Trump, Afghanistan, and 9/11

President Donald Trump, led by his generals, will continue America’s longest war in Afghanistan. On this episode of The Geopolitical Report, we look at the history of the war and the effort by the CIA, aided by Pakistani intelligence, to manufacture both al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Prior to 9/11, the US did business with the Taliban and considered them a suitable partner for a pipeline deal. After 9/11, the Taliban offered to hand Osama bin Laden over to the United States, but the Bush administration refused, preferring instead to invade and create the longest war. If we take Trump’s airstrikes in Syria and Iraq as a gauge, the escalation in Afghanistan will result in thousands more dead innocent civilians, every single one illegal under US and international law.

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Show Notes

Taliban closes Laden case

Afghanistan, the CIA, bin Laden, and the Taliban

Afghanistan: Soviet invasion and civil war

US Supports Taliban Rise to Power

Taliban Arise in Afghanistan; Quickly Co-opted by ISI

Enron Gives Taliban Millions in Bribes in Effort to Get Afghan Pipeline Built

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and UAE Officially Recognize Taliban Government

Did 9/11 Justify the War in Afghanistan?

War on Afghanistan is Illegal

Afghanistan War Has Cost Trillions of Dollars

UN condemns targeting of civilians, infrastructure as airstrikes hit Syria’s Raqqa

Deaths In Other Nations Since WW II Due To Us Interventions

Newsbud Exclusive-Trump’s Afghan War: Based on Neocon Lies.

Standing before a podium at the Fort Myer military base in Arlington, Virginia, President Donald Trump addressed an audience of soldiers on August 21. Trump said the consequences of an exit from Afghanistan “are both predictable and unacceptable. 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in our history, was planned and directed from Afghanistan because that country was ruled by a government that gave comfort and shelter to terrorists. A hasty withdrawal would create a vacuum that terrorists, including ISIS and al Qaeda, would instantly fill, just as happened before September 11th.”

In order to believe this, facts must be put aside and the official version of events be unquestioningly accepted. There is no evidence the attack of September 11 was “planned and directed from Afghanistan.” Then Secretary of State Colin Powell said two weeks after the attack he would “in the near future… to put out… a document that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [Osama bin Laden] to this attack.”

However, the following day during a press conference in the Rose Garden with President Bush, Powell said the American people would not be permitted to see the evidence. He added the United States had irrefutable proof of bin Laden’s complicity, but “most of it is classified.” Powell’s remark was an effort to conceal the fact the Bush administration had no evidence Osama bin Laden planned and orchestrated the attack from a cave in Afghanistan. Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh cited officials from the CIA and the Justice Department as saying there was no solid evidence of this.

In 1998, following the US embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, the Taliban government offered to turn over bin Laden, but the Bush administration refused. Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil, the Taliban foreign minister, told Al Jazeera his government had made several proposals to the United States to turn over the Saudi to stand trial.

“Even before the [9/11] attacks, our Islamic Emirate had tried through various proposals to resolve the Osama issue. One such proposal was to set up a three-nation court, or something under the supervision of the Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC]," Muttawakil said. “But the US showed no interest in it. They kept demanding we hand him over, but we had no relations with the US, no agreement of any sort. They did not recognize our government.”

After the Taliban made the proposals through the US embassy in Pakistan and an informal Taliban office at the UN in New York, the CIA station chief in Pakistan, Robert Grenier, dismissed the offer as a ploy. In mid-September 2001, Grenier had a secret meeting with Mullah Akhter Mohammed Osmani, considered the second-most powerful figure in the Taliban at the time, at a five-star hotel in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan. He said if the Taliban were serious about avoiding a US invasion, they would turn over bin Laden immediately for prosecution. Alternatively, as CIA Director George Tenet put it, the Taliban could “administer justice themselves, in a way that clearly [takes] him off the table,” in other words, the CIA wanted the Taliban to assassinate bin Laden.

