Afghanistan: No War for Heroin
By Israel Shamir
The war in Afghanistan makes no sense at all. The war in Iraq made very little sense, too, but the Afghani war takes the cookie anytime. Our friend Jeff Blankfort quipped: if the Iraqi war was for oil, the US lost. The neocons’ desire to secure the realm of Israel is the only remaining rational explanation for the Iraqi war. However, in case of Afghanistan we have not got even that. No Israeli politician ever asked for regime change in Afghanistan. No oil company asked for it. Nobody wanted Afghanistan. It is a mystery for me, why would anybody want to invade and take over this remote and hard land of poor and ferocious men? There are no spoils to be taken, no oil, no important routes.
Why President Obama sticks to this unnecessary war?
The downside is clear: the war had already destabilized Pakistan. But what is the possible benefit? Unless the Americans follow the path tread by the occult squads of Ahnenerbe in their search for Shambhala and Agartha beyond the mountain passes of Tibet and Afghanistan, the only semi-rational argument is that of Drugs.
Afghanistan produces a lot of the stuff; in the days of Taliban rule, opium was practically eliminated, but since the US intervention, the production shot up many times. There are rumors that Afghani opium is flown from Bagram Air Base to Kosovo, the biggest US base in Europe and then smuggled to Europe. Thus creation of independent Kosovo with its criminal Albanian gangs begins to make sense – as a part of America’s war against Europe . Alternative route is allegedly carried by Chechens via Grozny where an almost independent warlord Kadyrov has his own customs clearance for entry into the Russian market.
One instinctively dislikes the suggestion that the US fights for opium; that President Obama is just a supreme heroin pusher, but the same can be said about Queen Victoria, for in 19th century plucky Brits twice fought wars for harvest, production and delivery of opium. Perhaps this war is the latest in the series of the Opium Wars?
This explanation fits all; even otherwise inexplicable agreement of all European states to send troops into far-away Afghanistan can be understood. They did not want to go to Iraq, but rushed to Afghanistan! Just consider Afghanistan a greenback-printing- press and puzzle is solved.
However, it appears the drug traffickers are not happy with President Obama. They want him to fight Russians, not make peace with them. A surprising research was done by a Russian left-wing investigative site left.ru. They traced the routes and persons involved in the traffic and found some sinister details. The left.ru article is not an easy read: its language is convoluted; there are too many unknown names. However, until a reader will produce a readable version and until it will be verified, the gist of the article is as follows.
There is a plot by rogue ex-Soviet intelligence officers united in the FarWest weapons-and- drugs trading company, Chaney’s right-wingers, East European Hitlerites, pro-Western Trots and neocons to undermine President Obama. Money coming from Afghani heroin fuels their campaign. Left.ru implies that the plotters consider assassination of the President. Here is one of the pictures published by the FarWest would-be-plotters; it is accompanied by Bill O’Reilly of Fox News attack on Obama and carries the following legend:
Ruslan Saidov says: The World’s Evil is materialized – not in Iran or Taliban, not even in Putin’s Russia. The total Evil is Obama the adventurer, America’s Gorbachev.
Expectedly, Halliburton is in the midst of the plot. So is the Uzbek-Chechen General Ruslan Saidov, an ex- GRU handler of Shamil Basaev, ex-deputy chief of Maskhadov's external intelligence. Behind them stand the far-right-wing neocon Heritage Foundation and its own war hawk Ariel Cohen. Cohen is liaised with Joshua Muravchik, Robert Kagan and some other professional Zionist warmongers and Russia-haters.
Obama might consider quitting Afghanistan on the double, for this would undermine the right-wing Zionist anti-Russian plotters who are conspiring against him.
The Left.ru researchers give more names of the FarWest rogue intelligence operation. This reads like James Bond novel: “Filin is a general of Ukrainian military intelligence in charge of Russian desk. Filin and his old partners from the Soviet military intelligence have a small private army in Caribbean, trained and led by old GRU hands. They do the cocaine business with FARC since the 1980s. In the 1990s – early 2000s Filin, Saidov, and Surikov ran, under the protection of Russian General Staff, one of the largest heroin businesses in Eurasia, from Afghanistan to Kosovo. Filin coordinates intelligence gathering between Ukraine and Georgia. According to 2004 intelligence information, Filin's Gang had over 70 bodies on their hands by then and kept counting. Our sources in CIS intelligence community claim that FarWest’s victims include Paul Khlebnikov of the Forbes Magazine, Anna Politkovskaya, and central banker Andrei Kozlov”.
