“Hey, big man, need a bindle?”

A recent trip to Amsterdam proved that there’s plenty of smack to go around. At every bridge along every canal in the Red Light District, ten Rastafarians let you know they’re holding. And it’s not China White or black tar.

This junk was pure AIP (heroin from Afghanistan, Iran, or Pakistan). That’s bad news for anybody that gives a damn about stopping the flow of heroin into Europe and North America. But its great news to those of us more concerned with stopping Afghanistan from becoming another viper’s nest of suicide-murderers.

Everything was fine in the world’s asshole until the Taliban went and banned opium production. That pissed a lot of folks off, namely the various warlords and their private armies that took over the heroin trade and made a bundle after they kicked the shit out of the Russians.

Before the Taliban came along, all of these gun monkeys kept busy fighting and killing each other. The U.S. foreign policy-making elite just sat back and watched as the Frankenstein’s Monster it created in the 1980’s committed suicide. In the meantime, Afghanistan supplied 90 percent of Europe's heroin, the CIA-armed-and-trained mujahedeen sharpened their entrepreneurial skills, and everybody made nice-nice.

It took a real tool like Osama bin Laden to spoil all the fun, and a few weeks of death from above, American style, to sort things back out.

After taking a nosedive during the ‘medieval times’ of the Taliban, opium production is back up to speed: Afghanistan now provides 75% of the world's opium output, which is worth around $20 billion.

And on that note, here’s our up to date assessment of Operation Enduring Freedom: Mission Accomplished. Return to Base.

Not surprisingly, the cheese tasters over at the UN don’t see eye to eye with us on this one. According to a recent report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, opium production in Afghanistan is on the rise and risks turning the country into a failed state run by drug cartels.

We say, better by drug cartels than by backward-ass, unenlightened cave dwellers who take a liking to blowing up office towers, and now, more recently in Iraq, first aid stations.

A good drug cartel doesn’t bother anyone, just the people that don’t pay. A good drug cartel seeks good wine, women, and song, not a roll back to 500 BC. A good drug cartel even invests in and promotes good urban development: take the city of Miami Beach, for example. So, as we see it, free, open society has more in common with good drug cartels than it does with suicide-murderers, the Taliban, or any other organization that prefers burkas to bikinis.

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