123 thoughts on “Brief Thoughts on Afghanistan Opium

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  • Arsalan

    America supports Afghan drugs. Most of the Money from the Drugs goes to Karzia, his brother and America’s other alias. Most of the Drugs go to Russia and China.

    Win-Win for the Zionists.

    What would happen if Russia and China start taking steps against the Drugs?

    More Opium wars?

  • Redders

    Craig, In your quote you say ; “I think it’s very important to understand that a great deal of drugs trade is organized and controlled by members of the Karzai government. These are the people whom British and NATO troops are keeping in power,”

    But isn’t this just shifting sands. The individuals within Afghanistan operating poppy production and heroine production (assuming its produced in Afghanistan) simply loyal to whichever power is in authority?

    Ans although I suspect there will be organised groups, wouldn’t they be likely to be smaller tribal groups who will sell to the highest bidder?

    The West likes the idea of organised crime because its then ‘easier’ to hunt down but I don’t believe its nearly that simple.

  • arsalan

    Under Karzia Drugs are produced at an industrial scale.

    They have never ever been produced like this.

    The Americans have ditches and canals dug to water the puppy plants. The Americans make roads to transport the drugs north to Russia and East to china.

    Karzais police don’t try and prevent crime, because they are too busy protecting the drugs.

    The Army uses their trucks to transprt it north to uzbeckistan, and than to Russia.

    It isn’t just about people growing puppies, that has always happened.

    It is this industrial production, where the entire state structure is devoted to Drug production and nothing but drug production.

    This has never happened. Even during British colonialism and the last opium wars, it wasn’t as bad as it is now.

  • Arsalan

    Afghanistan used to produce many things, including drugs.

    Now it produces nothing but drugs and little else.

  • Redders

    ‘In the process of penetrating the world drug trade, US narcotic agents invariably stumbled upon the CIA’s involvement in drug-trafficking.’

    Another spurious web site quote.

    “The Americans have ditches and canals dug to water the puppy plants. The Americans make roads to transport the drugs north to Russia and East to china.”

    But no one objects to these ditches, nor the roads, nor the trucks moving, what? the poppies or the processed opium? The Russians are bitching about the problem but not one of them thinks to say the Yanks are bringing it all in, I don’t think they would have a problem squealing about it even if we Brits would.

    This is getting into global conspiracy again and really isn’t helpful.

  • Redders

    “This has never happened. Even during British colonialism and the last opium wars, it wasn’t as bad as it is now.”

    The Opium wars were in the mid 19th Century, how can you possibly draw a comparison between then and now in an entirely different region amongst a completely different culture?

  • Clark

    People take drugs in destructive and constructive ways. Destructive drug use occurs when people feel disconnected from the ongoing process of life. People who feel that they are contributing to an enhanced future for themselves and others will use drugs in a recreational manner; just another part of life. Drug use as escapism occurs when people feel that there is something they need to escape from. Drugs are not unique in this respect; any pleasure can be recreational or escapist.

    Escapism itself is addictive; the stimulus looses its power over time and has to be increased. In the case of drugs this leads to the use of more powerful substances.

    The large, impersonal commercial systems, whether ‘legal’ or ‘criminal’, promote escapism through consumption. Simultaneously, they offer little involvement in the social fabric which provides a feeling of contribution towards an improved future. Commercialism treats people as ‘consumers’ (promoting meaningless escapism), and those same people as ‘producers’ (meaningless components in the production process).

    People need meaningful lives; drug use will find its rightful place in such an environment. ‘Afghan Opium’ should hold similar connotations as ‘French Wine’ or ‘Scotch Whiskey’, and the production zones should be similarly peaceful.

  • Jon

    Can anyone supply a direct link to Craig’s video?

    Was quite underwhelmed with the main RT video on the link in Craig’s post. It’s good to highlight that Afghanistan is increasing the global availability of heroin, but it didn’t (sufficiently) point out that it was the invasion, or perhaps more importantly the resultant installation of Karzai, that achieved this.

