A Tale of Two Continents 19

I congratulate the Royal Navy on their seizure of 5.5 tones of cocaine off the South American coast. In the long term this drug should be legalised, taxed and regulated. But until then, the organised crime caused by prohibition should be combated, and the Royal Navy did a good job.

What an astonishing contrast to Afghanistan, where the massive coalition forces in the country turn an effective blind eye to the industrial scale production of heroin all around them. Between 85 and 90% of heroin production is controlled by the warlords and gangsters of the hideously corrupt and undemocratic Karzai regime, whose rule our soldiers die to enforce.

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19 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Continents

  • anticant

    Of course they turn a blind eye to it, because whacking great profits are being made from it a good deal of which go into the pockets of corrupt politicians and so-called ‘law enforcement agencies’.

  • Abe Rene

    The blind eye may have something to do with Cantral Asia’s vast hydrocarbon resources which the USA would want a share of, and of course when it comes to the USA the country’s leaders are HMV rather than HMG.

  • Tom Welsh

    The press release seems to have been very selective in the facts it disclosed. Iron Duke intercepted the fishing vessel “off the coast of South America” – no mention of how far offshore, or whether it was in the territorial waters of any nation.

    Then the BBC said that the crew were handed over to the “local police”, whereas one newspaper says they are now in jail “in America” (not “South America”). Yet the cocaine stayed with the Royal Navy. I wonder what will be done with it?

    It’s very theatrical, true. The tabloid press and the BBC (which is now part of the tabloid press to all intents and purposes) rejoiced, and we heard that the Royal Navy has actually sunk a ship – well, at least a fishing boat. All that firepower has not been wasted! I do hope they aren’t unduly emboldened, however. If they try to take on the Chinese navy, or the Russians – or even the Iranians – they may not have things quite so easy.

    But nothing has changed. A large proportion of the population of Britain – including an even larger proportion of the London-based intelligentsia (and I daresay the BBC) – will continue to cram the white stuff up their noses, and pay whatever the going rate is. The RN’s thrilling swoop may succeed in briefly raising the market price, to the enrichment of the drug barons.

  • John D. Monkey


    The report on the BBC confirmed that the interception took place in international waters off the coast of Colombia and that the smugglers and drugs are in the hands of the US Coastguards.

    BTW, the latest research evidence is that less than 2.5% of 16-59 year olds in the UK ever use cocaine and still fewer are habitual users. An worringly high number, but hardly “a large proportion”.

  • MJ

    Tom, the BBC website is getting a bit more specific now:

    “Whitehall officials have said the bust took place in international waters off the north coast of Colombia, according to BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner”

  • Alex

    Just wondering – and Craig is probably the right person to ask – under what authority can the Royal Navy board a ship in international waters ?

  • mary

    Q. Under what authority can an Israeli gunship ram a small boat, mv Dignity, with 16 passengers on board including some Britons, 50 miles off the Gaza coast in International waters? The boat was rammed three times without warning in the middle of the night in rough seas at the end of December last year and, although it was holed, it did not sink and was able to limp to Sour in the Lebanon. Israel did not answer the Mayday needless to say.

    The British Foreign Office did not lift a finger to assist nor did they take any action when later on another boat The Spirit of Humnanity was boarded and the passengers and crew kidnapped and imprisoned.

    A. No law. The powerful own the law.

    See Free Gaza.org

  • sugs

    “…according to BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner”

    whenever Franky boy is reeled in to give his 2p worth, things are not always as they seem, I’ll bet…

  • merkinonparis

    ‘. . . whenever Franky boy is reeled in to give his 2p worth, things are not always as they seem, I’ll bet…’


    FrankieBoy is a Company man, through and through.

  • anon

    Talking of Gaza, does anyone know anything about the Codepink Freedom March to Gaza Dec. 27 ’09. Does Israel or Egypt for that matter, respect holders of British passports more than its own Palestinian citizens? Are Gordon Brown and Tony Blair going to intervene to stop the IDF shelling unwelcome guests entering its borders.

    I seem to remember Brown’s enthusiasm had to be calmed down for sending warships immediately to prevent help reaching Gaza from the outside world.

    I don’t know what those two are on, but they’re pretty spaced out from reality of any kind.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    I had a look at this issue, gave it some careful consideration, and my article on point is published at http://www.cannibisnews.comhttp://cannabisnews.com/news/14/thread14721.shtml

    I am inclined to agree with Abe Renee. As cynical as it may sound the illegal drugs business is just that, a business, and a business which governments are deeply involved in.

