Vice president [Dick Cheney] was to push Karzai to take steps to extend Afghanistan’s governance beyond Kabul and conduct successful elections next year. The discussion also was to address ways the Afghan government can curb corruption and deal with rising production of poppies, which are used to make narcotic drugs that fund insurgent operations.
Politicians claim that since profits from illegal drug sales fund terrorism, we ought to blame illegal drug use for terrorism. But this is a reversal of causality. It is only because politicians have made certain substances illegal, that the production of those substances in areas beyond the reach of the authorities is highly profitable. If it is true that the drug war funds terrorism, it is yet another demonstration that the destructive consequences of a rights violation ultimately harm everyone, even when the banned activity is legitimately immoral.
The fact that the combined might of the U.S. military is utterly unable to eliminate drug production in a third world country under its control is at the same time laughable and comforting, since I can be assured of an ample supply should politicians declare their next war on a product or service I actually value.