Posted on August 16, 2021

The Taliban Is Retaking Afghanistan. Good News for America?

Hubert Collins, American Renaissance, July 15, 2021

Taliban Fighters

Taliban fighters in a training camp in Faryab Province, Afghanistan. (Credit Image: © Handout / Planet Pix via ZUMA Wire)

[Editor’s Note: First published last month, this article is even more relevant now.]

In America, the number-one cause of death for people under age 50 is drug overdose. Here are the numbers:

Year Total Overdose Deaths
2014 47,055
2015 52,404
2016 63,600
2017 70,237
2018 67,367
2019 70,630

Some estimate the tally for 2020 will be over 90,000. Whites are the vast majority of these deaths, and most of these overdoses are caused by synthetic opioids, especially Fentanyl, as well as heroin.

Afghanistan supplies no Fentanyl or other similar drugs, but it is the top source for heroin. Stephanie Pappas, writing for Live Science in 2017, noted:

As of 2015, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that there are more than 690,00 acres (280,000 ha) of land under cultivation for opium poppies worldwide, with approximately 330 tons (300 metric tons) of heroin produced. Afghanistan is the world capital of opium; estimates peg its share of the global opium production at between 75 and 85 percent, with an estimate of nearly 500,000 acres (200,000 ha) under cultivation as of 2016.

That was after 15 years of American military occupation. Opium wasn’t a problem when the Taliban was in charge. In July 2000, the Islamist government banned opium cultivation. The Guardian reported that “a subsequent UN crop survey of 10,030 villages found that this prohibition had reduced the harvest by 94%.” In May 2001, the New York Times published an article about Afghanistan called, “At Heroin’s Source, Taliban Do What ‘Just Say No’ Could Not.” Even without billions of dollars and the world’s largest military, the Taliban got it done:

“No one dared disobey,” said Saleh Muhammad Agha, a farmer with seven children and a meager wheat field. “If they catch you, they blacken your face and march you through the bazaars with a string of poppies around your neck.”

The ban was carried out through the chain of command. The wisdom of the Holy Koran guided Mullah Omar. He in turn communicated with his provincial governors, who informed their district administrators. The administrators then explained the ban to local mullahs and tribal elders, who passed the news to the farmers.

Violators were few.

Secretary of State Colin Powell called the ban “a decision by the Taliban that we welcome,” but lamented “their violation of internationally recognized human rights standards, especially their treatment of women and girls.”

How Afghanistan treats women and girls is not my concern. Nor do I care whether its government is “democratic.” I care about the drug crisis. If the past is any indication, the Taliban will help us reduce the amount of heroin coming into the country.