Look Twice, Save A Life

Carolina Focus
Friday, June 22nd
Tamela Rich discusses the death of her friend and ours, Nathan Richie, and the Look Twice, Save A Life awareness campaign to reduce motorcylce and related deaths. Steve Onofrak with the CDC talks about those extra calories you get from snacking at the office. Maya Franklin with the Red Cross on their July 6 blood drive. Kate Bateman with S.I.G.A.R. on Afghan opium production and the U.S. military's effots to stop it.
00:53:58

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I'm mark Thomas. And this is Carolina focus on news talk 1110993. WVV. 107911025610. WFMC. We're a little bit confused events are happening to defect the Carolinas the Charlotte region and you. Welcome. Thanks for joining us here this morning on Carolina focus. And it's it's a little bit of a melancholy mourning for those of us here at Entercom Charlotte. Which incorporates WB CW Alan K into the Athens the. And because it was just a little over a week ago. That though one of our family members here at Entercom Charlotte lost his wife in a motorcycle accident. And you may be familiar with him if you been listening to Charlotte radio for any like the time. Nathan Richie. Is the gentleman that the lost his wife. And very very obviously very suddenly. And it's really impacted us here at. Entercom Charlotte. And wanted to talk about some things today because what we're doing. As an organization. Unfortunately it takes things like this sometimes to get people to be aware of real serious situations in life. And unfortunately it's taken the loss of Nathan. To bring our awareness. To a campaign. Which use looked twice save a life and it deals with motorcycle safety. But not so much from a writer perspective of the motorcycle. But for people in automobiles and joining us now. From here in Charlotte. Is author Tamil rich who is also a motorcycle rider. And it was a friend of Nathan were neat Richie welcomed Carolina focused camel. Mark. Now this is. This particular. Situation you've known you knew Nathan for a number of years correct. Yeah yeah yeah as I've written was made and he's still. I can't can I simply am referring to him in the past tense. Sorry I'm okay wonderful friend wonderful wonderful. Everyone. Mean he didn't have to know him long for him to offered decent and help you just the most helpful wonderful person you can Jeremy. And it you you rode with him how important sort of by circumstances. You that you make that reference. So cycles with Whitney that he had for much longer have. He and his brother and his gap with Japan would take great long motorcycle trip and when I was writer mr. Greenspan. Got me started to date. They took me on route to totally. We have protected me as I was in new writer. From Charlotte we announced tomorrow mountain and you know look you know each and look over cedars -- skyline. And ultimately get her back on that thunderstorm. And and it was my first time writing in the grade and I freaked out there that little White House. And Altria them to stop their bikes jump stop got there told me it was going to be okay told me everything are right it is done it's often. You know I have such fond memories. The whole family and job and you know now I've. A couple 48 stage on my motorcycle a 100000 miles written about it and I would be without his death the other gang. And you're right he'd he touched many lives in many ways. I've I've been in Charlotte radio four. Several years now. And but I never had the opportunity to work with Nathan until just a few months ago when he came to work here at Entercom Charlotte. So I do your experiences with him are far greater than my own admittedly. But a Mason was as you say he was a helpful writer he was he was a good writer I assume and a typewriter. Really a war element and that's so important. And to your point you know they were talking about motorcycle safety from the that automobile drivers perspective. Have their part to play. You know week we are responsible for wearing dark here and being really good defense that drivers and not being content. Distracted. And I think that's very often. What causes. From the statistics but I mean it's distracted driving on the part of the car driver usually is the problem. And I it was we'd rather ironic last week I received a press release from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Which was talking about this past Monday. The eighteenth of June being. Ride your motorcycle or scooter to work day. And do it safely and it talked about you know wearing a helmet and doing the right things. You know. Writing sober obviously and I don't you know not not taking chances. On year on your motorcycle or scooter. But notable and its absence even when I read this press release last week before. Inmate's death was the fact that it made no mention of Carter our automobile drivers pick up truck drivers and their role that they have to play in motorcycle safety as well. Because is it's it's too often the case with distracted driving. That. People just flat out don't see the motorcycles. That's right. Yeah I mean you've seen it I'm sure mark just just in traffic clamped over to your client server to your right. People are doing crazy when their car just acting. There's you know shaping. On the way to work you're eating their flapping their kids there. Ain't really. Cars are actually machinery. You know. I think pharmaceutical come with warnings you know don't operate heavy machinery. Current heavy machinery. That deadly weapon and you've got to operate it sensibly and with your full attention. Why no in in my a situation I've been an instructor now. With Doug Herbert breaks organization which is a teen driving. Instruction that's one of the things that we emphasized more than anything else is for people to keep their our kids to keep their eyes moving it don't be distracted. And pay attention to what's going on around you and be aware of your situation awareness. And I think I so often use. What plays in two. Motorcycle