November 11, 2008
From Drug War To Real War
Yes. The War On Drugs has turned into a shooting war. In fact it has been a shooting war for quite some time in Afghanistan. So how is that working out? Not well. Here is a bit from 2007 explaining what the DEA is doing in Afghanistan.
Working first with the D.E.A. and then with the State Department, Wankel helped create the Afghan Eradication Force, with troops of the Afghan National Police drawn from the Ministry of the Interior. Last year, an estimated four hundred thousand acres of opium poppies were planted in Afghanistan, a fifty-nine-per-cent increase over the previous year. Afghanistan now supplies more than ninety-two per cent of the world's opium, the raw ingredient of heroin. More than half the country's annual G.D.P., some $3.1 billion, is believed to come from the drug trade, and narcotics officials believe that part of the money is funding the Taliban insurgency.A fifty nine per cent increase? I'd say the drug warriors were making their usual progress. Backwards. The more they fight the stronger their enemies become. Say, haven't I heard something like that before? I'm sure I have.
Let us get a slightly less pro DEA look at what is going on. Here is something from The Guardian in 2001. It is the story of a smuggler.
"The cars come back and forth. I just take it to Mazar and sell it on to the guys who come in cars from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. I do it twice a month," Zafir explains.So there it is. Opium growing and heroin smuggling are financing the Taliban. So what makes a pile of vegetables worth its weight in gold? Prohibition. Those DEA guys are economic and military geniuses. Did I mention that they managed to increase the area of poppy growth in Afghanistan by 59%? Yes I did.
OK it is not just America and the DEA. NATO is in on the act.
NATO is fighting a war to eradicate opium from Afghanistan. Allegedly, the goals this time around are different. According to the British government, Afghanistan's illicit drug trade poses the "gravest threat to the long term security, development, and effective governance of Afghanistan," particularly since the Taliban is believed to be the biggest beneficiary of drug sales. Convinced that this time they are doing the morally right thing, Western governments are spending hundreds of millions of dollars bulldozing poppy fields, building up counternarcotics squads and financing alternative crops in Afghanistan. Chemical spraying may begin as early as this spring. But in retrospect, might history not judge this war to be every bit as destructive and wasteful as the original Opium Wars?So by being a direct instrument of the destruction of people's livelihoods we are making enemies? Who would have guessed that? Why it goes completely counter to DEA logic. Keeping people from feeding their families is supposed to make friends. And they should be eternally grateful. What is wrong with those people? Don't they know Americans and Europeans are their friends? The ingrates.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- A classified United States' review of its Afghanistan policies is likely to conclude the violence-torn country is in a dire situation, sources say.Well that is optimistic.
So does any one have any idea about what to do? Yes. Soldiers. British soldiers.
British military commanders in Afghanistan have privately condemned plans to use Helmand as the launch pad for Nato's controversial new anti-narcotics policy, The Independent has been told.Them Americans are brilliant. I'll bet they get their advice from the DEA. Did I mention that DEA efforts increased the acreage devoted to poppies by 59%?
So how about some more details about how things are going in Afghanistan.
The US and NATO military commanders who till recent were riding on a high horse have suddenly become pessimistic and some have given demoralising statements. It seems that they have begun to see the obtaining ground realities more objectively and have realised that victory through use of force is not possible. They have appreciated that the Afghan Taliban have become too formidable a force and cannot be defeated militarily.And the spring offensive will start up soon after Obama takes office. And what was the one war Obama promised to win? Afghanistan. Heh. Heh. Heh. He picked the wrong war.
And what is one of the key elements in the failure? I'm sure you have heard this before. But just for the sake of repetition here goes.
Afghanistan has turned into a narcotics state, which is now producing about 90% of the world opium; besides others the Taliban are making good use of opium money to fund their insurgency.How unexpected.
That is Afghanistan. How about a little closer to home? Mexico. It seems that Mexico is having a few drug problems too.
Mexico in some ways is the most worrying place in the Western hemisphere. A low-level civil war between the drug cartels and the federal government has been fought over the past two years, and the cartels are winning. Senior Mexican officials charged with suppression of the cartels have been moving their families quietly out of the country.Wow. A narco state on our very own border. I wonder how the DEA never anticipated that. No doubt a failure of intelligence. Of the brains kind.
So what is the internal state of Mexico? It looks like there will soon be a civil war too keep the Mexicans occupied. That should be some fun.
More than 1,100 people have been slaughtered in a blood bath of drug-related violence in one city just south of the U.S.-Mexico border this year - that's nearly four victims each day - and some say it is just part of a large crisis that is will soon spill over the border.Cue up Bob Dylan.
So how about a look at some of the recent violence? It is not pretty.
MEXICO CITY (AFP) -- Twenty three died in attacks in northern Mexico in the past two days, officials said, as the United States warned its citizens to increase vigilance when traveling south of the border.And it only gets uglier.
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico -- A beheaded man was hung from an overpass Thursday, a gruesome display even for this northern border city long used to drug-related violence.Swell. Just swell.
There is only one way to win this. Surrender you fools. The Drug War is going to destroy America if you don't. End Drug Prohibition Now. Any chance of that? No. Obama used cocaine and pot as a youth. Who would listen to an ex-druggie? The only way he could do anything is if the call to end it was bipartisan. I rate the odds of that as slim and none. Or maybe slimmer than none. We love our prohibitions in America. Besides don't criminals deserve to earn a living too? According to current policy: Yes They Do.
Cross Posted at Power and Control
posted by Simon on 11.11.08 at 09:28 AM
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