FarWest internet site is indeed unpleasant and manipulative, but we have no way to verify the allegations of Left.ru. However there is no doubt that too many nasty people enrich themselves trafficking Afghani drugs. Obama may try and clean the act by closing Bagram and Kosovo altogether and taking his troops home.
And then, the US and Europe can accept the clever advice of Robert Kahn, - forwarded by Richard Patterson.
By ROBERT KAHN
I don't want to say I'm smarter than everyone else when it comes to Afghanistan and opium, but I seem to be smarter than everyone else when it comes to Afghanistan and opium. There is a simple way to solve the "problem" of Afghanistan’s opium production, which accounts for 90 percent of the world's supply. The solution is cheap and peaceful; it will make us friends instead of enemies and it won't kill anyone. We should buy the whole crop every year.
It will cost us less than $1 billion a year at today's prices. It costs us $1 million to keep a single U.S. soldier in Afghanistan for a year. With 53,000 U.S. troops in country now, that's $53 billion a year.
We could buy up the whole opium crop for less than the price of keeping 1,000 troops there - less than 2 percent of our troop expenses. We could do whatever we like with the opium after we buy it. We could burn it, sell it to drug companies that need it to make painkillers for hospitals, or we could insert it as suppositories up the Republican congressmen and senators who so desperately need it.
Facts about opium are notoriously unreliable. The primary liars about it are the governments that pretend to want to eradicate it. But even accepting the high end of estimates from semi-reliable sources, such as the Washington Post, The New York Times, Reuters, our government and others, it should cost less than $1 billion to buy up the whole crop. That way the narcos won't get it, or the Afghan warlords. Of course, that would bring down our friendly Afghan government, but you've got to take the good with the bad sometimes. The entire world needs about 5,000 tons of opium a year for painkillers, according to those semi-reliable sources. Afghanistan is expected to produce 6,900 tons this year, and the wholesale price for opium today, according to Reuters, is $64 a kilo, or $64,000 a metric ton.
At that price, we could buy Afghanistan’s entire opium harvest this year for $442 million.
We could offer twice the money the warlords and drug lords pay, and still buy it all for less than $1 billion. And, if our generous government program drives up the production next year, so what? That will drive down the cost, and it will still be cheaper by far than making war against people on the other side of the world, who hate us more every day whether we claim to be winning or losing.
It should come as no surprise that the biggest opium-growing regions are Helmand and Kandahar provinces, the Taliban strongholds where so much of the war is being fought. Opium is why the war is being fought there. If we bought it all, there would be less to fight about. Estimates of opium's share of Afghanistan’s Gross Domestic Product vary wildly, from 3 percent to 27 percent. But it's clear that opium accounts for a hell of a lot of money in Afghanistan. But the entire annual crop would cost the United States just a drop in our tinseled bucket. The opium crop employs from 1.6 million to 2.4 million Afghan citizens - as much as 8 percent of the country's 28.4 million people (the population estimate is from the CIA World Fact Book.) We're not making any friends trying to kill the jobs of 8 percent of a county's people, or trying to kill the people, either. If we bought their crops at a better price than Hamid Karzai's brother pays them, the Afghan farmers will be our friends.
We need friends there. After President George W. Bush spent 3 years trying to "eradicate" the crop, the opium acreage increased by 61 percent and the value of the crop increased by about one-third, the Washington Post reported in 2006. Opium pays Afghan farmers 12 times as much as food crops. They can't grow food in opium country as easily as they can grow opium. Growing opium may be the best thing that land can be used for. History seems to indicate that. Those two poor, devastated provinces could supply the entire world with nearly all of a drug that the world needs - legally.
If anyone can give me one good reason why we shouldn't buy up Afghanistan’s entire opium crop, I'd like to hear it. Sure, it'll cause a certain amount of corruption in the U.S. agencies that buy it and burn it, but so what? Every other department of our government seems to be corrupted from top to bottom, and the country staggers along anyway. This way, we could stagger along more cheaply, making friends with people by giving them money for something we need, instead of trying to make them our friends by killing them.