Jump to content
The Education Forum
  • Announcements

    • Evan Burton

      OPEN REGISTRATION BY EMAIL ONLY !!! PLEASE CLICK ON THIS TITLE FOR INFORMATION REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION!:   06/03/2017

      We have 5 requirements for registration: 1.Sign up with your real name. (This will be your Username) 2.A valid email address 3.Your agreement to the Terms of Use, seen here: http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?showtopic=21403. 4. Your photo for use as an avatar  5.. A brief biography. We will post these for you, and send you your password. We cannot approve membership until we receive these. If you are interested, please send an email to: edforumbusiness@outlook.com We look forward to having you as a part of the Forum! Sincerely, The Education Forum Team
Dan Dagen

Afghan opium funding Taliban, etc.

Recommended Posts

Am reading a decent book called 'seeds of terror' by Gretchen Peters. Apparently Afghanistan is the Columbia of heroin and morphine and the holy rollers known as the Taliban rely heavily on the revenue from the sale of poppy based drugs grown there. This reminds me a lot of the whole Iran-Contra thing in that i suspect there's got to be CIA folks who want in on this source of money in the no man's land chaos of Afghanistan. That murky underworld of covert ops, weapons dealers, professional assassins, cover story makers, key people in position in customs and running airlines. does anybody have anything concrete on this subject? declassified cables? defectors telling all? allegations? this is a juicy story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Am reading a decent book called 'seeds of terror' by Gretchen Peters. Apparently Afghanistan is the Columbia of heroin and morphine and the holy rollers known as the Taliban rely heavily on the revenue from the sale of poppy based drugs grown there. This reminds me a lot of the whole Iran-Contra thing in that i suspect there's got to be CIA folks who want in on this source of money in the no man's land chaos of Afghanistan. That murky underworld of covert ops, weapons dealers, professional assassins, cover story makers, key people in position in customs and running airlines. does anybody have anything concrete on this subject? declassified cables? defectors telling all? allegations? this is a juicy story.

The Opium Wars in Afghanistan

Can Anyone Pacify the World's Number One Narco-State?

by Alfred W. McCoy

March 31, 2010

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/31-0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Afghan war fuels opium boom

Thursday, March 18, 2010 - 11:00 By John JiggensIt was common during the opening of the Iraq war to see slogans proclaiming "No blood for oil!" The cover story for the war — Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's links with Al Qaeda and his weapons of mass destruction — were obvious mass deceptions, hiding a far less palatable imperial agenda.

The truth was that Iraq was a major producer of oil and, in our age, oil is the most strategic resource of all.

The war's real agenda was confirmed by moves to privatise Iraq's state-owned oil company to Western interests in the aftermath of the invasion.

Why then, are there no slogans saying "No blood for opium"?

Afghanistan's major product is opium and opium production has increased remarkably during the present war. The current NATO military offensive around Marjah in Hemand province, reported to be Afghanistan's main opium-producing area, is clearly motivated by opium.

Why then won't people consider that a hidden agenda for the Afghan war has been control of the opium trade?

The weapons of mass deception tell us that the opium belongs to the Taliban and the US is fighting a "war on drugs" as well as terror.

Yet it remains a curious fact that the opium trade has tracked across southern Asia for the past five decades from east to west, following US wars and always under the control of US assets.

In the 1960s, when the US fought a secret war in Laos using the Hmong opium army of Vang Pao as its proxy, south-east Asia produced 70% of the world's illicit opium.

After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, opium production in areas of Afghanistan controlled by US-backed drug lords took off until it rivalled Southeast Asian production.

Since 2002, Afghan opium production, encouraged by both the Taliban and US-backed drug lords, has reached 93% of world illicit production, an unparalleled performance.

The 2008 United Nations World Drug Report showed the astonishing increase in Afghan opium production that followed the US invasion. In 2001, Afghanistan's share of global illicit opium production was 185 metric tons out of the global total of 1630 metric tons.

By 2007, this had skyrocketed to more than 8200 metric tons of the nearly 8870 metric ton global total.

In the 1980s, the US supported Islamic fundamentalists, the Mujahideen, against the Soviets in Afghanistan. To pay for their war, the Mujahideen ordered peasants to grow opium.

Across the border in Pakistan, Afghan leaders and local syndicates, under the protection of Pakistani intelligence, operated hundreds of heroin labs.

As the Golden Crescent in south-west Asia eclipsed the Golden Triangle in south-east Asia as the centre of the heroin trade, it sent rates of addiction spiralling in Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and the former Soviet Union.

To hide US complicity in the drug trade, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) officers were required to look away from the drug-dealing intrigues of US allies — and the support they received from Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) and the services of Pakistani banks.

