto knows best..,.) :
KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The U.S. military bombed about 300 tons of poppy seeds in a dusty field in southern Afghanistan Tuesday in a dramatic show of force designed to break up the Taliban's connection to heroin.
The air strike occurred mid-day in Helmand province and was observed by CNN's Ivan Watson, who is embedded with the U.S. Marines operating in that province.
The military dropped a series of 1,000-pound bombs from planes on the mounds of poppy seeds and then followed with strikes from helicopters.
Tony Wayne, with the U.S. State Department, said the strikes on poppy seeds, that can be used to make opium and heroin, is part of a strategy shift for the military to stop the Taliban and other insurgents from profiting from drugs.
"There is a nexus that needs to be broken between the insurgents and the drug traffickers," Wayne said. "Also, it is part of winning the hearts and minds of the population because in some cases they are intimidated into growing poppies."
In a bid to encourage Afghan farmers to swap out their poppy plants for wheat crops the U.S. Agency for International Development has been offering them seeds, fertilizers and improved irrigation.