23 May 2007

Iraq Turns To Drugs

The Independent: Opium: Iraq's deadly new exportAnyone concerned about the flood of cheap heroin coming to Britain from Afghanistan will want to read today's frontpage story in The Independent.

The paper reports that "Farmers in southern Iraq have started to grow opium poppies in their fields for the first time, sparking fears that Iraq might become a serious drugs producer along the lines of Afghanistan." It carries two warnings. Firstly, that although the shift to opium cultivation is still in its early stages "there is little the Iraqi government can do about it because rival Shia militias and their surrogates in the security forces control Diwaniya and its neighbourhood." Secondly, "given that they can guarantee much higher profits from growing opium poppies than can be made from rice, many impoverished Iraqi farmers are likely to cultivate the new crop."

Once again, what have we done?


MikeC said...

On a general note regarding the Independent, is it the only paper that seems to be prepared to put items of real importance, but perhaps not popular, on the front page? For a time, I bought the Independent every day as it pricked my consicence that I could either read what many consider to be a quality broadsheet - The Daily Telegraph - but which increasingly seems to have popularism in mind, rather than news, or, buy a publication that challenged my worldview and ideology.