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Afghanistan and the Opium Trade. How the United States is protecting Drug Lords that fund Al Qaeda

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posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 08:42 PM
This is from a washington times article.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Afghanistan in April and told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the opium-producing plant is a threat to stability, two officials said.

"I know he has raised those concerns with the secretary," said a senior defense official. "There is a general understanding that al Qaeda is raising money" from the drugs.
But officials say that given the political and security picture in the emerging democracy, it is better to leave the crop alone for now[ Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Afghanistan in April and told Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the opium-producing plant is a threat to stability, two officials said.

Seems Iraq isn't the only place where we don't have a plan. If you don't know Afghanistan is now the worlds #1 producer of opium, fueling the herion trade worldwide. The United States has no plan and no ability to end this trade. Why? We want democratic stability.

So now we are funding the real terrorists by protecting drug lords so democracy can flourish in Afghanistan, while spending billions in Iraq where there are no proven ties to terrorism. Afghanistan had proven ties to al aqeda why not spend the billions there to end the drug trade and improve it's economy and give those farmers something else to grow? One 3 letter word. Oil. They got none of it. That's why.

[edit on 6-6-2004 by Hoppinmad1]

posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 09:56 PM
"Protecting" Hoppinmad1?
You might want to quote some portion of the article you are using to back what you are asserting, maybe?

According to this article, it seems to be quite the opposite of what you mention?

The robust narco-economy is the source of half of Afghanistan's economic output. As the underground economy grows, so does the power of regional warlords - including the resurgent Taliban. Eighty-four percent of poppy production, said Larry Goodson, an Afghan expert at the U.S. Army War College, takes place in provinces now controlled by the Taliban and two other factions opposed to the U.S.-backed government of Hamid Karzai.

U.S. lets Afghanistan traffic in opium

Then the government of Afghanistan herself states that they have corruption problems:
Kabul government concedes officials assist drug trafficking

I think what is missing in your argument and stance is that the Afghanistan is back and is once again a sovereign nation/state; with its own head of state, its own government, its own laws, regulations, and institutions. That despite US and Coalition troops still within Afghanistan, in their continued mission within the WOT, these same US and Coalition trops are not there to enforce Afghanistani laws, regulations, etc. The US and Coalition can assist Afghan drug prevention offices and institutions, along with offering ideas on how to combat this problem, that was present and was a problem before the US engaged the Taliban, but its apparent that there is an ongoing continued need to secure the country, as well?

As your own article stated or mentioned, there are problems that need to be addressed and prioritized. That the solution is complicated, with no easy answer, but strategy(s) are and will be developed, and not entirely by the US and Coalition, but by the sovereign Afghanistani government.


posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 10:38 PM
Thanks. I am still getting used to the board even though I have posted here for awhile.

The taliban practically eradicated the opium growing and trading in afghanistan during their brutal islamic rule. Here I quote a new york times article.

UNITED NATIONS, May 18 The first American narcotics experts to go to Afghanistan under Taliban rule have concluded that the movement's ban on opium-poppy cultivation appears to have wiped out the world's largest crop in less than a year, officials said today.

The American findings confirm earlier reports from the United Nations drug control program that Afghanistan, which supplied about three-quarters of the world's opium and most of the heroin reaching Europe, had ended poppy planting in one season

Basically eradicated under the taliban but thriving under the u.s. Why? Because Afghanistan will have no economy, government support etc. without the help of the drug lords. Hence why the U.S. leaders said they want to do nothing now. Our puppet government would fail there.

What angers me is u.s. doesn't have a plan and is doing nothing to fight these drug lords that are funding terrorists. Sure we formed a governent there and that is great. The taliban was legitimatly evil and deserved to be overthrown. But refusing to target those who fund the terrorist for the sake of democratic stability is wrong. We went there to rid the country and kill the terrorist. We still are fighting them, but the people who give them the drug money to buy the guns and bombs that kill our soldiers are having a blind eye turned towards them.

The opium output has increased dramatically under the protection that is being given even if it is unwillingly that it is given. This is affecting not just the terrorism issue either. The drug problem also ties in with the aids epidemic and many social issues related to herion abuse.

Bush wanted to kill some terrorists to appease america for 9/11. He wanted Bin Laden. Now there is nothing in the counrty left to get. Afghanistan the war was a sucess no doubt but the aftermath from it is affecting the entire war in a very bad way.

[edit on 6-6-2004 by Hoppinmad1]

posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 11:15 PM
It's no secret that poppy growing is a big problem in Afghanistan. It did not begin with the US involvement in Afghanistan, either.

Heroin abuse is a global problem. The world community should be involved in stopping the growth and harvest of the poppy crop. It is not the sole problem of the US. Let the UN get involved in helping the farmers adapt to new crops. Let France, Germany, and Russia fund the effort.

posted on Jun, 6 2004 @ 11:49 PM
It's called keeping your hand on the tap to the opium spigot and using it as leverage power in regards to Asia.

Also there is some speculation if they let Afghanistan grow poppies it will reduce North Korea's profit margins, since they are one of the major producers of opium also.

The way to make North Korea kick its drug habit
"There is increasing evidence that in recent years North Korea has expanded its role as producer, shipper and trafficker of narcotics throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia."

China Braces for Drug Inflow from Golden Triangle
"The Golden Triangle produced 70 to 80 tons of heroin annually, 80 percent of which was smuggled to China overland along the border with Myanmar..."