    Furthermore, the strong prohibition message is totally regressive. The war on drugs has been lost, and news outlets that continue to fail to report the view that drugs should be legalised and controlled, worldwide, is not informing the viewing public properly.

  • Abe Rene

    If I remember the news rightly, the government once considered developing a biological agent that would kill poppy fields and make them useless, but politicians or public servants were afraid to be seen to attack poor countries with biological weapons. Perhaps the compliance of the UK towards the USA for once could do some good: let the Obama administration know about this, so they turn the screws on the UK to develop and facilitate the use of such weapons to put the drug barons of the Asian poppy region out of business permanently, and also their counterparts in South America!

  • somebody

    Two apt poems from Counterpunch Poets’ Basement.

    Our Good Side

    by JOHN TAYLOR

    We don’t persecute others

    For their religious beliefs

    Or political affiliations

    *Until we have to

    We don’t abuse children

    *In front of other people

    We don’t mistreat women

    *Unless they ask for it

    We don’t engage in genocide

    *If God hasn’t commanded it

    We don’t slaughter civilians in mud huts

    *Because we enjoy it

    We don’t wage

    Wars of imperial aggression

    Except for when we do

    *We don’t torture much

    Jon Taylor lives in Nashville, TN.

    The lines with an * are in italics in the original.

    aa~~

    Poppy Fields Forever

    by KEMMER ANDERSON

    Between the battlefields at Flanders

    and Afghanistan, the poppies grow

    a Taliban stash of weapons. We helicopter

    out for Kandahar to spread the gospel of empire.

    Between the bribery and fixed Islamic law,

    Predators seek out the wandering warriors

    who disappear into huts ruled by ancient warlords.

    A sniper holds the rifle for a moment then vanishes

    into mountain sanctuaries surrounded by time.

    Terror hides behind centuries of armies

    feeding the fields with blood and body parts

    from the last column of Alexander’s troops

    picked off one by one by arrow. Now planted

    on the road from Kabal, the IED blows out the brains

    smoked up by the power that funds gravestones

    and earth that cover up Hamid Karzai’s groping hand.

    Kemmer Anderson, while teaching “Flanders Field,” drew a poetic line to the poppy fields in Afghanistan. He can be reached at [email protected].

  • Paul Johnston

    I would be curious to know what your thoughts on Russian media in general are Craig. The perceived thought is that it’s very controlled and nothing comes out without government say so. How free would you say the media is?

  • Clark

    Somebody,

    thank you for these poems. You shouldn’t really publish an e-mail address without obfuscating it a bit, as it will be ‘harvested’ and spammed without mercy. Even if it appears on a website, it may be protected from harvesting software by various technical means used there.

    Abe Rene,

    I strongly disagree. There are probably unknown dangers from such a biological agent. But also, the drug and its production are not the problem. The concentration of power and weapons around its production, and its illicit distribution are.

    Whiskey is a highly refined form of an addictive and potentially fatal drug, alcohol. Should other countries develop biological agents to wipe out the production of whiskey?

  • ??? ??????? ???

    thank you for these poems. You shouldn’t really publish an e-mail address without obfuscating it a bit, as it will be ‘harvested’ and spammed without mercy. Even if it appears on a website, it may be protected from harvesting software by various technical means used there.

  • ScouseBilly

    Clark at June 14, 2010 1:13 PM

    Great post. I couldn’t agree more – prohibition facilitates racketeering and corruption whether by criminals or “criminals” as in our political establishment.

    Redders, I have looked at your site and came away with the impression that you are an honest and deeply frustrated ex-policeman. Do you not agree that the legislators are often the most corrupt of all in our society?

    You of all people may like to see one of my heroes (the late Thomas Szasz) on the very issue of drug prohibition and human liberty:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mojxtnm3fA4

  • Redders

    @ScouseBilly

    Your assessment is probably right. I hate injustice and legislators are often politically corrupt but what’s worse is not to stand up in the face of injustice and speak out.

    The problem isn’t the corrupt doing their thing, they form a small proportion of society, its the people that stand by and watch them whether by compliance or inaction.

    I’ll have a look at your link, thanks.