    Don’t be unduly impressed by the kind of theatrical swoop which you referred to in your post Craig.

  • nobody

    Blind eye? Google ‘david sassoon opium wars’. I’m sure the Royal Navy did everyone proud then too. That was then, this is now, but the Great Game never ended. In amongst that I don’t think the expression ‘blind eye’ quite cuts it.

    Meanwhile back in the Americas, where did all that coke end up? In the US as ‘evidence’? I’m sure we can look forward to them burning it all.

    Deep in the bowels of Langley – “Goddamit! Like I give a shit where you’re going to score five and a half tons of icing sugar from! Just do it!”

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    ‘Combated’? Didn’t know you were American, Craig.

    And, erm, by the way, who appointed the English imperial navy as a police drugs squad force in other peoples’ waters? Was there a global plebiscite about this whilst I was asleep……?

    And do we expect them to do the right thing with all that coke? We have no reliable means of knowing what happens to all the big drug busts supposedly seized by the USukisnato aggression forces in AfPak. Why would the announced details of this seizure be any more trustworthy?

    It’s been suggested — reliably in my estimation — that these occasional, loudly-publicised seizures have more to do with keeping the street prices high, by reducing supply flow a little, than actually having anything to do with principled work to alleviate the addictive-drug scourge.

    Also, of course, when you’ve just seized a substantial batch of the local gics’ [gangsters-in-charge, aka the ruling ‘elite] prize moneymaker commodity, you have more bargaining leverage with them.

    Stockpiling for later release back into the trade seems to me to be a much more likely fate for the seized gear, rather than principled destruction or conversion into genuinely useful medical drugs.

    As long as illegal addictives are one of the big three world money-generating trades (along with petro and arms) you can bet your life that the gics — particularly the mainly USAmerican gic chieftains who own the Wall Street banks where the bulk of the profits have been laundered for a long time — will do everything that they can to prevent any possibility of decriminalisation, with its inevitable concomitant of cheaply-available supplies under public scrutiny and control.

    And with the fag-end of the English empire being so abjectly under the thumb of its US overlord empire, you can bet bet your boots that Mrs. Windsor’s navy won’t make any serious moves outside of Washington’s rules, either before or after it’s done a bust.

    Ask yourself what’s going to happen to that coke now. Will we be told? More to the point, will we be in any position to check what we’re told?

  • ingo

    Yawn, well done boys, now don’t forget why you have been busting 5 tons, whilst some 25 tons gone through via other channels, its not to make a dent in the supply chain, but it is as gwylliam says, to keep the prices at a certain level.

    I have at various times becried the dicotomy of a war on drugs, interweaving with the war on terror, which hunts down the occaisional cocaine load, crying hue and foul criminals blah blah, when our NATO forces are effectively based less than half a mile from defense minister general Dostums heroin labs.

    The coke should be destroyed, but who knows what sort of arrangements they have with using US facillities for storage/destruction.

    And I doubt we will hear or see it be destroyed.

    Cocaine has a market value as a chemical, to make novocaine I believe, but if it is destroyed, which I doubt, how come that in so many cases some of it turns up on the market?

    If the CIA is involveved in any of the arrangements to destroy it or the US coast guard for that matter, I do not believe anything they say about ‘destruction’ of cocaine.

    History has shown that both arms of public service have been diverted in the past for other agenda’s and it is vital to understand that some clandestine causes were/are paid for by illegally sourced money.

    This bust is a mere blip, I agree with Ruth, it looks like the laws of the high sea allow anyone stronger to hold up anybody else weaker, size does not come into it as the Somali pirats and those who make the South China sea an insurance nightmare and have shown us.

    This bust/piracy will not stop Uzbekistan as a major transit ally for heroin, nor will it stop other cocaine shipments.

    Prohibition has achieved in self perpetuation of some services, it has institutionalised bias in law enforcement and the judiciary, arbitrary judgements are common, the misuse of drugs act is an ass.

    Top that with most of South America changing their judiciary, they will not convict people for lifestyle choices any more, There is no more uinty and Mr. Da Costa knows this, he is a stooge that does not understand what liberalisation would mean to a new market, it would mean CONTROL, for the first time, ever.

    And increased revenues, some 20 billion plus, roughly, conservatively, give or take, mas e menos, nothing to be sniffed at.

  • Frazer

    I agree with Craig…legalise it, produce it, tax it and sell it, all profits to Humanitarian Mine Action programmes please 🙂

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