The CIA's mission was to destabilise the Soviet Union through the promotion of militant Islam inside the central Asian republics and the drug war was sacrificed to fight the Cold War.

Their mission was to do as much damage as possible to the Soviets. Knowing the drug war would hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union, the CIA facilitated the operation of anti-Soviet rebels in the provinces of Uzbekistan, Chechnya and Georgia.

Drugs were used to finance terrorism and western intelligence agencies used their control of drugs to influence political factions in central Asia.

The Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, leaving a civil war between the US-funded Mujahideen and the Soviet-supported government that raged until 1992.

In the chaos that followed the Mujahideen victory, Afghanistan lapsed into a period of warlordism in which opium growing thrived.

The Taliban emerged from the chaos, dedicated to removing the warlords and applying a strict interpretation of Sharia law.

They captured Kandahar in 1994 and expanded their control throughout Afghanistan. They captured Kabul in 1996, declaring the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

Under the Taliban government, opium production in Afghanistan was curbed. In September 1999, the Taliban authorities issued a decree, requiring all opium-growers in Afghanistan to reduce output by one-third.

A second decree, issued in July 2000, required farmers to completely stop opium cultivation. Taliban leader Mullah Omar called the drug trade "un-Islamic".

As a result, 2001 was the worst year for global opium production in the period between 1990 and 2007. During the 1990s, global opium production averaged above 4000 tonnes. In 2001, opium production fell to less than half this amount.

Although not admitted by the then-Howard government, which claimed the credit for itself, Australia's 2001 heroin shortage was due to the Taliban.

Following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US, the armies of the Northern Alliance — led by US Special Forces and supported by daisy cutters, cluster bombs and bunker-busting missiles — shattered the Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

The opium ban was lifted and, with CIA-backed warlords back in control, Afghanistan again became the major producer of opium.

Despite official denials, former US National Security Council official for Afghanistan Hillary Mann Leverett confirmed the US knew that government ministers in Afghanistan, including the minister of defence in 2002, were involved in drug trafficking.

After 2002, Afghan opium production rose to unheard of levels.

Thomas Schweich, who served as US state department co-ordinator for counter-narcotics and justice reform for Afghanistan, accused Afghan President Hamid Karzai of impeding the war on drugs.

Schweich also accused the Pentagon of obstructing attempts to get military forces to assist and protect opium crop eradication drives.

Schweich wrote in the July 27, 2008 New York Times that "narco-corruption went to the top of the Afghan government".

He said Karzai was reluctant to move against big drug lords in his political power base in the south, where most of the country's opium and heroin is produced.

The most prominent of these suspected drug lords was Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, who was said to have orchestrated the manufacture of hundreds of thousands of phony ballots for his brother's re-election effort in August 2009.

US officials have criticised Ahmed Wali Karzai's "mafia-like" control of southern Afghanistan.

An October 28, 2009 NYT article reported the Obama administration had vowed to crack down on the drug lords who permeate the highest levels of Karzai's administration. US pressed Karzai to move his brother out of southern Afghanistan, but he refused to do so.

Scheich wrote: "Karzai was playing us like a fiddle.

"The US would spend billions of dollars on infrastructure development; the US and its allies would fight the Taliban; Karzai's friends could get richer off the drug trade.

"Karzai had Taliban enemies who profited from drugs but he had even more supporters who did."

But who was playing who like a fiddle? The puppet president or the puppet masters who installed him?

In his 2009 history of the "war on drugs", The Strength of the Pack, Douglas Valentine showed this never ending war has been a phony contest, an arm wrestle between two arms of the US state, the DEA and the CIA.

While the DEA has vainly attempted to prosecute the war, the CIA has protected its drug-dealing assets.

During the 19th and 20th centuries, European powers (chiefly Britain) and Japan used the opium trade to weaken and subjugate China.

During the 21st century, it seems that the opium weapon is being used against Iran, Russia and the former Soviet republics, which all face spiralling rates of addiction and covert US penetration as the Afghan war fuels central Asia's heroin plague.

[Dr John Jiggens is a writer and journalist who has published several books including The Incredible Exploding Man; Marijuana Australiana; The Sydney Connection and The Killer Cop and the Murder of Donald Mackay. Along with Matt Mawson, Anne Jones and Damien Ledwich, he edited The Best of The Cane Toad Times.]

From GLW issue 831

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wednesday, July 2, 2003 - 10:00 BY DOUG LORIMER

A survey by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has found that Afghanistan has supplanted Burma as the world's largest source of illegal heroin. There are now 741 square kilometres of land being used to cultivate opium poppies in Afghanistan, compared to just 78km2 prior to the US invasion in late 2001.

