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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Oct 9, 2009

The Taliban gets the money to kill American troops by selling opium from poppy fields in Afghanistan. Formerly, American military policy was to destroy the poppies, thus denying the Taliban the money it needed to wage war on American troops.

Unfortunately, over the last year or so that policy has changed.

A recent PBS broadcast showed in detail how crazy the American policy to allow Afghan farmers to continue to grow poppies for opium production to generate money for arms for the Taliban really is.

Now we want to win the “hearts and minds” of the Afghan people. And since it offends farmers when we destroy their opium fields, we’re letting them grow so those farmers can sell the opium to the Taliban which in turn sells it to get the money to kill Americans.

Yes, you heard that right.

Instead of hurting the feelings of Afghan farmers, we’re letting them grow opium which those farmers know fully good and well will bring money to kill Americans.

So we’d rather have our troops killed than hurt these farmers’ feelings?

Apparently so.

If such insipidly insane and stupid policies continue, we are most definitely going to lose the war against the Taliban. Whoever it was that instituted such a moronic policy should not only be fired but tried by military tribunal for aiding and abetting the enemy.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though.

If there is the slightest doubt that there could be collateral damage to the civilian population, American troops are under orders to not shoot EVEN IF THEY ARE FIRED UPON. That means the Taliban can hide behind the skirts of the civilian populace, target American troops and be assured there will not be return fire.

Certainly, we should avoid targeting Afghan civilian villages. But to tie the hands of American soldiers is just as unbelievable as the “let it grow” opium poppy policy.

Troops should be allowed to determine an appropriate measured response at the unit level, rather than having to call in for permission to return fire at the division level – or even higher.

Let’s hope that American military leadership takes a clearer look at these policies before it embroils our troops in a greater quagmire than they’re currently experiencing.

The lives of our troops depend on it.