Thursday 19th August 2010 www.ianyoung.co
I’ve been thinking about the War on Drugs in Afghanistan after watching a Channel 4 Documentary http://www.channel4.com/programmes/our-drugs-war/episode-guide/series-1/episode-3 presented very fairly by Angus Macqueen.
It was the final thoughts shared by an Afghanistan civilian that has left an uncomfortable thought swirling around my head. He shared (I’m paraphrasing here) that it was the responsibility of the Western Governments to control their own populations’ hunger for the supply of heroin, and not right that the Western Governments should focus their efforts on attacking the working classes in Afghanistan who are just trying to feed their families, as an attempt to eradicate production of the Poppy crop, and cease the fabrication of heroin ready for exportation.
When a night guard is judged in an American and British sponsored Court, he is handed down 16 years imprisonment and a $25,000 fine as punishment, despite being simply the man caught with the whole warehouse stock when the Police raided in the middle of the night. He was simply carrying out his $2 an hour job,, while everyone else really responsible was at home in bed, sleeping. You know this really is a miscarriage of justice.
My thoughts turn to the reason we believe or we’re told that we’re in Afghanistan – fighting the Taliban. But actually, whilst we’re there supposedly helping install a safer, democratic Government, we seem to be making so many new enemies that it’s no surprise more Afghanistanies are joining the Armed Taliban – they appear to offer salvation, security and a future not controlled by the meddling Western Governments, who are currently putting the population into poverty – with unemployment already running at 60%!
So let’s spin it around.
What if we were to mind our own countries affairs internally and begin to ask ourselves why we generate so many consumers of heroin to make the foreign farmers take such risks to produce it?
How can we drive demand for heroin down?
I’m not really talking about better policing of drug users in the UK, but more I’m thinking about my own experiences, and how if everyone else was allowed similar opportunities for experimentation and then the appropriate support to help stop once stopping becomes an option, then we may begin to see a slight change in attitude. We may begin to see much shorter lengths of addictions and see more people returning to a place of contribution to society, rather than continuing to rely upon Welfare benefits for another “hit”.
You see, for me, the really interesting dimension towards driving the demand down, would be the inspirational model of one recovered junkie sharing with another, the new found freedom they feel drug free. A spiritual dimension.
Is our population ready for a spiritual dimension and healing verses a criminal and debilitating addictive culture, with massive negative consequences throughout the world in places such as Afghanistan?