April 2002

ABC TV (AUS) Foreign Correspondent: Afghanistan - America's Blind Eye [transcript]

Afghanistan - America's Blind Eye
Reporter: Mark Corcoran

CORCORAN: Whoever controls the opium poppy controls southern Afghanistan – such is the power of this humble plant. It was a lesson quickly learned by the Soviets, the Mujahudeen, then the religious zealots of the Taliban. Now it is the turn of the Americans, descending from clear skies on Operation “Enduring Freedom” with lofty ideals of good versus evil – only to find they’ve landed in a grey world of compromise.

This airport is the gateway to Kandahar, Afghanistan’s second city, capital of the biggest opium growing region in the world. It’s now a base for more than four thousand troops, an American led Coalition of Canadians, Australians, Danes and Germans, all fighting the so-called “War on Terror”.