"This year — after the best poppy harvest in 18 months — Afghanistan is again expected to be the world's No. 1 producer of opium with a harvest of more than 4000 tons, according to a UN survey", Associated Press reported on June 17.

"Opium poppies are springing up from the plains to the mountains of Afghanistan in far higher quantities than in the final year of the Taliban, which the US and Britain overthrew, while vowing to end the region's narcotics trade", the June 22 British Independent reported. "Opium — from which heroin is extracted — is produced on farms only a few dozen miles from the capital city of Kabul, headquarters to the international effort to end the heroin trade and rebuild the country."

According to the UN narcotics agency, the gross income from Afghan opium sales exceeded US$1.2 billion last year. In a country where annual incomes barely reach US$170, a farmer can earn up to US$6500 a year from opium production.

Prior to the April 1978 revolution in Kabul, which brought to power the left-wing Peoples Democratic Party (PDPA), Afghanistan's opium production had no international significance, supplying only a small local trade. In July 1979, the White House assigned the CIA to mount a major covert operation to overthrow the PDPA government.

Working through Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), the CIA began supplying covert arms and finance to the Mujaheddin, the Afghan counter-revolutionary forces. As they gained control over areas of the countryside inside Afghanistan, the Mujaheddin required that farmers grow opium to provide the counter-revolution with a source of financing.

Under CIA and ISI protection, the Pakistan military and Afghan Mujaheddin opened opium processing laboratories on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

According to Alfred McCoy, professor of Southeast and Asian History at the University of Wisconsin and author of The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, "Once the heroin left these labs in Pakistan's northwest frontier, the Sicilian Mafia imported the drugs into the US, where they soon captured 60% of the US heroin market".

By 1981, Afghanistan — via Pakistan — had become the world's largest supplier of heroin.

The CIA's involvement in the Afghan drugs trade ended after the Mujaheddin overthrew the PDPA government in 1992. However, the export of heroin from Afghanistan to the West continued. By 1996, when the post-PDPA Mujaheddin government of Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was overthrown by the ISI-organised Taliban militia, Afghanistan was exporting $80 billion worth of heroin annually.

The cultivation of opium in Afghanistan reached its peak in 1999, when 910 km2 of poppies were sown, with the encouragement of the Taliban regime which relied on taxing the export of opium to buy arms. At the time, Afghanistan accounted for 72% of the world's illicit opium supply.

Under mounting international pressure the Taliban regime banned the cultivation of opium in 2000, boosting the value of existing stockpiles. Production of opium in Afghanistan fell by 60% in 2001. Opium production in Afghanistan continued — in fact, doubled — in the areas controlled by the Northern Alliance, the coalition of anti-Taliban mujaheddin factions.

Following the overthrow of the Taliban regime by the US-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001, opium production began to rapidly increase. The UN narcotics agency reported on February 26 that "about 3400 tons of opium were produced in Afghanistan in 2002, making Afghanistan again the largest opium producer in the world... Over three-quarters of the heroin sold in Europe is originating from Afghanistan."

From Green Left Weekly, July 2, 2003.

Visit the Green Left Weekly home page.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Opium Wars in Afghanistan

Can Anyone Pacify the World's Number One Narco-State?

by Alfred W. McCoy

March 31, 2010

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/03/31-0

"At a drug conference in Kabul this month, the head of Russia's Federal Narcotics Service estimated the value of Afghanistan's current opium crop at $65 billion."

Interesting read but the $65 billion figure seems impossibly high. According to the UN’s AFGHANISTAN OPIUM SURVEY 2004 “Valued at $2.8 billion, the opium economy is now equivalent to about 60% of Afghanistan’s 2003 GDP ($4.6 billion, if only licit activity is measured).” The “total farm-gate value of opium production” was estimated at $ 600 million with the balance $ 2.2 billion being “gross trafficking profits of Afghan traffickers” 4200 metric tons were grown on 131,000 hectares [pgs 4, 7]. The 2010 report did not estimate the total value of the opium but estimate total farm gate value at $604 million up $166 from 2009 with 3600 metric tons grown on 123,000 hectares.

McCoy's link isn't working I'm guessing $65 billion is the street value.

http://www.unodc.org/pdf/afg/afghanistan_opium_survey_2004.pdf

http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/Afg_opium_survey_2010_exsum_web.pdf

As to the Taliban's supposed 2000 -1 cutback on production there's more to that than meets the eye.

