Monday, April 6, 2009

Taliban Goes Green

I'm not talking US dollar green, nor wearing St Patrick's Day green to avoid being pinched, or in the case of the Taliban, murdered. Murder being the extreme St Paddy's day version of being pinched. They haven't turned wacko environmentalist on us either, unless you consider opium exporters participants in the "green" movement.

No, the Taliban have gone green, as in... emerald green. Its a beautiful gemstone soldiers and contractors covet and purchase at the base bazaars, in large sized carats, lest they get whacked upside the head with a large skillet upon returning home, for not thinking of the Mrs.

Opium must not be as profitable as it once was. As political correctness goes, talibs must know they are viewed as pariahs for pushing dope to the masses, via Afghanistan. Their dilemma? We are good at eradicating their cash crop (wink, wink), but the writing's on the wall, narco-dollars are drying up slowly. They need an alternate cash crop.

Maybe we should consider paying them good ol' fashioned US corporate welfare subsidies to not grow poppies. It's the American way! Regardless, it costs us in the long run, either by continuing to fund various drug reduction programs, or paying those outrageous crop subsidies.

But emeralds! You can't mainline or snort them. They're not illegal, in fact they are a natural resource, beautiful in their raw and polished forms. Muslim Khan, the Taliban spokesman in Swat, told The Sunday Telegraph., “We know that all the minerals have been created by Allah, the mighty and the merciful, for the benefit of his creatures. We should avail the opportunity.” “We receive one third of the profit, the rest goes to the workers”. How generous!

What's the upside to all this? Cheaper emeralds? Or, the military might find that emeralds are highly visible through night-vision goggles. Visualize if you will, talibs who have taken to wearing the precious gem. I'd bet that ranking talib commanders sport upwards of 4 carat emerald rings, while their foot soldiers settle for the more paltry 1/2 carat rings, containing inclusions. Imagine the Talibans' luminous green carats radiating at night, thus allowing our forces to easily identify them, engage them, and uhh... kill them. Let's hope the Taliban like to wear the bling they produce.

We can only hope it comes to this! Go green!

1 comment:

  1. I was nosing around the blogosphere looking for bloggers in Afghanistan who might be interested in giving a plug to the video contest for soldiers being sponsored by NATO (; now that's done) and I came across yours, which offers a fresh and honest view of life in Afghanistan from an outsider's perspective. Specifically I wanted to comment on this post on emeralds. I have been in Afghanistan 5 or 6 times and was once in the market for gemstones and did a little research. Apparently emeralds are native to Afghanistan, but not in huge quantities. In addition, they are apparently easy to "forge" - so buyer beware! Rubies are a much safer bet in Afghanistan - then again the lapis lazuli (also varies in quality) also only comes from two places in the world, one of which is Afghanistan. Stay safe and thanks for the plug!

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