The ultimatum was rejected by Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Following this, during a second meeting at a villa in Baluchistan, Grenier said Osmani should overthrow Omar and get rid of Osama bin Laden. This was also rejected. Osmani was later killed by a smart bomb during an attack by the US Air Force in Helmand Province.

The reclusive Omar had previously attempted to establish a dialogue with the United States. In response to an inquiry on bin Laden’s alleged terror activities prior to the September 11 attack, a cable sent by the United States to Omar stated: “We have detailed and solid evidence that Osama bin Laden has been engaged and is still engaged in planning, organizing, and funding acts of international terror.” The US did not provide supporting evidence to back up the accusation and this resulted in the Afghan supreme court acquitting bin Laden in October 1998.

A few months earlier, in August 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory in retaliation for the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. The US insisted the al-Shifa factory in Khartoum “was actually a disguised chemical weapons factory” that produced VX nerve gas. British engineer Thomas Carnaffin, who worked as a technical manager during the plant’s construction between 1992 and 1996, told reporters he never saw any evidence of the production of an ingredient needed for nerve gas. The attack violated numerous articles of the Hague Conventions.

Moreover, the owner of the Shifa factory gave interviews in which he “emphatically denied that the plant was used for anything other than pharmaceuticals, and there was never persuasive evidence to contradict his assertion. At the same time, members of the administration retreated from claims they made earlier that Osama bin Laden had what [Defense Secretary William] Cohen called ‘a financial interest in contributing to this particular facility.’ It turned out that no direct financial relationship between bin Laden and the plant could be established,” writes Richard Bernstein in his book, Out of the Blue: A Narrative of September 11, 2001.

The factory was Sudan's largest commercial manufacturer of prescription drugs for both medical and veterinary purposes, producing 50 percent of the country's supply. “Probably the most important was an anti-diarrhea remedy. They also made drugs against TB and they brought in the basic stock for antibiotics,” Carnaffin explained. It was estimated the destruction of the plant resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Sudanese. [READ MORE]

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Newsbud Exclusive- NATO-CIA-Pentagon: Junction of the Real Druglords & Warlords_

The Casualties of CIA-NATO Afghan Operations Include Heroin-Related Deaths

Are you aware of the heroin epidemic that has been on fire all across America- since 2001? Thanks to the government-corporate media outlets you probably are not.

Between 2002 and 2013, heroin-related overdose deaths in the US quadrupled, with more than 10,000 people dying of heroin overdoses in America in 2014 alone. Afghanistan has been the number one source globally of both opium and heroin:

Heroin from Afghanistan has killed more people than the 55,000 Americans killed in the Vietnam War. An American now gets killed every 32 minutes by Afghan heroin. With US heroin deaths tripling every four years, an American will get killed by heroin every 16 minutes by 2020.

There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2016 that number went up to 4,500,000 (2.5 million heroin addicts and 2 million casual users).Heroin deaths shot up from 1,779 in 2001 to 10,574 in 2014 as Afghan opium poppy fields metastasized from 7,600 hectares in 2001 (when the US-NATO War in Afghanistan began) to 224,000 hectares in 2016. (One hectare equals approximately 2.5 acres). Ironically, the so-called US eradication operation in Afghanistan has cost an estimated $8.5 billion in American taxpayer funds since the US-NATO-Afghan war started in October 2001.

Interestingly, while the mainstream and pseudo-alternative media outlets keep playing up drugs from Mexico, we hardly hear a peep on the massive amount of Afghan-sourced heroin. To put it in perspective: In 2014, according to the DEA drug threat assessment, Mexico produced an estimated 42 metric tons of heroin. Afghanistan produced 6,400 metric tons of opium that same year. The largest share of US heroin is Afghanistan-sourced. It is coming from US-occupied Afghanistan. There is no other mathematical possibility:

Mexico with 10,500 hectares of opium could not possibly supply even 1/20th of the heroin demand in the US. What has the DEA been doing about the vast majority of heroin which is coming in from Afghanistan?