1. It might well have been part of an effort to increase profits by driving up the price.

2. They received money from the US for eradicating poppy growth

July 2000: Taliban Bans Poppy Growing, but Benefits from Resulting Price Rise

Edit event

A sign put up by the Taliban reads: “ÂThe Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan not only engenders illegal things forbidden but launches effice struggles against illicit drugs as these drugs are a great threat to personality, wisdom, life, health, economy, and morality.”A sign put up by the Taliban reads: “ÂThe Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan not only engenders illegal things forbidden but launches effice struggles against illicit drugs as these drugs are a great threat to personality, wisdom, life, health, economy, and morality.” [source: BBC]The Taliban bans poppy growing in Afghanistan. As a result, the opium yield drops dramatically in 2001, from 3,656 tons to 185 tons. Of that, 83 percent is from Northern Alliance-controlled lands. This is supposedly done in response to Western pressure. [Observer, 11/25/2001; Guardian, 2/21/2002; Reuters, 3/3/2002] However, United Nations officials later suggest that the ban was actually used by the Taliban to drive up their drug profits. According to these officials, for several years, the Taliban had stockpiled over half of their annual opium harvest in a series of warehouses around the country. When the ban begins, a kilogram of opium sells for around $44 wholesale, but one year later the price rises to $400. [uSA Today, 10/16/2001] Time magazine will later suggest that the ban was the idea of al-Qaeda’s financial experts working with Haji Juma Khan (see December 2001 and After) and other alleged top Afghan drug traffickers. The ban “meant huge profits for the Taliban and their trafficker friends who were sitting on large stockpiles when prices soared.” [Time, 8/2/2004]

Entity Tags: Northern Alliance, Haji Juma Khan, Taliban

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Bookmark and Share

May 17, 2001: US Gives Taliban Millions for Poppy Ban

Edit event

Secretary of State Powell announces that the US is granting $43 million in aid to the Taliban government, purportedly to assist hungry farmers who are starving since the destruction of their opium crop occurred in January on orders of the Taliban. [Los Angeles Times, 5/22/2001] Powell promises that the US will “continue to look for ways to provide more assistance to the Afghans.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/13/2004] And in fact, in the same month Powell asks Congress to give Afghanistan $7 million more, to be used for regional energy cooperation and to fight child prostitution. [Coll, 2004, pp. 559] This follows $113 million given by the US in 2000 for humanitarian aid. [uS Department of State, 12/11/2001] A Newsday editorial notes that the Taliban “are a decidedly odd choice for an outright gift… Why are we sending these people money—so much that Washington is, in effect, the biggest donor of aid to the Taliban regime?” [Newsday, 5/29/2001] However, there were allegations that the drug ban was merely a means for the Taliban to drive up prices (see July 2000). In fact, according to a March 2001 State Department report, “Prospects for progress on drug-control efforts in Afghanistan remain dim as long as the country remains at war. Nothing indicates that either the Taliban or the Northern Alliance intend to take serious action to destroy heroin or morphine base laboratories, or stop drug trafficking.” [uSA Today, 10/16/2001]

http://www.historycommons.org/context.jsp?item=a0501talibanaid

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anti-Drug Chief Ivanov: Russia Faces Dope "Apocalypse"

December 2, 2010 • 9:24AM

Addressing a conference in Khanty-Mansiysk, western Siberia, Russian Federal Narcotics Control Service chief Victor Ivanov yesterday characterized the drug addiction and death situation in the country as "an apocalypse." Ivanov said he had reached this conclusion after reviewing the latest statistics on deaths from narcotics use. Whereas his agency previously had estimated the annual drug death rate in Russia at 30,000 people, Ivanov said he is forced to conclude that over 100,000 Russians under the age of 30 are dying from drug use each year.

The biggest killer, Ivanov confirmed, is Afghan heroin, followed by dextromethorphan derivatives of over-the-counter medications. There are heroin addiction hot spots throughout the industrial heartland of Russia in western Siberia and the Ural Mountains region.

Ivanov called for convening a special session of the State Council, with the participation of Russian regions, on reducing narcotics demand. He said that Russia has at least 2.5 million full-fledged drug addicts, the majority of them addicted to heroin, with another 3 million people regularly using other drugs, including 500,000 people who are on synthetic narcotics imported from Europe.

Yevgeni Royzman, head of the Drug-free City campaign, also spoke at the event, summarizing the situation as a "narco-catastrophe." He said, "We rank first in the world for heroin consumption, first in the drug addiction rate, and, accordingly, first in drug-related mortality among youth. This is why the country is now experiencing a narco-catastrophe, and any measures that will help our country get out of this situation will be good." Royzman called for emergency institution of visa procedures for travel to Russia from Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as life terms in prison for drug dealers and mandatory treatment for drug addicts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×