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  1. #1
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    When you finish reading Daily Mail's propaganda piece below, check: Activist Post: 10 Ways the War on Drugs is a Wild Success

    Afghan drug war debacle: Blair said smashing opium trade was a major reason to invade but 10 years on heroin production is up from 185 tons a year to 5,800

    By David Williams

    Last updated at 10:19 AM on 17th February 2012

    The West is losing the heroin war in Afghanistan – ten years after Tony Blair pledged that wiping out the drug was one of the main reasons for invading the country.

    Despite spending £18billion and a conflict which has so far cost the lives of almost 400 British troops, production of the class-A drug by Afghan farmers rose between 2001 and 2011 from just 185 tons to a staggering 5,800 tons.

    It increased by 61 per cent last year alone.

    Broken pledge: Then prime minister Tony Blair meets British troops in Afghanistan in 2006

    Thriving: An Afghan farmer collects raw opium from poppies in Balkh province, Afghanistan. Heroin production in the country has increased by 61 per cent in the last year

    Such has been the failure to combat the problem that more than 90 per cent of the heroin sold on Britain’s streets is still made using opium from Afghanistan.

    The United Nations yesterday warned that the situation was out of control.
    Declaring that the West had lost its war against the drug, a glum UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon added: ‘Time is not on our side.’

    The UN figures make grim reading for those who backed the invasion.
    Cutting the supply of heroin was one of the prime reasons given by then-prime minister Tony Blair in 2001 for sending in British troops.

    Three weeks after the attack on America’s Twin Towers on September 11, 2001, Mr Blair said: ‘The arms the Taliban are buying today are paid for by the lives of young British people buying their drugs on British streets. This is another part of their regime we should seek to destroy.’

    Warning: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said the drug problem in Afghanistan threatens the entire country with organised crime and trafficking

    But ten years later, the UN figures reveal how the outcome has been so dramatically different.

    Some 15 per cent of Afghanistan’s Gross National Product now comes from drug-related exports – a business worth up to £1.6billion each year, it was claimed.

    Officials say there is clear evidence that the opium trade is being orchestrated by the Taliban, with vast profits used to buy weapons and fuel the insurgency.

    The warning came at a meeting in Austria of more than 50 countries.

    Britain alone has spent an estimated £18billion – a further £4billion is said to have been earmarked for this year – in Afghanistan, where 398 of its troops have died and thousands have been injured.

    The most recent was Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, from 2 Squadron RAF Regiment, who was fatally wounded by small arms fire during an insurgent attack on Monday in Helmand Province – the heart of the opium industry.

    Ironically, the Taliban had overseen a significant fall in heroin production in the months before the invasion. Their leader Mullah Mohammed Omar – collaborating with the UN – had decreed that growing poppies was un-Islamic, resulting in one of the world’s most successful anti-drug campaigns.

    As a result of this ban, opium poppy cultivation was reduced by 91 per cent from the previous year’s estimate of 82,172 hectares.

    The ban was so effective that Helmand Province, which had accounted for more than half of this production, recorded no poppy cultivation during the 2001 season.

    However, with the overthrow of the Taliban opium fields returned, despite the destruction of crops by coalition forces and initiatives to persuade farmers to switch to other produce.

    There was some success but, commanders said, the ‘reality’ was that forces were too thinly stretched to focus on crop destruction – a move that, anyway, turned farmers against the troops.

    The UN Office on Drugs and Crime estimated that the 2006 harvest was around 6,100 tons, 33 times its level in 2001, a 3,200 per cent increase in five years.

    Cost: A British soldier stands guard as a Chinook helicopter lands supplies. Britain has spent £18billion on curbing heroin production in Afghanistan and it was the main justifications for the country's involvement in the war when it stated in 2001

    Cultivation in 2006 reached a record 165,000 hectares compared with 104,000 in 2005 and 7,606 in 2001 under the Taliban. This fell in figures for 2010 because of crop disease, but the UN figures show that it increased sharply again last year when 131,000 hectares were under cultivation, producing some 5,800 tons of opium.

    The rise came even though the Afghan government and Nato have boosted crop eradication measures by 65 per cent and made significant seizures in recent months. The UN says there are now 17 provinces in Afghanistan affected by poppy cultivation, up from 14 a year ago.

    Experts say the Taliban’s involvement in the drugs trade ranges from direct assistance – such as providing farmers with seed, fertiliser and cash advances – to distribution and protection.

    In his opening address to the Vienna conference, the UN Secretary General warned that the problem extends beyond those who abuse drugs and is threatening Afghanistan itself.

    ‘Drug trafficking and transnational organized crime undermine the health of fragile states, (and) weaken the rule of law,’ he said, ‘Above all, the Afghan government must prioritise the issue of narcotics.’

    A report by the UN Office of Drugs and Crime said revenue from opium production in Afghanistan soared by 133 per cent last year to about £900million after the crop recovered from a 2010 blight and approached previous levels.

    Ban Ki-moon, in his opening comments, cited a 2011 UN survey saying that poppy cultivation has increased by 7 per cent and opium production by 61 per cent in the past year.

    Zarar Ahmed Moqbel Osmani, the Afghan minister, said his country understood international concerns but noted that ‘95 per cent of poppy cultivation takes place in nine insecure provinces’.

    He urged the international community to work hard in preventing the components needed to turn opium into heroin from entering Afghanistan from neighbouring countries.

