Monday, February 28, 2005

'What would Poppy Say?'

Is the US engaged in a secret spraying campaign designed to wipe out the poppy crop in Afghanistan? From today's NYT:

"Although farmers had noticed a white powder on their crops, they cut grass and clover for their animals and picked spinach to eat anyway. Within hours the animals were severely ill, people here said, and the villagers complained of fevers, skin rashes and bloody diarrhea. The children were particularly affected. A week later, the crops - wheat, vegetables and poppies - were dying, and a dozen dead animals, including newborn lambs, lay tossed in a heap. "

If this is true, not the way to go about winning the hearts and minds, is it? Of course, the US has issued firm denials:

"There is no credible evidence that aerial spraying has taken place in
," the American Embassy said in a statement this time. "No agency,
personnel or contractors associated with the United States government have
conducted or been involved in any such activity in Helmand or any other province
of Afghanistan."

Of course we believe the US government and not the people that witnessed it with their own eyes. Always trust the government.
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