Town Square

Stasek's stories of Afghanistan

Original post made on Oct 5, 2008

After leaving the Mountain View City Council six years ago, Rosemary Stasek did something unexpected: She moved to Afghanistan, founded a nonprofit there, and made the country her new home.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, September 19, 2008, 4:30 PM


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Posted by James
a resident of Shoreline West
on Oct 5, 2008 at 4:50 pm

"The problem with a desk is it limits the amount of kids you can get in a class," -- how can anyone in Mountain View truly comprehend Afghanistan? We are lucky that Rosemary is so selfless as to have done all that work. We need to make sure it's not wasted.

"The recent rise in violence is being reported in the international news, Stasek said, but the media concentrates too much on the Taliban and not enough on the country's burgeoning drug trade, which prevents Afghanistan from rebuilding its economy. 'It is generating such enormous quantities of money,' she said. 'It is skewing any triumph of economic development.'"

Well, the bailout bill has the Paul Wellstone Mental Health and Substance Abuse Parity language in it, so maybe we are moving towards more demand reduction on the opiates with treatment programs. RAND Corp. did a study and found that was way more cost-effective at reducing demand than trying to use the military or police/justice system to reduce supplies or demand. We've tried it, and it's done little more than drained our military capacity while packing our prisons to overflowing -- without reducing availability or consumption.

But I imagine Asia is the primary market for Afghan heroin. Let's hope it's fungible and Asian countries follow our lead on this.