Sunday, May 22, 2005

Pass the Buck and Another Pitcher of Kool Aid

Business as usual in our Global War on Terror...

From The New York Times and other sources:

U.S. Embassy officials in Afghanistan sent an internal memorandum to Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on the status of Afghan heroin production. The memo states that the program to curtail Afghanistan's heroin trade is failing in part because President Hamid Karzai "has been unwilling to assert strong leadership."

The memo also identifies Great Britain as "substantially responsible" for failure to eradicate significant acreage of poppy plants. British officials select the sites where eradication teams work, but the U.S. Embassy says the Brits are not sending these teams to the main growing areas and won't revise their targets.

A British Foreign Office spokeswoman says, "We don't believe we are picking the wrong targets."

Jawed Ludin, spokesman for President Karzai, blames the problem on foreign donors who didn't follow through on promises to help Afghan farmers ship to other crops and develop alternate sources of income.

U.S State Department officials blame the problem on bad weather, logistical problems, and political resistance.

State Department spokesman Richard A. Boucher says "President Karzai is a strong partner and we have faith in him."

Boucher also denies that there's a problem. "We are succeeding in our overall effort" to address Afghanistan's drug problem, he says.

In an interview Sunday with Wolf Blitzer on CNN's "Late Edition," Karzai blamed the problem on the U.S. and Britian.


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