The Afghanistan Solution
By Don Edwards
The other night, I was reading about the Maccabees. It turns out that Alexander the Great’s conquests included both Judea, today’s Israel, and what is now called Afghanistan. The Maccabees were a family that led a successful rebellion against the remnants of Alexander’s empire. Eventually, of course, the Roman Empire came in, conquered everything in sight and overpowered successive Jewish rebellions over several centuries.
Then they came up with a new strategy. Nobody has ever won an insurgency war but the Romans fixed the problem in a clever way. They threw everybody out. No Jews, no rebellion. They spread them all over the known world so they wouldn’t get together in sufficient numbers to cause problems. Thus, the “Diaspora.”
That reminded me of Afghanistan. Everybody knows that this country has had an interesting history, in fact not unlike the ancient Jews. Alexander the Great conquered it for a time, then got his ass kicked when he decided to continue on into India. Nobody tried it again until Britain in the nineteenth century. They finally left without success. The Soviets tried and that was the beginning of the end for them, too.
Now the US is there. History repeated, same old strategies: try to overpower a ubiquitous, silent and invisible enemy. Like most people, I have wondered if there is a solution, military or otherwise, towards this ancient land of fierce, warring tribes.
So here’s what we do about Afghanistan. We stop fighting all these tribes just as the Romans did. We adopt the Diaspora strategy. We round up every Afghani, man woman and child, ship them to all parts of the globe just like the Romans did to the Jews. Then we repopulate the country with Americans, announce that it is our fifty-first state, rename it “East Dakota” and take over the poppy growing business.
Voila! All problems solved. We legalize drugs and commission our fifty-first state to become the opium producing capital of the world. Like alcohol and tobacco, it is available in every drug store, Seven Eleven and gas station. All the underworld drug cartels go out of business, we tax the product, sell it to other countries for a reasonable profit and eliminate our national debt.
What about the bad guys hanging out in the Pakistan mountains that are so much trouble? We stop trying to track down Bin Laden and the boys, set up Seven Elevens on the border, sell the best opium in the world to them at a reasonable price. We get a new market and no more insurgency from them either. It’s way too hard to wage uprisings when you are stoned all the time.
Isn’t free market capitalism wonderful?