Looking at facts and figures regarding the heroin epidemic, it becomes obvious that the DEA has been a colossal failure and they refuse to answer most questions asked of them. Perhaps, the DEA would answer questions (or plead the 5th) at Congressional Hearings.

First, ‘the Mexicans did it” which is to say that the 173 tons of raw opium from Latin America (from 10,500 hectares in Mexico and 1,500 hectares in Colombia) were converted into 17.3 tons of heroin and all 17.3 tons were imported into the US, where it would not supply even 5% of the US heroin demand.

If all countries on Earth growing opium, except Afghanistan, were to convert their opium to heroin and send it to the US, it wouldn’t be enough for even half of the current US heroin demand.

With the obvious parallels and undeniable correlations, any critical mind would begin spewing the following questions: How did Afghan opium spread from 7,600 hectares prior to the US-NATO invasion to 224,000 hectares since the invasion? What is the correlation between US heroin deaths rising from 1,779 in 2000-pre Afghan invasion, to more than 10,000 in 2014 alone?

Parallels & Flashbacks

Forty years ago the United States was hit by another major heroin epidemic. During the 1970’s, during the Vietnam War, heroin making its way to the United States from the Golden Triangle became an epidemic. It was estimated that more than 200,000 people in New York City alone were using heroin. At one point in time, you were able to find used syringes on public playgrounds. As in the case of Afghanistan, the CIA-Pentagon WarLords-DrugLords were at the top of the chain:

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the CIA recruited the Laotian Hmong tribe to fight communist forces in the region. The CIA encouraged the Hmong to grow opium instead of rice to make them dependent on CIA air drops of food. The agency could then force their compliance by threatening to withdraw the food aid. To make the deal even sweeter, they even located a heroin refinery at CIA headquarters in northern Loas and used Air America, a passenger and cargo airline that was covertly owned and operated by the CIA, to export the Laotian opium and heroin. Much of it ended up in Vietnam, causing an epidemic of heroin addiction in US soldiers.

CIA ties to international drug trafficking goes back to the Korean War:

In 1949, two of Chiang Kai-shek's defeated generals, Li Wen Huan and Tuan Shi Wen, marched their Third and Fifth Route armies, with families and livestock, across the mountains to northern Burma. Once installed, the peasant soldiers began cultivating the crop they knew best, the opium poppy.

When China entered the Korean War, the CIA had a desperate need for intelligence on that nation. The agency turned to the warlord generals, who agreed to slip some soldiers back into China. In return, the agency offered arms. Officially, the arms were intended to equip the warlords for a return to China. In fact, the Chinese wanted them to repel any attack by the Burmese.

Soon intelligence began to flow to Washington from the area, which became known as the Golden Triangle. So, too, did heroin, en route to Southeast Asia and often to the United States…

The CIA did, however, lobby the Eisenhower administration to prevent the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, the DEA's predecessor, from establishing monitoring posts in the area to study the traffic.

Let’s take a few documented facts from records and reports submitted to the US Congress in 1999 by FAS:

1960s- In support of the US war in Vietnam, the CIA renewed old and cultivated new relations with Laotian, Burmese and Thai drug merchants, as well as corrupt military and political leaders in Southeast Asia. Despite the dramatic rise of heroin production, the agency's relations with these figures attracted little attention until the early 1970s.

MAY 1970- A Christian Science Monitor correspondent reported that the CIA `is cognizant of, if not party to, the extensive movement of opium out of Laos,' quoting one charter pilot who claimed that `opium shipments get special CIA clearance and monitoring on their flights southward out of the country.' At the time, some 30,000 US service men in Vietnam were addicted to heroin.

1972-The full story of how Cold War politics and US covert operations fueled a heroin boom in the Golden Triangle broke when Yale University doctoral student Alfred McCoy published his ground-breaking study, The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia. The CIA attempted to quash the book.

