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July 2006
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Massive screw-up by U.S. troops in Iraq

With all the problems we’re having in Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, and with our soldiers’ lives at risk, it’s disheartening to see such a complete lack of command competence.
The issue this time?

US troops and Iraqi police seized and destroyed a bumper crop of marijuana plants last week, according to a report in Stars & Stripes. Based on a military press release, the report said soldiers from the 172nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, which has responsibility for most of northern Iraq, discovered the field in an unnamed location.
According to the military press release, the field contained “juvenile marijuana plants grown in a series of furrows. The owner claimed he was growing sesame.” Police put the value of the field at $2 million. The crop was cut down and destroyed, and the man arrested.

First, we’re spending hundreds of billions of dollars (or is it in the trillions yet) on Iraq, and we’re trying to get them back on their feet, including developing their own internal commerce. Well, if the estimates are correct, we just destroyed $2 million of potential commerce.
Second, things are a little too tense over there. It’s hard to think of a better tension reducer than a little cannabis. In fact, we should take all the marijuana that’s seized here and help the war effort by giving it to the citizens of Iraq. Imagine the Sunnis and Shiites sitting there passing around the water pipe, and hearing one say “Wow! When you put it like that, what you say really makes sense. I never thought of it that way before.” and the response: “Yeah, you too! … Uh, what was I saying? … Hey, look at the camel spider!”
I say it’s time to replace Donald Rumsfeld with Tommy Chong (Hey, he couldn’t do any worse!)

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