fatalities. Is people just simply don't have situation awareness to the point where they realize that there are other people around them. Number of people who don't look behind them before they changed lanes stopped always amazing. If you're good motorcycle you know you're praying you're paying attention. You know you can you hear your you've got smaller. You know they need to operate within and the car doesn't. Many at the time I've had little plane and being really nimble because somebody didn't look they came out into the mine lane of traffic. And you know it it on purpose operate safely. But frankly you've got the board that the weapons are behind the wheel of a car. Now word. Starting to emphasize the look twice save a life program. Or is it that technically a program. That's out there. Mean it's it's so quick in an awareness campaign. There are educational. Foundations that provide. Actual training to motorcyclists but it used to say look try stabilizes. More awareness and guilt space. And I think it's him it's a matter is that the people who like you say people who drive cars they have to have that awareness and they have to be paying attention. Because there are motorcycles out there and are probably gonna be a lot more based on. The cost of operating. An automobile. The cost of purchased. Fuel usage in that sort of thing. That motorcycles especially here in the south where the weather's good enough you don't write a lot of motorcycles in January in Minnesota I would imagine the but here in the south you know it's pretty much twelve months a year you can have motorcycles on the road. That's true but you know what what would prefer to look twice save a life is that for motor cyclist it's all for chocolate you know you. But it it's incumbent upon alzheimer's too as you say be situationally aware. And be focused on the task of trying to. And that's it and that's really I'm I I can't say for certain but it based on the reports we've gotten about mates accident. It was of vehicle just turned in front of him. And yeah obviously I often and he will also wearing a helmet and her yet he was doing all the right things. But. That left. I'm told from from the training that I have the motorcyclist is imminent danger of downer. With a vehicle in issues in the cart is making a left turn that you're making a right turn you know you've got. You know here in your lane you're going right as motorcyclists. But approaching car and making the last turn. And just paying attention not not saying it not only a matter of not being. Not paying attention from time to stat that they simply don't exceed the motorcycle I get. And to my understanding it was a left turn that took me and life. And that's worth a look twice save a life comes in look twice don't just assume because you glance that no one's there that no one's coming. Because. With son being the way it is you know the suns in your rise. Maybe you don't seed because of a reflection off to a vehicle or something like that. That your temporarily blinded by. A flash of light. Take the extra time to make sure. That when you're making these turns in particular like you say a left hand turn across Beverly was multi lane highway perhaps. That you it's easy to lose people it's easy to Nazi sometimes so that that's where that looked twice comes him. Yeah and and wouldn't that reporters were kept burning across the street you look class you look right he looked left again. So what's the three you know to look twice seek to your point that's where that comes from look look look and then major turn not a lot you're turning. Before you make. Right because when it comes to. Accidents. Motorcycles verses almost any thing. Motorcycles more than likely is gonna take the brunt of the yeah brunt of the impact. Oh. And that's and that's something that you know sometimes we you know I think people feel older or on a motorcycle there quick and nimble in the music and avoid me. But. If you're driving a 24 long suvs sometimes it's hard to avoid. Exactly. And again just emphasized that goes this is true for people that are on skaters. Bicycles Washington Charlotte now we have these little rents a tutors as little trying to use the speed at have you seen. I I've I've seen a couple of pictures of them but you know we've got you know the rent a bike thing going on I mean you see them sitting on the sidewalks. I'd honestly haven't seen anybody writing the fifth if that's what level is in the park on the sidewalk. But I. I don't get out that I guess. You know right share and that applies to the tutors and and bicycles. You know people are on small in the operating smaller vehicles. That share reds with. Car drivers and truck drivers all the time and so it's not just motorcyclist. It. Shipped to a. Pedestrians as well I know. It. Yeah I know we've had we've had some discussions about that a over the past few years about the number pedestrians being hit in Charlotte. And I know that's not what we we got together here to talk about. But you know sometimes it's the pedestrians bald as well being extracted and walking you know stepping off a curb in traffic. I think people have to understand. When you have heavy vehicles. Regardless of fear intent. Those things can be very dangerous and I think we've got we sometimes we lose sight of that. With all. The safety features quote unquote that we have in automobiles today in particular. People's I think they sometimes forget that you're talking about you know a 2345000. Pound thing. That if it hit something. It's gonna hurt something. Well there's no there's no avoiding that. But. The look twice sable like his wife campaign is so what we're gonna start emphasizing as well. Because that's that's were kind of where it begins. You know keeping other people safe being on the look out for others. And don't be so focused on your own concerns and that text message but realize that your operating something. That can have deadly implications if used improperly. An engine to turn it around a little bit I remember in high school there was a girl do. That is very catchy. Should the convicted of manslaughter. She was driving into the burn going over a hill all crashed into someone that she never fall. And until that person. She wouldn't answer the same. Choose a new birth of sane. I would wish on anybody. I would listen that was sit on the victim the victim family or the driver really pisses. This is very serious cars are deadly weapon he's got it looked. And be prudent space shark Taylor stay focused on driving. And I think you make an excellent point it's not just you know the friends and family of Nate. That we lost here. But you know the person who did this who was responsible was driving the vehicle. They're gonna have to live with this. And that's not to Wear it whether there are charges filed or what have you. The most people don't like the idea of taking someone's life whether intentional or otherwise. And and that's something very very difficult to live with. If it happens to be you. Is like you say it's good to have a lifelong impact. So it. Be safe out there look twice save a life. Taylor rich you've written a couple of books I wanna talk about that for just the second on motorcycle riding particularly as it relates to women. Yes. My at minute treatment book is called hit the right a woman's guide to solo motorcycle story. And I know some. Some people that some women. That our motor motorcycle instructors as well and and sometimes people think oh motorcycles that's a guy thing. But the well don't they can. It's funny there is certain stereotype but interestingly women are fastest growing segment in the motorcycle. Industry. More women are taking it taking about the news than men. So. I'm I suggest if people one of pick up a good read about women in motorcycles in particular. Ten roller rich. Won't they can find you on I mentioned on school and Amazon and so forth okay. That's exactly right to look at it as the uneasy find. My name misspelled the peak formal TNT and ELA rich and my web site Camelot reps talk costs. And the the awareness campaign is look twice save a life. And we really can't emphasize that enough because of the impact that it has on so many people when tragedy ghost write these cases. Channel we appreciate you being here Carolina focus and say Friday if you don't. My pleasure. You're listening to Carolina focus on news talk 1110993. WPT. 1079 the link. 1025610. WFANC. Also available as a podcast that WBT dot com on your host mark Thomas. And pledging to join us here once again this morning if some of you've been listening to WBT for a number here if you may were called when I was working on another show. About actually eleven years ago enough time flies. And we did what was called the time the producer mark weight loss challenge and I'm proud to say that I lost about. Little less than seventy pounds in that little deal over the course of a number of months for the first things that I did I made the decision not to eat any food that was coming into the radio station that I myself did not bring in I'd bring my watch from home during breakfast than that sort but around here I mean it's like hey we have a chef in today. It was just knots. I think that really contributed to helping me lose that weight to confirm my correctness in this particular area. Is. Steve O Phrack who is with the Center for Disease Control he just did a study that says that workplace foods contribute to unhealthy eating Steve welcome to Carolina focus thank you sir. Our our mark. Now that was. That was something that I did and he was simply because I realized I had a weight problem and I needed to lose weight now as is gonna spy I do a lot of other dietary changes as well. But that was one of the key things I thought was to not sit there and nibble and raised in which only cupcake. But you actually did a study on this and came to a pretty shocking conclusion. Yeah although we did was we looked at some dated USDA collected. Studies. Cervical eat out so it what it is is that nationally representative. Sample of US households so we were interest of the hoots and what it is that measures all of the news that everyone in that household. A pain or purchases either get to the earlier deficit during one week period. And so including where we've increment it so we were interested in its people who work. So we did it was the kind of restrict are now the just the people that it is. Who were working adults only you know currently working. And we look past the proportion of those people that got him from work during that one week period where that border there and they got. And took a look at what kind of foods they go. That by quality since. So. We found. A surprisingly it was. High number of people got it from work currently about 20% of the people. Those working adults got and from work at least once during the week. About 10% of them got three more times during the week and among those people without it the more that means that they got out merge. While 177. Hours ago Kurds now it kind of added up. Well yeah you extrapolate that over year. And I'm a gonna try to do the math in my head but you know we're looking prior close the best 70000 calories a year that's a lot of weight isn't it. I united it's certainly could be what some of the you know. Unfortunately don't know eggs in that many details about where they got the but it works and some of the escrow is optimistic that our cafeterias or so could help it launch you know. As part of that are that are out there a breakfast as part of that are there Albert shift their regular daily. You know I think a lot of it probably. Also due to snacks and other things a couple of days as well. I'll meant a lot of those who weren't necessarily the most. Oh before it as far as matching up with Becker guys and so. Gets Kate once birthday everybody we have a cake in the break room. I imagine that plays a pretty big role in a lot of this though doesn't it. That's something we all we all. You know experience. What would that kind of thing going on work and it's