1973- Thai national Puttapron Khramkhruan was arrested in connection with the seizure of 59 pounds of opium in Chicago. A CIA informant on narcotics trafficking in northern Thailand, he claimed that the agency had full knowledge of his actions. According to the US Justice Department, the CIA quashed the case because it might `prove embarrassing because of Mr. Khramkhruans's involvement with CIA activities in Thailand, Burma, and elsewhere.'

For those who consider alternative media outlets such as Newsbud conspiracy hubs, here is a report, albeit watered-down, by the New York Times, published in 1993:

During the Vietnam War, operations in Laos were largely a CIA responsibility. The agency's surrogate there was a Laotian general, Vang Pao, who commanded Military Region 2 in northern Laos. He enlisted 30,000 Hmong tribesmen in the service of the CIA.

These tribesmen continued to grow, as they had for generations, the opium poppy. Before long, someone - there were unproven allegations that it was a Mafia family from Florida - had established a heroin refining lab in Region Two. The lab's production was soon being ferried out on the planes of the CIA's front airline, Air America. A pair of BNDD agents tried to seize an Air America.

A pair of BNDD agents tried to seize an Air America DC-3 loaded with heroin packed into boxes of Tide soap powder. At the CIA's behest, they were ordered to release the plane and drop the inquiry.

Author and activist William Blum noted in his book Rogue State, “The CIA flew the drugs all over Southeast Asia, to sites where the opium was processed into heroin, and to trans-shipment points on the route to Western customers.”

Do you remember the Iran Contra scandal and the days when Crack Cocaine was the major drug that destroyed communities and lives across the United States in the early 1980’s? Another fact obscured by the mainstream media, so that many still have either not heard about it or consider it another conspiracy story.

The United States supported the Contras in their fight against the Sandanista government in Nicaragua. Officially barred from arming and funding the Contras by Congress, the CIA came up with a scheme to sell arms to Iran and use the funds to illegally arm and supply the Contras. CIA-protected drug smugglers flew down to Nicaragua loaded with arms to supply the Contras and flew back loaded with Columbian cocaine. A decade later, investigative reporter Gary Webb used official government documents to prove that the CIA had sheltered these drug smuggling operatives and followed the trail of this cheap Columbian cocaine to the beginning of the crack epidemic in South-Central LA. Ironically, again, during this same period American Taxpayers were funding DEA operations that were supposedly countering crack-cocaine suppliers and operations. [READ MORE]

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Joke of the Day: UN Says Afghanistan Risks Becoming ‘Narco-State’!

Afghanistan Will Be Exporting Heroin to Outer Space & Its Extraterrestrial Populace!

This morning I came across this headline from Reuters: Afghanistan risks becoming 'narco-state': U.N. official. So here is what I thought first: This must be an archived article from ten or eleven years ago. Immediately I clicked on the link and checked the date. No, it is dated October 9, 2013. As in today! Then, I checked the section to see whether it is posted under their Editorial Cartoon or Today’s Joke page. And guess what? Nope! The hilarious headline and the more hilarious content are posted as a regular news article. No matter. I bent over and laughed anyway. Come on, you’ve got to admit it is funny, as in, bend over and laugh funny. [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round Up- October 6, 2013

Washington Arms Taliban, Banning Wahhabism & NGOs, Comeback of the Mujahideen & More!

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Afghanistan's northeastern province of Badakhshan and its role in Washington's plans for the region has been one of the major issues discussed in the weekly round-ups. In the last few days Badakhshan was again making the headlines with heavy clashes between Taliban and Afghan security forces erupting in the remotely located province. Taliban fighters succeeded in taking control over Kuran wa Munjan District which sparked new concerns about of the security of the upcoming Afghan elections: [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round Up- September 29, 2013

Ukraine: Future EU, NATO Member?!, Armenia Sticks With Russia, CSTO Addresses Terror Threats & More!