  • Redders

    @ScouseBilly

    Really interesting clip. I have, I believe like most people, the instinct to ban things I fear, especially ‘illegal’ drugs but my rational side says its a stupid idea. I don’t know what the figures are but I would be prepared to bet that most ‘drug related’ deaths are as a consequence of, HIV/Aids from infected needles and overdoses from badly cut deals quite apart from the violence it causes.

    The fact is that even if its decriminalised there will still be a criminal class who will put it to their own use but from almost every other angle, it has to be a solution to most of the problems.

  • Abe Rene

    Clark: I’m all for having any biological agent well-tested. We benefit from such agents in the form of vaccines regularly. Given that, I’m all for spraying poppy fields to stop this vile trade.

    No-one’s come up with a way to make the production of alcohol impossible. In any case hard drugs are more dangerous than wine, so Europeanising the popular culture of alcohol may be as good a method as any for dealing with alcohol abuse.

  • Redders

    @Abe Rene

    Like I said, I may be wrong but I’ll bet its not the drugs themselves that causes all the deaths, its the associated consequences form it being illegal and uncontrolled.

  • ScouseBilly

    Redders, I don’t fear “street” drugs. I fear what they may be cut with – thanks to their illegal status. IMO our government is criminally liable for this situation.

    Dope Inc. continues to thrive while our prisons are over-crowded with self-medicators (harmers, if you prefer).

    Most kids experiment with all sorts of vices and quickly make their minds up which they like, don’t like and what their personal limits are.

    Ok some get it wrong, sometimes badly wrong but that’s true of any aspect of life. We make mistakes and for the most part learn fom them. This process tends to make us wiser, empathic and tolerant – in a word, human.

    Prohibition inhibits human development at both the personal and societal level.

  • ScouseBilly

    Abe Rene at June 14, 2010 4:59 PM

    Abstention is your prerogative.

    Proscription is not for you or any one else to dictate.

  • Abe Rene

    Surely the real reason for America to go to war in Afganistan was not the $1 Trillion worth of minerals recently discovered beneath the surface:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html

    After all, George W. Bush told us that the reason was a War on Terror. Naturally this means that this wealth should fall not into the hands of Terrorists like the Taleban, but into the hands of a democratically elected Afghan government friendly to the West.

  • Neil Barker

    Bloody Zionist trolling back door rattlers. They seem to be just about everywhere, even in darkest Africa!

  • Abe Rene

    Scousebilly: I don’t have the power to proscribe all hard drugs like crack, heroin and ecstasy, or decree that the USA obliterate poppy fields with biological agents. But I am happy to encourage them to do it.

  • Clark

    Redders and Abe Rene,

    I have many years experience of drug use and drug users behind me. Drug users are diverse. Some don’t care what they take, they just want to ‘get out of their heads’, ie escapism. Some are drug quality hobbyists, comparing little samples from multiple sources, growing stuff themselves to see what they can achieve, etc. And you have the people who explore different states of mind, who use drugs to learn about themselves, or to be creative, or just to dance.

    Then there’s the criminals. These people trade drugs for money, or to gain power, both of which are addictive. They’re interested in potency (for working out a price ratio), but not quality. They may take drugs themselves, but they generally don’t consume the stuff they sell, or even the same substance – it’s just ‘product’.

    This can all be seen in legal drugs. You’ve the alcoholic, the dependent personality who has to take something, anything, the social drinker, the home-brew hobbyist, the connoisseur, the young drinker under peer group pressure. And how many tobacco execs smoke fags?

    Illegal drugs are no different. Drug problems are about people, not substances.

    Yes, when drugs do damage it is in various ways, many of which are to do with prohibition, and the resultant secrecy and social taboo. This was seen clearly during US prohibition.

    I suspect that Arsalan is right, that drug production and supply from Afghanistan has been ‘weaponised’, covertly directed towards the countries that certain groups would like to see disadvantaged, while raising plenty of money and selling plenty of weapons.

  • ScouseBilly

    Clark,

    Big Pharma dwarfs even the heroin trade when it comes to weaponised narcotics.

    Aided and abetted by criminals that have taken a hypocritic (sic) oath.

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