The death of any of our own should be a very sharp reminder that we are at war in Afghanistan, but of a different kind. The Taliban draws its wealth to buy arms from the heroin trade which is now huge. It is true that we should not be there, except that heroin is the real weapon of mass destruction. If we were to do nothing about it, that destruction may well be our own. But are we doing enough?
I taunt you not. Currently there are ecstasy tabs on the street that are laced with low grade impure ( contaminated) heroin that cannot be sold to the mainliners. It is a trap for the tablet user into the destructive world of heroin addiction without knowing it. With over 20,000 calls to Drug Help Line in SA alone in 06-07, more in the succeeding years,1 in 5 between the ages of 14 and 25 are drug users of one kind or another (DOCS) it does not take much to realize the minefield being laid by lacing "recreational" drugs with heroin funding the terrorists.
It is very doubtful if military intervention at the supply end without protecting agricultural conversion over many years would achieve its objective. How it is coming into Australia is a job for our Border Patrols which are undermanned, under trained, ill equipped and sadly,fettered by rules of polite society. The number of fit unattached males in the asylum stream with substantial wealth for smugglers continues to bother me.
The most effective control appears to be at this end with the Courts and a trade off if the drug user is receiving medical care for the addiction or damage from casual use, the medical attention is free and ongoing if the pusher is disclosed. Otherwise the universal principle of user-pays must apply. Then lock up the pusher, no bail, and sell his assets to help pay for the social sabotage he causes and ultimately shares the cost of our involvement and death of our troops. But will the judiciary recognize its responsibility to the community - or only the law?
Mr. Smith and Mr. Evans, now Mr. Bowen, might get together to determine the sincerity of the Afghanis who have run away from their homeland to join several thousand others on Christmas Island to sit out in the no cost 5 star comfort and security of Australia while more of our own lose their lives in the misguided effort to protect Afghanistan from itself.
We should not be there, right?