US Military Bombs Poppies in Helmand to Win 'Hearts and Minds'
The US military bombed 300 tons of poppy seeds in Helmand Province, Tuesday, July 21, as part of their war on drugs in Afghanistan.
Today’s air strikes were the latest, and likely most heavy-handed exercise of US military power in the war on drugs in Afghanistan, as the poppy seeds which have become a significant portion of Afghanistan’s largely agrarian economy often get exported for use in opium derivatives.
Several tons of explosives were used to destroy the seeds in what is considered the latest move in a campaign by NATO Commander General John Craddock to expand the Afghanistan military mission into a war on drugs as well.
According to Tony Wayne, State Department official, bombing the mounds of poppy seeds was supposed to show solidarity with Afghani citizens and farmers, who he says are being "intimidated" into growing poppies instead of wheat (which is being subsized by the United States).
Over the years, opium and heroin -- both derivatives of the poppy -- have served as a major source of revenue for the insurgency, most notably the Taliban movement that once ruled Afghanistan. advertisement "If you can just help the people of Afghanistan in this way, the fighting will go away," said Abdul Qadir, a farmer in Lashkar Gah.