Saturday, February 10, 2007

All quiet on the Walters front

John P. Walters, head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), told the press last December 9 that Afghanistan would become a "narco-state" unless a major campaign of spraying the poppy fields with herbicide were initiated. Walters, in fact, announced that such a campaign had been decided on. Source.

Six weeks later, the Karzai regime in Kabul announced that spraying the poppy fields would not happen, either from the air or from the ground. See earlier blog item here. Instead of expressing dismay, the White House pledged additional funds and troops, and Pres. Bush sent personal well-wishes to Karzai.

The effect was to hang Walters out to dry. The "giant steps" toward poppy eradication that he said were needed to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a narco-state are not going to happen. The "scourge of corruption" that troubles Afghanistan's institutions, according to his Dec. 9 statement, is unchecked and reinforced, with the blessings of the Bush administration.

If Walters had any backbone, he'd resign.

No comments: