05 August 2010

Pomegranates and U.S. foreign policy

The Left is often accused of being anti-American. It does indeed have an anti on its shoulder, but it's often more anti-American foreign policy than anti-American. Most Lefties, and I include myself, greatly admire much about our southern neighbour, particularly when it behaves in accordance with its founding principles.

And there is even much to admire about its foreign policy when it isn't in empire mode. A recent example of this was the trade deal signed between Afghanistan and Pakistan which will allows Afghans to ship their goods across Pakistani territory to India and its vast consumer market. The Americans pushed hard for this deal and were instrumental in its consummation. Appropriately, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended the signing.

The Afghan economy, which produces a range of goods from carpets to fruit to fine marble, will receive a huge boost. Of particular importance is its pomegranate crop. An arid area fruit that needs little or no water, foreign development workers have long insisted that it is critical to creating a reasonable alternative for poppy growers. After poppies, pomegranates are Afghanistan's most famous crop, but to get top prices farmers need access to international markets. The opening of the Indian market will be a major step in this direction.

The U.S. deserves full marks for helping to bring this deal about. This is an America the Left can love.

1 comment:

  1. It would be even better if those pomegranates were a fairly traded crop, that is, the farmers got their fair share of the profits and not the corrupt political overlords.

    Sigh - too much to hope for?