a hard thing to. To address really because I mean you don't want a signal on but. But it can get to be I think in my experience a little bit much sometimes right. Well yeah because yet you know what Steve did Steve didn't make it be sick Hitler's birthday cake like he must not like Caitlin. You know it it has nothing to do with that. Now now. And you know if employers adding that we can make an effort we've we want people enjoy being at work obviously and we want him at three and a breeder and he would it proves that like. But I I think it is easier people to make an effort and employers make an effort to kind of encourage healthier than to work. I work at CC and obviously as you'd expect we have a potluck and 7% of recruits people are or bring in our ourselves and and simply not only our Ali LP. And it makes it easier a lot easier to eat healthy work when the route around it to go through. Well you knew you say that I'm I just had a flashback to a previous era in my life. When I was actually one various local political boards government boards and that sort of thing. And I'll never forget going to a meeting at the that the county Health Department. And you couldn't find carrot stick if you elect dependent on I mean it was nothing but a typical. That back if at all kinds of stuff I mean none of that would be considered healthy eating. And you know I've I can appoint that I think you know. You know for Health Department him and think about having some sellers that next time. But. It was his it was just one of those ironic moments. But oh what you know do you have any suggestions what can be what people can do to kind of the part of the fun but not necessarily go off the deep than I was at part of your study. I wasn't really part of our study I mean there are things that they could you know lawyers and do people. Work and do one of those would be kinda have a healthy meeting. Guidelines. We're kind of you have doesn't have to be formal policy which it out kind of recommendations they're trying to creator I hope your environment work where. If you are having worked siders. Having a meeting sponsored meeting with renewed. Or there and then there's something like. To kind of ensure that there are some help the options available so. The temptation is always so. So great. To pick up those cakes and cookies and everything like that and then a lot of work sites. I. Apparently works I have vending machines and puppeteer is well and obviously. They employers so. You know opportunity that it took to implement some food service guidelines. What we call them. With those. Facilities and that would incur that would really insure that there are all of the options available in app that you're inventing machines and that those options are promoted. As good selections and you know trying to just you know promote that call for help core hole BP it is. I don't expect ignore. Steve on a frak with the center for the disease control. Study showed that people who lob more calories at work than they might think sometimes and can't. The ball good all the time unfortunately. We really appreciate you being here in Carolina votes sector. Yeah. I. I. You are listening to Carolina focus on news talk elevenths and 993 WBT. 1079 the length. And one or 25610. WFANC. It's also available to podcast that WBT dot com I'm your host mark Thomas. And if you're wondering why we are playing the theme from jaws. At this time well. We're gonna talk totally but he reminds Franklin. Who has an interesting thing going on here she's with the American Red Cross. Welcome the Carolina focus Mya how you doing this morning. Thank you so much for having me and I am well thank you so much. And you've got a blood drive. With they were the ref from a macabre twist to it coming up the night. He has that we act I think I'm glad that act at sea life aquarium. At Concord mills. And it is part of the shark we turned Shaq month activities. And we are so excited about this but drive its front ten to admin on July 6. The week of fourth of July that Friday. We are in urgent need right now of blood donations that this is a very important bit and it coming at a critical time for the American red. What got to ask you again in maybe you can or can't tell me who came up with the idea that link this up with and Omar from a marketing standpoint was shark week who's tough deal was that anyway I can I wanna be in that meeting next time. Well unfortunately I'm not part of that haven't happened they'd like MI port at the economic. The we had. I don't use that that there crap they've cited about our week and it seemed like and natural they are active approach you right. A local aquarium here in the Charlotte area and ask them to hope that let and and but this doesn't. And you say it's going to be at the aquarium up their Concord mills. On July the sixth now summertime is always. A hard time for blood donations as an. That's correct there's fewer reasons for that. One of the common even in bad people are baby in epic making baking and they have kids out of school that is not keeping up with that regular activities. That they may and it's during the rest of the year. Another challenging time for blood collection made during. The went to attack at that time that stands between banks getting in game greatly a lot of the same things. At that at all family that's traveling and an able to keep that regular. And I guess the thing I want emphasized first of all. Who can give blood because this is something I think a lot of people if they haven't given blood. You know they and their naturally you know there's the fear of needles and all that the goes along with it. Him as one who does have a bit of a fear of needles I've I've donated blood and it's not that bad. But I doubt what what are you have to where you start age wise with the blood donations. Yeah airline thank you came in flat at sixteen bit current market then. To honor op need DB and without the they have that in ancient and way actually hunted and came out. And as far as is so you