[edit on 6-6-2004 by Regenmacher]

posted on Jun, 7 2004 @ 12:40 AM

It's called keeping your hand on the tap to the opium spigot and using it as leverage power in regards to Asia.

Shows you how united states economic interests and global control come before everything else, even terrorist funding.

posted on Jan, 14 2013 @ 02:34 AM
our soldiers guard these opium fields every day.

posted on Jan, 14 2013 @ 04:05 AM
reply to post by Hoppinmad1

I wonder if part of the war on Afghanistan was to squash illegal heroin production so the only narcotics on the street were those of big pharma? Or hell, maybe big pharma just wants those fields. I will say, and this is just me talking, there was a HUGE surge in prescription pain pill prescriptions and addictions around the time this war started. I mean it became epidemic proportions.

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 03:07 PM
reply to post by Altoid

I can assure you that we do not have soldiers, marines, airmen, or sailors actively guarding poppy fields. In fact it is quite the opposite. The military, through civil/governance projects, highly encourage and almost try to force opium producers to stop growing poppies and instead switch to an alternate crop (in the south the main alternative crop is watermelon). However, there isn't as much money in 'watermelons' as there is in opium production. The US cannot legally step in and FORCE them to stop growing poppy. The Afghan government in Kabul is trying to promote civil and economic stability within the country. By alienating these farmers the central government will lose a huge chunk of the current economy (that has barely a $20billion GDP, which is less than the GDP of Vermont) and force business out of the region or country entirely. Given the current fragile state of the situation in Afghanistan, Kabul cannot afford this to happen.

I'm not saying that there may not be motives for the US Government to quazi-protect the current state of drug trade in Afghanistan, but who knows that those motives may be. However, I CAN assure you that there are no US troops 'guarding' poppy fields. Patrols may be conducted near them sometimes, but that's only because insurgents tend to thrive in those areas. The insurgency relies heavily on monies that derive from the opium trade, whether the US, Kabul, or drug lords intend for that to happen. The opium has to be funneled through Pakistan, in which nearly all of it's western 'tribal areas' are controlled by the Taliban. Therefore the Taliban in Pakistan undoubtedly has agents that promote and control the drug trade at the border by either taking bribes to ensure safe passage to the smugglers, or running the smuggling rings all together.

The situation is very transparent unfortunately. There are no real clear lines of which group controls what or who works for who in most instances. The country is so riddled with criminal entities that it is nearly impossible to identify which one is responsible for each 'criminal' behavior.

I hope this clears up the common misconception that US troops are guarding poppy fields, when it is entirely opposite.

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 03:18 PM
I've felt all along, deep in my gut, that the war in Afghanistan (against the Taliban, specifically) was more of a direct result of the Taliban *eradicating* opium poppy production than it ever was as a retaliation for 9/11.

They say "follow the money", right?

Well, somebodies were losing a crap-ton of money thanks to pre-war, old-school Taliban rule in Afghanistan, what better solution to that problem than the might of the U.S. military?

9/11 was a convenient, possibly even manufactured excuse to move in and "restore" the supply lines (of opium).

Whenever people refer to TPTB, this is who they're referring to,whether they know it or not, whoever pulled those strings, that's where the *real* power lies.

Follow THAT money.

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 03:23 PM
My two issues are 1:Why in God's good name are we allowing the cultivation of this poison and secondly is this why we're still sending young soldiers to die for?Unfortunately many here can't seem to grasp the fact we love our fighting guys BUT DO NOT approve of what the government orders them to do.This a good example

posted on Feb, 18 2013 @ 03:23 PM
reply to post by Hoppinmad1

Because drug lords are a two headed monster.....Cut one head off, the second one takes command while the first one grows back!

There is no stopping it, heroin is worse than the plague....It has no cure!

There is way too much money involved for it to stop, plus it is a plant.......Anyone who knows botany can figure out a way....If there is a will (MONEY) there is a way!!

The best way would be to legalize it.....Face the repercussions of overdose and death for a while and then it will all die down when it is not illegal......People don't like to obide by laws, anything illegal they like because it makes them feel like a rebel....

I never understood the whole prescription medication thing either, if people want to buy pain killers or cough syrup with codeine, that should be their right as a free person, no??

Anywho.....Good topic and great heart, but it won't be stopped.

posted on Mar, 5 2013 @ 10:44 AM
As I have stated before I support the American policy of having Afghan farmers growing poppies rather than being paid to build bombs. Here there is a program to aid some of our boys who have come back from Afghanistan horribly, horribly mutilated from roadside bombs. Just being able to read again is a huge challenge for them. Using advanced type enhancing software(that corrects their individual vision problems for each word) I try to help teach them military history. The last days in the Fuhrer Bunker are a favorite along with 9/11.
I have also stated that the biggest problem in the Ukraine is drug abuse among it's young male population directly related to the cheap powerful heroin that comes in bus loads from Afghanistan. I admit not to having any recourse for a solution to this problem as I know America will never leave Afghanistan anytime in the near future. Just to much invested and too much at stake.
In fairness to President Obama a situation such as this must seem surreal. All the power in his hands however he has no real recourse from the current policy.
In LBJ's personal library- forgetting for a moment that he was a criminal and a disgust to the office he held-countless, countless antagonizing moments are recorded-in his own hand-about the sadness he had about our brave solders dying in a stupid war he, himself, started out of political need. At the time of course the country was being cleverly lied to about the war-except he noted he wished he could lie to himself.
How did Milton translate it? "Omnem dimittite spem, o vos intrantes" Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.


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