    Heroin production in Afghanistan has RISEN 61% | Mail Online

    again, also see: Activist Post: 10 Ways the War on Drugs is a Wild Success

  2. #2
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    ^ oops I blew the thread title, submitted prematurely, and can't edit my posts any more as I'm in some sort of TD partial-suspension status, ?!

    title should have been,
    Afghan opium production up > 3100% since '01 invasion

  3. #3
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    as linked in the OP:

    Thursday, December 8, 2011

    10 Ways the War on Drugs is a Wild Success

    Dees Illustration

    Eric Blair
    Activist Post

    For all the evidence of how the War on Drugs has failed society, there's equally as much evidence of how it is a great success to those who continue to support it. The drug war has many advantages if you wish to control society and expand your empire. It also enriches several industries that would otherwise have a very difficult time staying solvent without it.

    Here are ten ways the War on Drugs is a wild success:

    Military-Industrial Profits: As the Vietnam War came to an end, it struck fear into the military-industrial machine that enjoyed great profits from that conflict. In a world where contrived enemies were needed to keep a constant funding of weapons, . Thus, domestic armies were erected to combat the illegal drug trade, delivering consistent cash flow to weapons manufacturers. These companies make money, not just from the needs of the DEA, border patrol, and local police forces, but also from drug traffickers. Win-win and profits all around.

    Huge Boon to Private Prisons: The private prison industry thrives off long sentences for drug offenders. At least 25% of their profits come from these nonviolent criminals. A great number more are held on "drug related" charges that may have resulted in drug violence. However, the current trend shows that three-quarters of new inmates admitted to state prisons are nonviolent offenders. Private prisons clearly depend on arresting pot smokers and addicts of more severe drugs.

    Prevents Higher Unemployment Rates: Imagine if the millions of American currently jailed on drug charges were released into a job market already suffering from real unemployment numbers over 20%. Additionally, if it wasn't for drugs being illegal, countless people like DEA agents, court staff, prison guards, parole officers, drug dealers, etc would otherwise be unemployed. Thank goodness for the war on drugs, or the U.S. economy would look even worse.

    Suppresses Minority Populations: It's often said that the drug war is a war on minorities: "According to the ACLU, African Americans make up an estimated 15% of drug users, but they account for 37% of those arrested on drug charges, 59% of those convicted and 74% of all drug offenders sentenced to prison. Or consider this: The U.S. has 260,000 people in state prisons on nonviolent drug charges; 183,200 (more than 70%) of them are black or Latino." So it is a huge success for those who wish to suppress minority populations.

    Drives Up Prices: Making any substance illegal will result in much higher prices than a free market would dictate. Especially when there's a high demand for that substance. In the case of the cannabis plant, which grows like a weed and requires very little value added, the dried flower would virtually be free if it wasn't for the harsh restrictions and dangers involved in producing and distributing it. These high prices are terrific for drug dealers and even medical marijuana growers opposed legalization in California because it threatened their profits.

    Drug Violence Justifies Tough Gun Laws: The violence generated from the prohibition of drugs is reminiscent of the extreme mob violence during the prohibition of alcohol. Prohibition of anything will always create black markets which require firearms to protect banned products. Recently, the U.S. government itself was to Mexican drug cartels in their "Fast and Furious" scandal. It's now proven that the ATF plotted to use Fast and Furious to push for new gun control regulations. Indeed, most street violence is due to turf wars over the drug trade, and tougher gun laws are proposed as the war escalates. It's wonderful for those who blame violence on guns and wish to restrict them from law-abiding citizens.

    Protects Big Pharma Monopolies: No one is happier about the war on drugs than Big Pharma. Their control over the FDA and monopoly of "controlled substances" would be threatened if all drugs were legalized. They want you addicted to their FDA-approved versions of heroin and cocaine, not something you can get on the black market. In turn, they also benefit greatly when the prices of street drugs increase, as they can then inflate the cost of their products. They love the drug war so much they've lobbied to extend it to vitamins and supplements.

    Allows Proxy Armies: If you want to create an empire by force, but it's politically disadvantageous to base your army in certain countries, then the global war on drugs is your ticket to supplying troops or creating proxy armies. One of the most recent examples is Costa Rica, a peaceful country in Central America without an army, where the U.S. bribed the government to allow the Navy and Marines to be stationed off the Caribbean coast to fight the war on drugs. In other nations where even this won't be allowed, the CIA funds and arms one of the drug cartels who then act as their hired enforcers, or they're used as an excuse for governments to accept U.S. help to combat the enemy they created. In either case, the U.S. sells more arms and trains soldiers to be used upon command.

    Keeps Big Banks Flush with Cash: It has long been known that big banks happily launder money for the big drug cartels. According to The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), "Up to 1.5 trillion dollars in drug money are laundered through legal enterprises, accounting for 5% of global GDP." Take just this year and one bank, Wachovia; who had to pay a slap-on-the-wrist fine for laundering more than $420 billion for Mexican drug cartels. Imagine where the big banks would be without this money, given that they also needed a bailout of over $23 trillion for lack of sufficient deposits to pay for their gambling habits.

    Funds CIA Black Ops: Do you ever wonder where the U.S. government gets all that money for their secret "Black Ops" like underground bases, secret wars, corporate takeovers and seed money, etc? It's been proven over and over that the CIA (and Pentagon) controls a large majority of the illicit drug trade either directly or indirectly through proxies mentioned above. They've been caught in the act of shipping in massive amounts of cocaine, while the CIA now openly admits to protecting and facilitating the opium trade in Afghanistan. If it wasn't for this tremendous profit, the CIA would not be able to build their secret shadow government.

    So, as you can see, there are great benefits to the War on Drugs depending what side of the coin you're on. If you're a poor pot smoker, well, you're out of luck. But if you're the biggest heroin and cocaine dealer in the world and desire a monopoly . . . well, you've got the world right where you want it.

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