Hashing Out U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan

Check out this amusing footage of Afghan soldiers--who appear to be fighting alongside British advisors--smoking the Buddha during their lunchtime break. After hearing about the latest idea from Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Taliban), you might think he was next in the hookah line.

However, call it a sign of the apocalypse, but just like the proverbial broken clock that tells the correct time twice a day, ol' Dana actually seems to have a better grasp on the situation in Afghanistan than the Obama administration, the U.S. Pentagon, or anyone else with an opinion.

Interviewed on BBC earlier this week about Obama's plan to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, most of whom will be placed in the heartland of the Taliban insurgency, Helmand and Kandahar provinces, Rohrabacher said the troop increase was an idiotic move.

I can't seem to find a link to his actual comments but they went something like this: Are you kidding me? Sending more troops to Afghanistan just means making the country hate us even more. They don't want American troops over there and they don't need us to teach them how to fire weapons. These guys know how to shoot, believe me. They've pushed out everyone who's ever tried to invade that country. Trust me, the only way we're going to be able to defeat the Taliban is to sit down with the tribal elders and make friends with them. Otherwise this whole thing is doomed.

One thing Rohrabacher didn't mention is that the southern Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar also happen to be the top opium-producing areas of the country. There's an argument to be made--although nobody seems to be making it--that we are never going to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people if we continue to punish them for growing crops that, while illegal in the U.S., have been a vital part of the local economy there pretty much since the dawn of civilization.

Speaking of that local economy, and of Rohrabacher's sober suggestion that we make pals with the tribal elders, how about bringing the Brotherhood of Eternal Love back in business and letting them negotiate a hashish-export policy with Afghanistan? As everyone knows, the Brotherhood smuggled more hash out of the country from the late 1960s until the Soviet invasion than anyone else in the U.S. It's probably just a matter of time before hash is legal here, and if we act fast, we can set up an export-import relationship that'll make the average Afghan farmer rich and happy and bring our troops home in no time.


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