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

As anticipated last week, the CSTO leaders agreed on Monday during the Collective Security Council meeting in Sochi to provide Tajikistan with joint assistance in order to reinforce the Tajik-Afghan border. Tajikistan's President Emomalii Rahmon gave further details of the projects which will be supported by the Collective Security Treaty Organization [emphasis mine]:

CSTO to help Tajikistan strengthen control of its common border with Afghanistan [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round Up- September 8, 2013

China's Quest for Gas in Eurasia, Pipelines- Pakistan & the SCO, Terrorist State Georgia & More!

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

This week, China's President Xi Jinping started his Central Asia tour in Turkmenistan where he met with Turkmen leader, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, to cement ties between the two countries. Xi and Berdymukhamedov attended the opening ceremony for the Galkynysh gas field, the second-largest natural gas deposit in the world:  

Turkmenistan Opens Huge Gas Field to Supply China – Reports [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round Up- September 1, 2013

Wahhabi Schools in Tajikistan, Death & Silence in Xinjiang, Bandar Bush- Doku Umarov & the Sochi Olympics & More!

*The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

While U.S. President Barack Obama is waiting for Congress approval and pondering if he could win another Nobel Peace Prize by killing more people with Tomahawk cruise missiles instead of drones (maybe that is the promised change), it is important to highlight the close connection between the conflict in Syria and developments in the Caucasus region. [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round Up- August 25, 2013

Afghanistan: Militants & Drugs for the Whole Region, the Rise of the SCO, Lobbying for Georgia's NATO Accession & More!

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

After the recent U.S. visit of Azerbaijan's Defense Minister, it was now the turn of his Georgian counterpart. DM Irakli Alasania's meeting in Washington with United States Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel resulted in a new agreement:

Georgia and USA expand cooperation in defense sector

Alasania continued his trip at the Johns Hopkins University where he spoke at an event organized by the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute addressing Georgia's accession to NATO: [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round Up- July 14, 2013

Moscow Flooded With Afghan Heroin, Azerbaijan Eyes Xinjiang, Dead Terrorists & Journalists in Dagestan, Kazakh FM Meets Brzezinski & More!

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

When the head of the Chechen republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, recently vowed to eliminate insurgency leader Doku Umarov before the Sochi Olympics, he was apparently dead serious about it:

Rebel Warlord’s Bodyguard Killed in Chechnya [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round Up- June 30, 2013

Afghan Drugs Everywhere, Russia's Problem in Dagestan, Terror in Xinjiang, TAP Beats Nabucco West & More

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region. We document the struggle for influence, power, hegemony and profits in Central Asia and the Caucasus region between a U.S.-dominated NATO, its GCC proxies, Russia, China and other regional players.

Last week's round-up dealt with the power struggle in Georgia and the interesting discovery of several arms caches. After the Georgian authorities found more weapons and surveillance videos, President Saakashvili came clean a few days ago and admitted that the caches were set up on his order:

Saakashvili Comments on Arms Caches

President Saakashvili said on June 23 that arms caches, which the Interior Ministry says it found in Samegrelo region, were in fact those secret storages which he instructed to create after the August, 2008 war as part of a broader defensive plan in case of resumption of aggression against the country. [Read more...]

The New Great Game Round-Up, June 2, 2013

Top Terrorists Protected by NATO, Hizb ut-Tahrir as the Conveyor Belt for Terrorists & Much More!

The Great Game Round-Up brings you the latest newsworthy developments regarding Central Asia and the Caucasus region.

This week the presidents of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan met in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek. Armenia and Belarus did not attend the one-day summit, which focused on issues concerning Central Asia. ISAF's withdrawal from Afghanistan next year was at the top of the summit's agenda and the presidents discussed measures to prevent further deterioration of the security situation in the region. CSTO Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha explained the specific plans [emphasis mine]:

Bordyuzha said the measures discussed included boosting security at state borders, modernizing the CSTO joint rapid-reaction forces, and joint efforts against extremism and illegal drug trafficking. [Read more...]

