Friday, October 24, 2008

How Deeply is the U.S. involved in the Afghan Drug Trade?

Eric Margolis wrote a most interesting editorial:
How deeply is the US involved in the Afghan Drug Trade?

Upon a google search, I didn't see this one coming up in many places at all.
I can't imagine why? Actually, that is me being facetious.
I can actually read for myself why this column may not have been as widely covered, as a usual Margolis column.

But first, let me thank one of the 'doomers' for posting this on the group site, thanks fellow doomers. :)

My second indulgence: A brief media rant. Another way the media serves to mislead is by controlling the information, through accessibility or lack of access to pertinent information.

Oh and sorry a third indulgence!! I am going to bold, the 'naughty' parts, the parts that might have made this a little unacceptable for the western media and it's largely dumbed down readership. My commentary in red. (See second indulgence for reason why large swathes of readership are ignorant.)

Now onto some most interesting excerpts of the editorial by Eric Margolis-available in it's entirety here .

Most Europeans see the Afghan conflict as a 19th-century style colonial war for regional domination and resources. By contrast, Americans are still being misled by their corporate media and posturing politicians of both parties into believing the seven-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is a noble `anti-terrorism' mission that is defending women's rights and rebuilding a ravage nation instead of another brutal grab for energy, this time from the Caspian Basin.


It isn't just Americans, it Canadians and Australians also. Mislead by the lies of the MSM, bowing to their paymasters. Again, anyone with working braincells, KNOWS there is nothing "noble"about the mission in Afghanistan.
>>>>>

But McKiernan also called for talks with Afghan nationalists resisting western occupation collectively known as Taliban. Days earlier, it was revealed that senior British officers and diplomats in Afghanistan had called the US-led war `un-winnable' and advocated peace talks with Taliban.


Sleeping with the enemy, cooperating with terrorists. Remember the rhetoric?
>>>>>>>>

The 64,000 rupee question that arises from Admiral Mullen's new anti-drug policy is: Why was it not done seven years ago when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan? Why did Washington turn a blind eye to the Afghan drug trade and is only now taking some action?

The answer is simple and dismaying. America's local allies in Afghanistan, the politicians and warlords who overthrew Taliban in 2001, are up to their turbans in the heroin trade. Drug money is the blood that courses through Afghanistan's veins and keeps the economy limping along. The U.S.-installed Karzai regime in Kabul propped up by US and NATO bayonets has only two sources of income: cash handouts from Washington, and the proceeds of drug dealing.

>>>>>>>>
Washington called off efforts by the Drug Enforcement Agency to combat the Afghan drug trade for fear of endangering the power base of its former CIA `asset,' President Hamid Karzai. Starting with Karzai's brother, Ahmed Wali, the U.S.-installed regime's most important supporters are all involved in varying degrees with the heroin trade. As this writer has seen himself, almost every important warlord gets revenue from the drug trade. The Northern Alliance warlords are considered the biggest of the nation's narco-dealers. Ahmed Karzai denies involvement. Moving against the drug warlords would have meant undermining Karzai's sole domestic support.

>>>>>>

Experience in Indochina and Central America suggests that CIA, the principal paymaster for U.S.-backed Afghan warlords, may be more deeply involved in the drug trade than we yet know.

Author Alfred McCoy's wrote a brilliant study in his ground-breaking `The Politics of Heroin' in which he documents how first French, then American intelligence was drawn into the heroin trade in Laos and Vietnam as a way of supporting anti-Communist guerilla fighters. The same thing happened in Central America where CIA collaborated with cocaine-dealing members of the anti-Communist Contras.

In both cases, drugs served as a currency and became more important than paper money. French and American spies even ended up transporting heroin for their local allies. The same may be happening in Afghanistan.


Goodness US involvement in the drug trade. That is 'the same old, same old' or 'nothing new under the sun'. Sadly, not enough people are aware of this fact.


If you are so inclined, here is a link to an interview with the author mentioned by Mr. Margolis in this editorial- Alfred McCoy 'The Politics of Heroin'

6 comments:

  1. Hey Pen,

    I've gone off Margolis to a certain extent. He's your standard 'coy' fellow. 'Could it be that the US is facilitating drugs?' kind of thing. Me, I'm way past wondering. I just want to read people who will actually call a thing whatever it is. Mind you, if Margolis did this he'd be sacked. And hats off to his fear of pennilessness, but frankly I'd rather read the fearless than the fearful.

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  2. I buy the Sun partly because of Eric Margolis and Linda Leatherdale.

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  3. Well at least he's saying something other than the usual dribble. If it causes someone, somewhere to dig further then in the end it's good.

    I agree that he 'soft' peddles, and is very careful, but as mentioned that's why he's still there.

    As for the article, I would recommend this adjusted title:

    "How Deeply is the US involved in the Drug Trade?"

    And I think we all know the answer to that 'rhetorical' question.

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  4. hey all:

    I understand that Margolis is likely restrained for employment sake, but, in this column, which I noticed was not published by sun media unless I missed it???, he went quite a bit further then the usual mainstream blather.
    Did anyone notice wether this made the sun presses?

    I thought he was fairly explicit in connecting the cia to the drug underworld of Afghanistan.

    Look at the sentence 'By contrast, Americans are still being misled by their corporate media and posturing politicians of both parties into believing the seven-year U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is a noble `anti-terrorism' mission "

    I find that quite straightforward.
    Of course he could have just said, being led around by their noses, or lied to, both more blunt.


    I find this sentence also quite clear wrt the Afghan government

    "Drug money is the blood that courses through Afghanistan's veins and keeps the economy limping along. The U.S.-installed Karzai regime in Kabul propped up by US and NATO bayonets has only two sources of income: cash handouts from Washington, and the proceeds of drug dealing."

    Drug money is the blood that courses through Afghanistans veins.


    I also thought that when he pointed out the connection to heroin trade, in Laos, Vietnam, and the Iran-Contra drug ops, he was drawing parallels between these situations and the current one in Afghanistan.

    Again, quite damming an indictment.


    The interview I linked to was also fairly good.

    "The problem with America's failed chance at essentially reducing if not eliminating drugs as a problem was a contradiction between the needs of domestic policy and the national security state."

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  5. Well, I had an email chat with him one time about him saying the US being under attack. I wanted to know which bit of the US he was talking about. He replied that he was referring to US troops being attacked in Iraq etc. I replied and took him to task for not being able to tell the difference between 'offence' and 'defence'. And I never heard from him again.

    That was the end of him for me. Not that he care I'm sure. And it wasn't long after this that I stopped writing to papers and columnists etc. Didn't seem much point!

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  6. good for you nobody!


    Was he generally pro-Iraq?
    I can't say?

    Myself, I will always disagree with him and his stance on the whole Serbia/Bosnian situation.
    And the independant Kosovo.

    But such is life.

    I am willing to give credit where credit is due, and this piece deserved credit.

    Who knows, maybe Mr Margolis will have/has had a change of heart wrt Iraq.

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