“Occupation forces in Afghanistan support drug trafficking.”
The alternative to the legal poppy is a lure
Article from 08 June 2007
source also: HERE
By Michel Chossudovsky
Occupation forces in Afghanistan support drug trafficking, which pays between 120 and 194 billion dollars in organized crime revenues, Western intelligence agencies and financial institutions.
The proceeds of this lucrative smuggling amounting to billions of dollars are deposited in Western banks.. Almost all revenue goes to large corporations and criminal syndicates outside Afghanistan.
The traffic of the Golden Crescent is protected
The Golden Crescent drug trade, launched by the CIA in the early years 80, continues to be protected by US intelligence, in liaison with the NATO occupation forces and the British army. Recently, British occupation forces promoted poppy cultivation through paid radio ads.
"A broadcast message in the province assured local peasants that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), led by NATO would not interfere with the current harvest on the poppy fields. Respected people of Helmand, ISAF and ANA soldiers (Afghan National Army) do not destroy the poppy fields ”, the message said. “They know that many people in Afghanistan have no choice but to grow the poppy. ISAF and ANA don't want to prevent people from earning a living. " (quoted in The Guardian, 27 avril 2007)
Opium for the production of sedatives
While the controversial opium announcements have been superficially dismissed as an unfortunate mistake, everything indicates that the opium economy is favored at the political level (including by the British government of Tony Blair).
Senlis Council, an international suggestion box specializing in security and politics, under contract with NATO, proposes the development of legal opium exports in Afghanistan, to promote the production of sedatives such as morphine and codeine. According to Senlis Council, "The poppy is necessary and, if it is regulated correctly, it could provide a lawful source of income for impoverished Afghan peasants while depriving the drug lords and the Taliban of much of their income. " (Globe and Mail, 23 September 2006).
Senlis Council proposes solution according to which "regulated poppy production in Afghanistan" could be developed to produce the necessary painkillers.
Propaganda, false legitimacy and overproduction
Senlis report, however, does not address the existing structure of licit opium exports, which is characterized by overproduction. Senlis campaign is part of the propaganda campaign. It helped provide false legitimacy to Afghanistan's opium economy, which ultimately serves powerful private interests.
How much poppy cultivated area is needed to supply the pharmaceutical industry ? According to the International Narcotics Control Board (OICS/INCB), responsible for examining issues relating to the supply and demand of opiates produced for medical purposes, "The supply of such opiates has for years been well above world demand" (Asian Times, February 2006). Given the overproduction, INCB recommended reducing opioid production.
L'Inde, the largest legal exporter
Currently, India is the largest legal exporter of opium, providing approximately 50 percent of legal sales to pharmaceutical companies involved in the production of painkillers. Turkey is also a major producer of licit opium.
Indian poppy latex "is sold to licensed pharmaceutical or chemical manufacturers such as Mallinckrodt and Johnson & Johnson, according to the rules established by the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs and INCB, which require considerable paperwork. ”
The area allocated to the cultivation of licit poppy under state control in India is in the order of 11 000 modest hectares, suggesting that global pharmaceutical industry demand requires around 22 000 hectares of land for this crop. There is no shortage of opium for pharmaceutical use. The demand of the pharmaceutical industry is already met.
Culture on the rise in Afghanistan
The United Nations announced that the poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has increased. Cultivated areas have increased by 59 % in 2006. Opium production is estimated to have increased by 49 % compared to 2005 Western media jointly blame Taliban and warlords. Western officials say, "The traffic is controlled by 25 traffickers, including three government ministers ” (Karzai) (Guardian, on. cit.).
By a bitter irony, US military presence served to reconstitute rather than suppress drug trafficking, which has been multiplied by 21 since the US-led invasion. A. in 2001 What the media fail to recall, is that the Taliban government had played a large part in the implementation of the successful drug eradication program, with the support and collaboration of the UN, in 2000-2001.
Implemented in 2000-2001, the Taliban eradication program has led to a decrease in 94 percent of poppy crop. In 2001, according to UN figures, opium production had fallen to 185 tons. Right after the invasion of the US. in October 2001, production has increased considerably, regaining its historical levels.
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), based in Vienna, believes that the harvest 2006 will be around 6100 tons, is 33 times the level of production reached in 2001 under the Taliban government (3200 % increase in 5 years). Cultures occupied in 2006 165 000 hectares, against 104 000 in 2005 and 7606 in 2001 under the Taliban.
Selon I, Afghanistan provides 2006 about 92 percent of world opium supply, which is used to prepare the heroine.
A lucrative traffic that brings little to the peasants
The United Nations believes that in 2006, the contribution of drug trafficking to the Afghan economy is on the order of 2.7 billions of dollars. What he doesn't mention, it is the fact that more than 95 percent of the revenue from this lucrative traffic goes to business unions, organized crime and banking and financial institutions. A very small percentage goes to peasants and traffickers in the producing country.
The amount of retail sales in Western markets would exceed 120 billion dollars per year.
Afghan opiates trafficking (92 percent of total world production) constitutes a large part of the global annual turnover of narcotics, estimated by the United Nations at 400-500 billions of dollars.
Drugs, third behind oil and weapons
Based on the figures of 2003, drugs are the third largest commodity in the world in terms of income after oil and arms trafficking.
Afghanistan and Colombia are, with Bolivia and Peru, the first drug-producing countries in the world, that fuel a thriving criminal economy. These countries are heavily militarized. Drug trafficking is protected there. The CIA has been documented to have played a central role in the development of the Latin American and Asian drug triangles.
The IMF has estimated global money laundering to be between 590 billion and 1500 billion dollars per year, which represents 2 at 5 percent of overall GDP (Asian Banker, 15 August 2003).
Much of the money laundered globally, according to IMF estimates, is linked to drug trafficking, one third of which is linked to the Golden Crescent opium triangle.