Podcast Show #88- Karzai Cartel & Its Washington Guardians

The Boiling Frogs Presents Michael Hughes

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Michael Hughes joins us to discuss his investigative article exposing President Hamid Karzai’s mob boss brother Qayum Karzai, and the subsequent legal threats issued against him and his exposé by the family’s business partners in Washington. He explains how the infamous Karzai brothers, who lived in the United States, went from middle-class small business owners living on average wages to bringing in billions of dollars a year and building mansions in Dubai, all in less than a decade and through the unholy alliance that was forged between the brothers Karzai, rapacious warlords and incestuous multinational corporations-all lubricated by US Taxpayer dollars.

HughesMichael Hughes is a Washington D.C.-based journalist and policy analyst whose work can be found in The Huffington Post, Examiner.com and CNN. Michael has also been quoted as an expert in Reuters and the Middle East Policy Journal and has made several live appearances on RT News. Mr. Hughes has recently been assigned to attend and cover daily press briefings at the U.S. State Department for Examiner.com.

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Here is our guest Michael Hughes unplugged!

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Afghan Heroin Myths and Facts Recapped & Simplified for Mainstream Followers

heroin1Yesterday I wrote a piece on the real lords of Afghan poppies and heroin operations. I am thankful to all your supportive feedback. Of course not all feedbacks were positive, and I truly understand and accept that. Many of the critics came from mainstream media and establishment’s loyal believers and followers. They found my article complicated and not rational. In various ways and using many different words-some not very pleasant,  they were asking if I was accusing the United Nations, NATO, the US Government, and mainstream media outlets such as the New York Times and Newsweek Magazine of selling lies?! All that made me recall a famous quote from a ruthless despot. Actually, I ended up using that quote in my nightly news roundup:

"All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be." --Adolf Hitler

I realized I had ignored that very important advice in trying to convey the important myths, inconsistencies, and facts on the global Afghan heroin business since 9/11. If the establishment media uses the Fuhrer’s tactic to sell lies and myth, why don’t we use that same tactic to put out facts and the truth? I did not adjust my article for those with the most limited intelligence who have been following our government and its mainstream media and their daily propaganda. I sincerely apologize for that. To show my sincerity I have gone back and produced an adjusted version of that article.

Here is my Afghan Heroin piece recapped and adjusted for the loyal establishment and mainstream followers to accommodate their comprehension capabilities (Our irate critical thinking minority may skip this piece all together-way too simple for you;-):

One- Let’s agree on what kind and size of trade we are talking about here. The very conservative and cautious estimate of the Global market value of Afghan heroin in 2009 given by mainstream sources puts it at somewhere between $60 Billion and $65 Billion.  I am going to cite two sources to make these mainstream-following critics of mine more comfortable: [Read more...]

The Real Lords of Afghan Poppy Fields & Heroin Distribution Hubs

Facts, Myths, Smugglers, and the International Dudes

poppies1Yesterday this so-not-news news made the headlines: Central Asia Key to Afghanistan Heroin Smuggling – UNODC. The headline was followed by these so-not-accurate descriptions and statements [emphasis mine]:

A new report by the United Nations drug agency sheds light on the nuts and bolts of narcotics transit from Afghanistan through Central Asia, highlighting the former Soviet republics’ lackluster efforts at interdiction.

...

The 106-page report by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), released this month, describes how smugglers traffic heroin and opium from Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer, to Russia, the world’s largest consumer. Ninety tons of highly pure heroin, roughly a quarter of the substance exiting Afghanistan, passes through Central Asia annually. Yet in 2010 authorities in the region seized less than 3 percent of it. And despite international efforts to help, that number keeps falling.

...

You see, these kinds of reports never reveal the so-called culprit smugglers. And somehow these reports always get the role of the so-called international efforts backwards.  What do I mean? How do you describe the situation when the smugglers are high-level international dudes, the large part of the international efforts are to increase not decrease the smuggling exerted by the same smuggling international dudes, and the international cosmetic show put on in pretense of international efforts to decrease smuggling are performed by the same international smuggler dudes who’s efforts are to increase the smugglings? [Read more...]