After 20 years, Biden said of Afghanistan “it’s time to end the forever war.”

After 50 years of ”war on drugs” though, Biden is still keen to fight.

The irony?

The US drug war fuels the illicit market that has put billions into the Taliban insurgency.…
In 2007, ”Afghanistan now supplies more than 92% of world’s opium. More than half the country’s annual GDP, some $3.1 billion, is believed to come from drug trade, and narcotics officials believe that part of the money is funding the Taliban insurgency.”…
In 2014, ”Afghan opium cultivation hits record high, fueling Taliban insurgency. A $7.6 billion US counternarcotics effort has failed, and hopes of reversing poppy growth have dimmed.”…
In 2016, ”The Taliban is earning up to $400M annually from illicit drugs, particularly from the restive Southern provinces. This income from drugs goes to fund the Taliban’s war engine, which has continued for more over a decade now and remains alarming.”…
In 2019, ”Of all the failures in Afghanistan, the war on drugs has been perhaps the most feckless. Since 2001, the US has spent ~$9 billion but key players in the anti-narcotics campaign acknowledged that, in many cases, they have made things worse.”…
In sum, the US war on drugs hasn’t just been a huge domestic failure, ruining lives & driving up mass incarceration, it’s also sabotaged American objectives abroad by creating a global underground economy essential for rogue groups like the Taliban to build thriving narco-states.
As @WillBredderman rightly notes, the US drug war also destabilizes Mexico and democracies across Latin America by creating illicit markets that inevitably are captured by cartels that then, like the Taliban, compete with and co-opt the formal state.

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More from @owasow

12 Jul
Political violence typically describes events like assassinations. Across US, though, we’re seeing tactics like violent threats, constant harassment and dangerous disinformation used to chase election officials and educators out of office. What to call this kind of intimidation?
Study finds ”17% of local election officials in US have faced threats because of their job and 32% have ‘felt unsafe because of their job as a local election official.’” The efforts apparently aim to ”get officials to resign or even flip an election.”…
”Ms. Moritz is one casualty of a year in which election officials were repeatedly threatened, scapegoated and left exhausted — all while managing a historically bitter presidential vote during a pandemic.”…
Read 8 tweets
10 Jul
Study of Black and Latino adults with asthma found that during the pandemic, ”The number of attacks the participants suffered at home really was dropping. It fell by 40 percent after the onset of the pandemic.” Why?…
Study didn’t find a link with air pollution. ”People who normally worked outside home, however, had bigger decreases in asthma attacks than those who worked at home (65% vs 23%), perhaps because they weren’t being exposed to viruses and irritants at work.”…
”It’s long been routine for doctors to question parents of kids with asthma about dust mites or cockroaches or smoking in the home…the unstated implication when you’re asking about triggers like that is that those are causes of your child’s asthma.”…
Read 4 tweets
4 Jul
In July of 1852, Frederick Douglass delivered one of the greatest speeches in US history. Today it’s often presented in abridged form, though, and skips what seems like a long-winded introduction. If you read the intro closely, however, there’s an ingenious structure. THREAD👇🏽
Douglass begins the speech quite conventionally with self-deprecating remarks and then shifts to honoring his audience & the exceptional accomplishment of the American people. July 4th, he says “is what the Passover was to the emancipated people of God.” 2/
In Douglass’ opening narrative, the colonists are courageous and England is despotic. “Feeling themselves harshly and unjustly treated by the home government, your fathers, like men of honesty, and men of spirit, earnestly sought redress.” 3/
Read 21 tweets
29 Jun
The rise of ‘the squad’ “has fed a perception among some Democrats that the party’s left flank is disproportionately Black, Hispanic and Asian American.

But the opposite is true, as the Pew data makes clear.”…
“Black people talk about politics in more practical and everyday terms,” said @hakeemjefferson , an assistant professor at Stanford who studies the political views of Black people. “The median Black voter is not AOC and is actually closer to Eric Adams.”…
For statistical minorities with a long history of maltreatment by the majority, voting is first and foremost an act of self-preservation but it is also an act that demands acute awareness of the limits of what the majority will support.
Read 5 tweets
26 Jun
“Early 20th-century engineers thought reinforced concrete structures would last a very long time – perhaps 1,000 years. In reality, their life span is more like 50-100 years, and sometimes less. Deterioration can begin in as little as 10 years.”…
“Coastal Florida’s hurricanes, storm surges and the corrosive salty air can penetrate concrete and rust the rebar and steel beams inside.”…
“When embedded in concrete, steel is hidden but secretly active. Moisture entering through tiny cracks creates an electrochemical reaction. The rebar forms a ‘battery’ that powers the transformation of iron into rust.”…
Read 10 tweets
19 Jun
I hope for all of us delta variant doesn’t produce another deadly wave. Polarization of Covid already means some partisans opt-out of vaccination and opt-in to higher rates of infection. If trend continues, we may witness a strange new form of self-imposed, low-grade politicide.
“The delta variant may pose a triple threat. It’s far more contagious than any other variant recorded to date. It appears to be more deadly to those infected, and it appears to cause more infections among people with immunity than many other variants.”…
Read 7 tweets

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