say good health what so would be a little more specific what sort of things would put you out of the running if you. Did wanna donate blood you showed up and you thought why I'm healthy but. This that a the other thing may show up what what what sorts of things would would we knew we'd be looking at there. About what he's saying get out there thinking imaginary. And an eight. Medicaid and don't have any existing conditions. That they need to make an enemy that you haven't been married and then. Coal that it is you know crop. A temperature we are going to check all of our donors to earn back how history. For her they exhibit their blood pressure and hemoglobin level. And it and it bonded all of those things back out well and they need this ended at the American Red Cross is there anything you'd be eligible to get tactics. And of course of the blood is actually broken down into three different. Particular units so you're actually can help three people with one blood donation correct that. Correct at the apple blank did need and it's broken down into three about it. That red blood plasma and platelets and red blood cells typically used for any type of emergency pat typically are burned pick them and then played it argues. As part of a component. To help chemotherapy patients kicker can't their patent during. Chemotherapy treatment couldn't get out and a. And our talking with miles Franklin with the American Red Cross tells again the dates and times for York. Shark week blood donation. It's Friday galactic spent an AM and abandoned PM. At that sea life aquarium at Concord mills mall open conflict. My Franklin with the American Red Cross we appreciate you being here on Carolina focus. Thank you democratic. Thanks for listening to Carolina focus on news talk 1110993. WET. 1079 moment we'll comprise sixty MW have been Z it's also available for podcast that the BCT dot com. You are listening to Carolina focus on who's talking 1110 and 93 WPT. 1079 the only. 1025610. W Evans he's also available as podcasts that WPT dot com. I'm your host mark Thomas and you may have you must look Caroline focus for any like this time Curtis speaking with congressman Walter Jones from North Carolina. And he's made reference to an organization called cigar. And it's these special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction. It's one of these organizations that exist that Qaeda operates under the radar if you will an lot in a lot of respects simply because it isn't that out front. But so one of the things that we do talk about here. Extensively is the the old Buick crisis in America. And the cigar as they're known has just released a study. Lessons learned if you will called counter narcotics lessons from the US experience in Afghanistan. And it deals with a heroin trade and we wanna bring on Kate Bateman with cigar right now good morning Kate aren't. Graduated to a what is it give me your title one more time if you would please. Yeah I'm a lead analyst in our lessons learned program that cigar and that we procedure port that are trying to. Make recommendations about how to improve the overall reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. And as part of that you know poppy production opium production. And even though I think there are some studies that say that you know the opium poppies that are grown in Afghanistan don't necessarily. And the on the streets of the US it is part of the global heroin trade. So in that respect it does kind of effect. The overall situation. Give us a little bit of history I know. Afghanistan's been growing opium poppies. Actually since 1950s. And really got to got going in the 1980s but that tell us little bit more about the background of their opium production. I'm sure are part. Yes and and then Dicker beginning in the fifties but it's really and the armed. The many different war in Afghanistan. And the Soviet invasion in 1979. And poppy became with more increasingly. Produce a crop mark areas of the country. We didn't he'd be really act and so resonant and frankly. After 2001. And after the reconstruction upper end and our intervention there got going and I'm particularly since he's at. Between just 26 teens and 2017. There's a 63%. Increase in poppy cultivation. I'm just really troubling and and spend question you know just poppy. Then I'll be content instability or armed poppy. Contribute to the war against war cut poppy and I think it probably. More so a lot more that insecurity in ongoing war. I mean that you don't have. Good economic growth you don't have. K alternative for people in these rural areas to do much out for a living. And poppy. In eating Coptic. It. The labor intensive that it takes a lot of it gives a lot of people job. I can say is armed private debt problems there on the insurgency on the Taliban insurgency. Well I know you you mentioned since 2001 because if you know who if anyone Google's. Afghan poppy production and clicks on images one of the first ones you'll see I think it was put out by the United Nations. Poppy production from the mid ninety's. Was trending upward little bit and then 2001. It virtually dried up when a way that you you couldn't hardly find a poppy in Afghanistan as I were call. Working in a news here at WDT at the time. Doing stories about how the US was actually provide I think it was the number 43 million dollar sticks in my head for some reason. That they yep provided to the Taliban. To get rid of heroin production. And it seems like it was successful in 2001. That's right their the Taliban and that earlier part of the Taliban rule in the early nineties they have allowed pop into the ground I mean merit around the drug trade back. But then into that growing season in 2000 to 2000 line is that the four. The winters is in the four and a loud and it has been implemented that span and yet they did and quite a back area actively they've brought cultivation got a fan. Around 80000 hectares two less than 8000 hectares and Daphne did that your combination that. Persuasion. App collection