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Illicit Poppy Growing Again a Problem in Afghanistan

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:36 AM
Original message
Illicit Poppy Growing Again a Problem in Afghanistan
http://ap.tbo.com/ap/breaking/MGAM1N9X9UD.html

KAREZEQ, Afghanistan (AP) - The bulb of the little pink flower reaches deep into Afghan society, sowing problems with the country's allies, financing gunmen and even bringing addiction to ordinary Afghans.
In Afghanistan, opium is everywhere.

The United Nations says the burgeoning poppy crop produced three-quarters of the world's illicit opium last year, worth $2.3 billion and accounting for half Afghanistan's gross domestic product. Output was 20 times more than in 2001, the last year of rule by the strict Taliban regime. snip

The vast majority of the poppy crop is exported to meet the demand for drugs in the United States, Europe and elsewhere, but some stays at home, feeding a growing addiction problem.

In the slums of western Kabul, devastated by three decades of war, opium addicts gather in bullet-pocked ruins, sheltering in basement rooms littered with used needles and burned matches. They heat opium powder into a liquid and inhale the vapor.

Counselors from the Najat drug rehabilitation center scour Kabul for addicts, offering first-aid and encouragement. Female doctors meet at the homes of women addicts, and dozens of burqua-clad addicts come for checkups.

more

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RC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. Surprise, surprise, huh?
We go in, bomb a few wedding parties, build a pipe line and leave.
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SpiralHawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 11:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. This is simply a coincidence
That the BushCo-CIA junta took over and opium and heroin and other DOPE exploded in use, and profitability.

It's just a coincidence. So sit down and shut up. There is nothing to see here.

Move along now.

"Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big
ones are kept secret by public incredulity." Marshall McLuhan
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RedSock Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. is this why they call GHWB

Poppy?

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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. Oh. Thought Poppy BUSH Had Been Cloned (perish the thought) n/t
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demdave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 12:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. We need to have the death penalty for all opium crimes.
It apparently worked for the Taliban.
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keep_left Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. They're the people who were DOING the dope dealing!
Along with the Pakistani ISI and generals, who were, to quote David Corn of the Nation, "up to their necks in heroin deals". The Taliban talked a good game when it came to drug control, but then they turned around and exported even more smack to the world than before. That's a big part of how they financed their operations, especially when the Russians left and the CIA money dried up.

Read "The Politics of Heroin" by Alfred McCoy. He teaches at U of WI-Madison and is the real expert on this stuff.
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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. But poppy cultivation is WAY up now the Taliban are gone ...

And we're supposedly in control there.

Is the CIA back in the narcotics game in Afghanistan as they were in Southeast Asia ("Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia")?

With all of the old Iran-Contra people that * put into his administration, maybe the old "guns for cocaine" crowd has a new "guns for opium" game going?
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keep_left Donating Member (158 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 02:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Well, of course we're not really in control.
And the last I heard, right here on DU, was that the more "moderate" elements of the Taliban regime had to be brought back to keep order. Makes a sick kind of sense; after all, the Taliban were the "law and order" regime that resulted from years of civil war there.

The heroin dealing was widespread among all the different factions in the Afghan resistance, and was funneled using the CIA supply pipeline through Pakistan, where the ISI and generals took a cut. (That's also a big part of the reason for Pakistani support of radical Islamists in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and it's why Musharraf had better be watching his back). I don't know all the details of the Taliban's crackdown on smack, I'd have to go back and read up on it, but I do know that it was a joke. Likely the only people they executed for dope dealing were their competitors.

And yes, the "guns for smack" thing is an old story, going as far back as WWII (Lucky Luciano et al.). It's a direct result of covert ops blowback, totally predictable. The CIA inspector general's report referred to the heroin smuggling as "fallout". Tell that to a detoxing addict.

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oustemnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-15-04 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
8. Didn't Dubya give his official blessing to the rebirth of poppy-growing
in Afghanistan a while back? I remember seeing a few headlines about it. The sick thing was, it was only a couple of months or so after the ONDCP's (sp?) asinine "if you smoke pot, you support terrorism" Super Bowl commercial.
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