This is your army on drugs

Beware the new blog meme about hash smoking in the Afghan National Army. Yes, i referenced it a few weeks ago, but i did so for humor and was quick to point out that U.S. soldiers got just as high a generation ago in Vietnam. And i then went on to make the point that the problem isn’t ANA guys getting high. The new, embryonic meme is that an Afghan National Army of the sort talked up by D.C. isn’t possible because, “all the men there– yes, all of them– are stoned all day, every day on the strongest hash (much of it opiated) on God’s earth.

Wow, that’s a lot of bullshit for one sentence.

The writer makes the statement based on six months in Afghanistan in the early 1970’s, and the statement undermines the meme of the drugged — and hence ineffective — ANA.

If all Afghan men are stoned all day every day, then all the Talibs are also stoned all day every day. They appear to be able to fight fairly well, no? So as i’ve said before, the problem isn’t the hash smoking.

But let’s get something out of the way right up front. DownWithTyranny is talking about things s/he knows nothing about when s/he makes the claim about Afghanistan having the best hash in the world. I’ve never been there (which is about the same as having been there almost 40 years ago), but i’ve smoked Afghan hash in Amsterdam. It isn’t. Try Arcadia, California or any of the Dutch growers.

More importantly, i’d like to see some evidence that getting high makes someone a terrible soldier. Historically, marijuana (and even opium) are most often used by people who do hard labor and live hard lives. Chinese coolies did some of the most back breaking work this side of chattel slavery, and the majority of them were full blown opium addicts. Marijuana arrived in Jamaica with Indian contract laborers who taught the island’s former slaves how to cultivate and use cannabis; the word “ganja” comes from India. And there’s still the Vietnam example wherein plenty of guys with M-16’s smoked dope of a far higher quality than anything the hippies back home had (unless they had friends in Nam), and they managed to do a far share of killing under the influence.

I’m against the escalation too, and i don’t see the ANA being built to anything resembling what Obama or the General’s describe. But if the anti-war left is going to latch on to this “the ANA are a bunch of worthless high-ons and won’t be able to get it together because they’re worthless high-ons” argument, then the anti-war left can kiss my ass. What do i care if all Afghan men want to get high all day every day? What business of mine is that? More importantly, look at the hell their country’s been dragged through for the sake of Great Power Games. Can you blame them?

I guess that some people can, because it’s easier than putting the blame where it belongs. The grand plan of the D.C. mandarins isn’t going to fail because Afghans get high; it’s going to fail because it’s a stupid plan.

Fuck, why is it always the brown people’s fault? And why do old hippies feel compelled to pretend that they still know what they’re talking about?


~ by Lex on December 5, 2009.

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