and political deal. And they had to territorial control over commitments of the country. I personally able and it didn't. But it most experts agree that that it what would not have been sustainable. Because that road many many many Afghans into. And to uphold that. And I'm a lot of people return to during popping the next seat and they didn't have many other things to do. And so it's it's one of these things that this is what these people do I notice in the the report that you issued. Nearly they'd actually like 270 page report. The cigar has put out on the sort talking with Kate Bateman who's one of lead researchers here from cigar the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction. On this report this PDF I mean the the the first page has is nice picture took looks like it's a beautiful day in Afghanistan. And I was a couple of gentlemen out working in the fields and harvesting or doing whatever it is there tending their crops along with it looks like a small boy is along with them. And it's just kind of like you know your typical family farm. Very bucolic. You know you could almost think this is some sort of Norman Rockwell painting for Afghanistan. In the way things look it looks like a beautiful country mountains in the background and so forth. This is what these people do. Is it not I mean from the standpoint that they have nothing else to do there is no other manufacturing it's not like they have. You know auto industries or something like that or steel mills that they can work in. This is what they do. It caucus. I India how yeah how beautiful the poppy flower is great and and how destructive the consequences are. But I think it's important to remember it and it's not like we're talking about our new people are. You know that they are necessary any contributing to their worldwide crisis contribute. The Afghans than others are suffering a lot from they've seen. A huge increase in drug abuse act in Tokyo paid tribute and used in Afghanistan. And they see you know girl how old are suffering that there are many studies have shown. One quarter Afghan household. In rural areas. Out and Nokia eight have someone hadn't even using and abusing a period and so they're suffering consequences here. I'm but it doesn't really complicated and hard issue and use. We. Have played out in the airport that. After that leaves me that the US and Afghan government and made in the past to just goes destroy the crop. Well that might be effective in the short term like that's not a long term way to solve this problem because. If these areas there not to care but out of band. It's controlling and that he then you know people can go right acting very poppy and it you know if I ever. Everett twenty people in my outlook or depending on me and I had a jury that during poppy get cash to feed my family reluctant star. Kind of a no brainer. Well I am I and I think you make a very good point because. And you kind of set of just a few moments ago. These aren't necessarily quote on quote evil people who are out there doing this this is they're doing this to survive and mrs. about the only thing they have been a lot of cases. So it's not it's not as though they're sitting there thinking you know how can we destroy the world with heroin. That's not that's about their motivation and you know it's it's like hey I've got nothing else and I need to feed my family. And this is what turned to. That is better than I did and you know. At someone that our launch event on her talent pointed out in and you also gotta look at the picture of rural demand and and couldn't who's really making money from this trade it'd be definitely not farmers. I'm reliving nine edges you know consistent in that didn't in my country that Afghanistan is that drug traffickers to the middleman it as a border. And then the place where. Poppy and opium. Really gain value is meant it to leave Afghanistan and it's traffic around the world and most of it I think that earlier it's going to Europe Russia Asia. And that the great. Great map up and Gerri at you that parent comes from Mexico. However is that strange thing that 90% of Canada's parent originates in Afghanistan. Well and I'd use that you say that how can how can we think. Logically think that so that if 90% of the heroin in Canada. Comes from Afghanistan. Is it logical to think that some of that is a leaking over the northern border. Well I didn't then and this is it party your report it and hit it. You know we weren't we are not looking at the structure of the dictator on the road but my understanding is. The cartels in Mexico and Columbia. How. It could happen monopoly on he Matt gentry. And and written far easier to traffic. Chairman and US from Mexico promised that that it probably from Afghan and there in lap in unless something changes there. We don't know the report and it didn't go in Q to step in order to combat can Herremans would make a great you know it's greater and greater amounts. Right and I'm not in and like I say that's not as you said that's not part of your report and I'm not trying to put you on the spot here. That's. This just marks gut reaction when he hears something. And how to what's behind it's it's kind of its other panel you know. So grim reminder to forgive me but as far as your findings go. And I do want to touch on several of these in particular. The first thing you have listed here under findings quote no counter drug program undertaken by the United States its coalition partners for the Afghan government. Resulted in lasting reductions in poppy cultivation or opium production. Does this is is a surprising to you and we've had a we've had a drew a worldwide drug war for over a hundred years. You know we can go back and look at the early nineteen hundreds in the US with a pure food and drug act in the Harrison narcotics acts and so forth these have not gotten rid of anything. You know if it did these things wouldn't be here they were successful. Is it. Is this just. Yeah exactly. Because to try to drive. Out through prohibition