It’s the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 jihad to which we responded by invading Afghanistan. How’s the country doing?
“How the Taliban Suppressed Opium in Afghanistan—and Why There’s Little to Celebrate” (TIME, July 17, 2023):
The Taliban has been remarkably effective in maintaining brisk trade and crucial minerals exports, stabilizing the Afghan economy, significantly reducing corruption in taxes and customs, and generating some $2 billion in yearly revenues—the same as what the Afghan Republic did under far more generous international circumstances. … As the economist Bill Byrd puts it, the Taliban’s economic stabilization is one of a “famine equilibrium.” With 90% of the population stuck in poverty, what has kept Afghans from starving is humanitarian aid. Yet that aid has been rapidly declining this year—by at least $1 billion out of the $3 billion provided in 2022. … If the ban is maintained and in another year or so Europe starts experiencing a heroin drought not yet felt, a fentanyl epidemic will likely surge… it’s clear that cutting off supply doesn’t end use. It just forces those with substance use disorder and without treatment to switch to more dangerous drugs or new suppliers. For these reasons, the Taliban should not be praised for or encouraged to persist in its drug ban.
So the Taliban have accomplished more in a couple of years than the U.S. has in 50+ years (our War on Drugs), but they should not be praised for this accomplishment, which was not worth striving for in the first place (which is why we strove for it for 50+ years).
Humanity is going extinct, according to planetary physicist Professor Dr. Joe Biden, Ph.D. The Taliban will come to the rescue, says the Washington Post… “Rich lode of EV metals could boost Taliban and its new Chinese partners”:
In a 2010 memo, the Pentagon’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which examined Afghanistan’s development potential, dubbed the country the “Saudi Arabia of lithium.” A year later, the U.S. Geological Survey published a map showing the location of major deposits and highlighted the magnitude of the underground wealth, saying Afghanistan “could be considered as the world’s recognized future principal source of lithium.”
But now, in a great twist of modern Afghan history, it is the Taliban — which overthrew the U.S.-backed government two years ago — that is finally looking to exploit those vast lithium reserves, at a time when the soaring global popularity of electric vehicles is spurring an urgent need for the mineral, a vital ingredient in their batteries. By 2040, demand for lithium could rise 40-fold from 2020 levels, according to the International Energy Agency.
In other words, the Taliban in a couple of years have done more than the U.S. and its puppet government accomplished in 10+ years.
How about coronapanic, the standard by which Americans judge the success of any society. Afghanistan, a country of 40 million (double the population of 20 million when we invaded), has suffered about 8,000 COVID-tagged deaths. Compare to 1.12 million in the U.S., a country of 335 million. 1 in 300 Americans was killed by COVID, in other words, compared to just 1 in 5,000 Afghans. The Taliban, in other words, have done a far better job of “controlling the virus” than the U.S. federal and state governments have.
Speaking of muscular human control of the weak flabby virus, what are the Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention up to on this day of solemn remembrance?
In case the above gets memory-holed, a screen shot: