A Tactical Extraction!

• The Western coalition forces withdrawal from Afghanistan is officially, “A tactical extraction”

“A tactical extraction” to,
Be somewhat indiscreet;
Is not so much a victory,
But more of a defeat.

The one objective understood,
To crush the poppy trade;
Was for expediency’s sake, 1
Indefinitely delayed.

And profits from the opium,
(Although always denied)
Financed some who supposedly,
Were on the Western side. 2

And this year in Afghanistan,
Despite much ‘do or die’;
The Helmand drug crop reached new heights,
In a new record ‘high’.

Thus poppy seeds aplenty for,
The bastards who have lied;
And poppy wreaths aplenty for,
The many who have died. 3

  1. Western troops took little action against poppy
    farmers to avoid driving them to support the Taliban. []
  2. Supposedly friendly local warlords and Afghan officials, as well as the Taliban, profited from drug sales. Ex-President Karzai’s assassinated half-brother was suspected of such corruption. []
  3. Much is made of the death of Western soldiers but not of the twenty thousand Afghans who’ve died — many of whom perished as ‘collateral damage’. []
Richard is a poet and amateur blues harmonica player who lives in the seaside town of Clacton on England's east coast. He's had approximately 70 poems published in England and Wales as well as a number of articles. He can be reached at: richard-layton@zen.co.uk. Read other articles by Richard.