missed methods. The production and cultivation of of an addictive substance that people want is virtually impossible. Yes I mean that's exactly right that he make comparisons here. Far far more developed wealthier countries trying to write their congressman Brad likely act and and you know that bad has not been very successful poker history here for a decade. I mean. I agree it's not surprising that a country that's coming out as. Well isn't that early 2010 years starting in Afghanistan we thought they are coming out of twenty years of war. You're playing in reconstruction after. But what happened of course the Taliban insurgency. Came back and I'm and bankers stronger over the years and so we didn't we do not necessarily plan and that in the early years for her I wore down. Rarely be trying to get it and we found. They tried to fight the drug trade. And reduce poppy cultivation. That it was expert and it goes in part because of the war and we didn't get access to a lot of places where poppies being grown. I'm and we didn't have we had that the government and suffering from. I'm about corruption that connected to the country by the way. If there is no it's not surprising. And again we're talking with Kate Bateman who is one of the lead researchers for cigar in the special invest in it excuse me the special. Inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction has one of those things is just doesn't roll off my tongue Kate I'm sore he but that. And yes he's joining us here on on Carolina focus talking about a report that they've just issued counter narcotics lessons from the US experience in Afghanistan. And we're talking about opium in the drug trade. As it relates to Afghanistan one of the things that you point out here is the failed US push for aerial spraying damaged US Afghan relationship and unity efforts. And I guess if you're good if you fly over and then and you know until somebody's crops you're not gonna make him happy I guess that's with the take away from that. I right yet a couple of reasons I mean it does that huge debate everybody in the government got a high if president based. They are asking you know it can be spray and spray and there are people who US officials had been involved in that anti drug effort Columbia. Who had you'd aerial spraying and they tried to push this in Afghanistan that. I'm it was never we never did that in Afghanistan. For our expert except read several good reasons that I'm. One dean at the US has never areas sprayed after a cop in a country that. That did not want to not support aerial spray it right in record time forcibly sprayed and other countries cop and and abandoning Afghanistan is sovereign country and this president that I can't it is an Afghan cabinet voted down and and they did that because. Immunity. From their perspective they have they have them a toxicologist looking at this and they said you know. You guys have the experiences DDT remembered he thought he needs unity grade and it turned out not to be great to me they pointed out that. In we did the aerial spraying Colombia by in Afghanistan to be a whole different probably in the whole different. I can't at all because in Afghanistan and much more agrarian society. You and you have houses and villages that are close to the poppy fields and you have other crops that are close to him extend the poppy field. There is being much more difficult to. To opt in shirt that that that that the chemicals did it affect other crap that people are grabbing to be likely to eat. Or other crop it and now. And an opera with really uneducated illiterate illiterate population. That you thought you know chemicals coming down from the sky. On your on your field. You might blame any health problems are human doctor livestock problems you've probably blamed not on the chemicals coming out of high. Well and you know you talk about DDT bit my first reaction would be Agent Orange. And we talk about the effects this has had and of course this is one of these things that people debate and mostly. The effects they have on American troops just in handling the Agent Orange. Yet we don't necessarily. Look on the other end of the people in Vietnam who works actually sprayed with this chemical. And the effects it had on them and I think you know if you if you look at it from that perspective. You're right it's not only the health problems that could or could not the result from this. But I think your mentioning the fact that. You know this is the only things people grow is the as you said the an agrarian society this is what they grow to make money off of but they have to grow their own food to. And and I views this not this this particular comparison I got a fairly good sized garden out back. Among house okay. If I go around and I spray spray roundup around the fence line around. The garden to keep the weeds down it will kill my tomato plants. I don't spray on a tomato plants but I'm you know within about thirty or forty feet. And sometimes even if you're neighbors sprays something like roundup it can hurt your garden so to think that you would come in here since brave. From an airplane. Which is going to be as precise as having a little one sprayer mister aiming at the ground. I mean that you could you could be looking at some rather devastating effects from simply starvation couldn't chip. Possibly yes and certainly ain't real outrage and anger after asking government which is exactly what murder. Not trying to encourage the encourage. And trapped in support for acting government ultimately. A stable state and that security states. And what deny you talk about alternative development programs being too short term. And relying on the simple substitution of other crops for poppy. And these didn't work is there a way to. Wean. Farmers off of poppy two other crops is that is Adam is that something that should be looked into. And based on the experiences here. As far as quote unquote lessons learned. What could be done better to make it more. Profitable and advantageous