- - Wednesday, December 5, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The United States recently lost three special operation service members to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. The loss of Army Capt. Andrew Patrick Ross, 29, of Lexington, Virginia, Army Sgt. 1st Class Eric Michael Emond, 39, of Brush Prairie, Washington, and Air Force Staff Sgt. Dylan J. Elchin, 25, of Hookstown, Pennsylvania, brings the total number of U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan this year to 13.

It also brings renewed attention to the troubled nation. The United Nations (U.N.) says that 275,000 Afghan people have been displaced in and around the Afghanistan province of Herat in 2018 alone. The reason, according to the U.N., is not the Taliban. It is not bombs or other collateral impacts of war. Instead, with a straight face, the United Nations tells us global warming is to blame.

CNN recently reported that extended drought conditions have devastated the agriculture of the region, forcing people to move elsewhere. The news giant did not spend a lot of time focusing on the fact that the primary agricultural crop of the region is opium. Opium is used to make heroin. Instead, CNN pointed the finger for the downturn in “agriculture” and its economic impacts at global warming.

No news story is complete, of course, unless it puts a human face on the perceived problem. Rather than count on viewers’ intellect to process factual information, many in media believe they must tug at your heartstrings in order to fully register the point of their report. In this case, CNN chose a woman by the name of Mamareen.

Victims typically elicit the most emotional television connection and CNN found Mamareen to be a particularly compelling victim. It seems Mamareen had no choice but to sell her 6-year-old daughter. What? You read it right. She sold her child. The reason? Global warming.

I kid you not. The angle of the entire story was that selfish Westerners are causing the globe to flame out, forcing innocent people to sell their children. Oh sure, the Taliban, who abhors women, now controls 45 percent of Afghanistan territory and 2018 saw record civilian casualties in a country where most living citizens don’t even remember a time of peace, but it is global warming that is the real culprit.

Mamareen is a widow, having lost her husband to war. She and her three children fled their home for a refugee camp just outside Herat. She hoped to receive assistance but none was forthcoming. She says her only remaining choice was to sell her 6-year-old daughter to a man for $3,000. Her logic was that the money would allow her to feed her other two kids. So far the man has given her $70. No payment plan for the balance is in place.

This is wrong on so many levels. The humanitarian tragedy of desperate starving people is not lost on me. But who among us would sell their child for any price? CNN played up her assertion that it was her only choice. But even the term “only choice” itself is a paradox. “Only” indicates singular, that there is none other. “Choice” indicates the act of choosing, which requires other options exist.

It is not only Mamareen’s tragic story that should concern us. Far more alarming is a worldwide media outlet conveniently dismissing decades of war and overwhelming suppression by the Taliban and instead informing the West that our carbon footprint has caused a drought in Afghanistan, and that drought has spoiled this year’s heroin crop. The result of less drugs on the market is economic hardship, so hard in fact, that a poor innocent mom fled her home and now absolutely must sell her 6-year-old daughter for 70 bucks. Think of that next time you fill up the SUV at the gas pump.

Over the years, I have seen global warming blamed for hot days. I have seen global warming blamed for record cold temperatures. Global warming has been blamed for both drought and for floods. I’ve seen a U.S. senator predict that global warming would render his New England state devoid of snow, effectively killing the recreational activity of skiing. Less than 60 days later, I saw global warming blamed for record snowfall. Proponents of man-made global warming theories see no contradiction in all these assertions.

Blaming global warming, however, for the black tar (heroin) market drying up, which in turn forced a mom to sell her little girl? That is a new level of shameless. Generations of war and a culture that devalues women may be to blame. Dependence of a drug crop may be to blame. But statistically adjusted temperatures cause no one to sell their children. Such an assertion is heroin poppycock.


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