for them to go to other crops. I'm answered yes absolutely there is there are answers and that is the best line is high value perennial horticulture. I'm that you may know market in Afghanistan used to be. Had a pretty big producer the ravens. And wouldn't tax apricot pomegranate. And he's candidate pat priest and I'm a lot of tree orchards. Those orchards or you know have largely been mystery diet for a decade of war. And and we did he either per talked about I don't think that is where we we saw them program. I'm development programs help communities. I transition to that bit tentative. Not trying to part of culture and that the problem is that. Making that hour and a farmer have to make about a four year porn site here in Batman in planting that I'm those new crop as perennial crop. Before he gets return on the investment. So you mean that he needs someone that you need a different style of program that's going to can hold their hand you know allowed through eight years. And her guide the their great help them get to write access to the right sound agriculture and put it. That Kathleen and you know how to care for the toppling to enable that crop his arm decade. Adding him to pay dividends and and Bobby I was many of these alternative development project that program. Did not continue for enough years to do that and gave her that some of them many of them aren't they just two short term are acute injury years and not. The longer period of time that really helped. And someone literally from poppy permanently. Yeah and I think you know we talked with some of of people here on Carolina focus from North Carolina State about agriculture agriculture issues. And a lot of people don't really understand the difficulty in converting a crop it's not a simple say OK I'm gonna plan Brussels sprouts instead of poppies. It it's it's a lot more complicated than that and as you said particularly when you have. That. And agricultural crop that's based on trees. That doesn't happen overnight that's not a seasonal thing that thing it it takes awhile for trees to get large enough to produce and then to produce to the point where you can actually make money off them. So yet is it's a much longer term. Thing then just saying. Stop growing poppies and grew wheat it doesn't it it's not gonna work that way. And beyond just having your your trees graphic and maturity they're predicting true you've also got to have really good players they have to travel to access the markets right. And about where that battery that again this problem insecurity. And uncertainty and outside her apartment that statement out. And that's and until the the roars through there's you know there's greater security in the country and I'm hopefully some peace settlement can't. Contact really near future that. Until there's not greater security and it's unlikely there are going to be able to make real significant dank and and the poppy economy. And we're talking with Kate Bateman who is with these special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction cigar here in Carolina focus about. The Afghan poppy trade a wanna ask you just real I guess one more question to kind of wrap up here. Afghanistan's specific recommendations that you have in here. The US government should root finalize. Its revised counternarcotics strategy for Afghanistan. And prioritize efforts to destruct is destructive drug related financial flows through insurgent terrorist groups. Etc. What do you think the chances are of these ideas in these recommendations going up the line and actually being implemented. Because I know you're researcher. But you're not calling the shots Kate doesn't pick up opponents say hey Afghanistan you got to use this in this doesn't work that way. How long is it gonna take to get some of these things implemented do you think and it even if they are accepted as a viable. Methods for changing direction. Think great question and are our luck has learned her Grammy here I think our earlier trying to make these records are collaborative and we talked to agencies that we're making them very making recommendations to the State Department turned diplomat here at US Yankee Agency for International Development. And sued the department of defense and we and the idea and Mr. Spock as it traveled to Afghanistan very frequently and he needs to do about whether he needs of the people in the sort. We we feel pretty good I mean we know that. That our audience that the policy makers. I've have read that the party be shared the draft with that the before publication. So we try to take it really collaborative approach and identify problems. Identify potential solution that can help them. And we and they often work with congress. I'm very able actually you briefing congress on the airport today and briefings and congressional staffers. And we hope that. Debt build digging deep into consideration intake is not into the consideration and I'm potentially take up some American nation. Kate Bateman with the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction office. Lead researcher. Any final thoughts on the this situation in Afghanistan that you like to share. And value after him and help him out so last year that is equal to around 30% of Afghanistan's entire GDP. So it just to partner members that that poppy cultivation and drug production and it affects. Every part you know after construction at her. And we can't you know I we ignore at our parent on content and drug finding how to find the insurgency. So we have to keep an eye on our radar screen and figure out early to know bills these counternarcotics efforts in Q are our chargers to securities. And to sell missiles. Kate Bateman we appreciate you being here in Carolina books you cannot start happening aren't. Thanks for listening Carolina focus on news talk 1110993. WBT. 1079 moment. Welcome 516 WF Lindsay also available so podcast at the BP team dot com. I'm your host mark Thomas and until next time he well.
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