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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Afghanistan truth-telling: putting opium "in the bank"
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Afghanistan truth-telling: putting opium "in the bank"


f. william engdahl via information clearing house...
The US military is in Afghanistan for two reasons. First to restore and control the world’s largest supply of opium for the world heroin markets and to use the drugs as a geopolitical weapon against opponents, especially Russia. That control of the Afghan drug market is essential for the liquidity of the bankrupt and corrupt Wall Street financial mafia.

According even to an official UN report, opium production in Afghanistan has risen dramatically since the downfall of the Taliban in 2001. UNODC data shows more opium poppy cultivation in each of the past four growing seasons (2004-2007), than in any one year during Taliban rule. More land is now used for opium in Afghanistan, than for coca cultivation in Latin America. In 2007, 93% of the opiates on the world market originated in Afghanistan. This is no accident.

It has been documented that Washington hand-picked the controversial Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun warlord from the Popalzai tribe, long in the CIA’s service, brought him back from exile in the USA, created a Hollywood mythology around his “courageous leadership of his people.” According to Afghan sources, Karzai is the Opium “Godfather” of Afghanistan today. There is apparently no accident that he was and is today still Washington’s preferred man in Kabul. Yet even with massive vote buying and fraud and intimidation, Karzai’s days could be ending as President.

The second reason the US military remains in Afghanistan long after the world has forgotten even who the mysterious Osama bin Laden and his alleged Al Qaeda terrorist organization is or even if they exist, is as a pretext to build a permanent US military strike force with a series of permanent US airbases across Afghanistan. The aim of those bases is not to eradicate any Al Qaeda cells that may have survived in the caves of Tora Bora, or to eradicate a mythical “Taliban” which at this point according to eyewitness reports is made up overwhelmingly of local ordinary Afghans fighting to rid their land once more of occupier armies as they did in the 1980’s against the Russians.

The aim of the US bases in Afghanistan is to target and be able to strike at the two nations which today represent the only combined threat in the world today to an American global imperium, to America’s Full Spectrum Dominance as the Pentagon terms it.

ok... now let's look at the drug story a little more closely...

this story from the bbc a year ago poses a conundrum... 3500 tons of heroin is more than enough to satisfy every heroin user on the planet... but, get this... for the past three years, production in afghanistan has been running at twice the level of global demand...

here's the graph from the united nations office on drugs and crime (UNODC)...


the bbc story poses two theories...
Theory 1: A large and undocumented market has opened up in countries which don't want to admit the problem. Russia has long been in denial over the scale of its heroin problem and the same may be true in emerging drug markets like Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

The Iranians are certainly increasingly anxious about the opium fields on their doorstep. Border guards and police have been involved in deadly shoot-outs with smugglers with experts suggesting that there are now a million heroin users in Iran.

But the over-supply is so great that it is hard to conceive of it all disappearing in to the blood-streams of new addicts in Tehran and Ashgabat.

Theory 2: Vast quantities of heroin and morphine are being stockpiled.
Antonio Maria Costa, head of the UNODC is convinced that is the only explanation. In a recent bulletin he issues an urgent order: 'Find the missing opium.' "As a priority, intelligence services need to examine who holds this surplus, where it may go, and for what purpose" he says. "We know little about these stockpiles of drugs, besides that they are not in the hands of farmers."

Further credibility is given to the stockpiling theory in that 'farm-gate' prices for opium remain pretty stable at about $70 per kilo.

interestingly, the "missing opium" story reappeared just last month...

from cnn...

Enough Afghan opium to supply world demand for two years has effectively gone missing, with the Taliban suspected of stockpiling supplies in a bid to corner the market, the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has revealed.


"We figure the world needs around 4,000 tons of opium a year for licit and illicit purposes," Walter Kemp of the UNODC told CNN.

"But this year around 6,900 tons was produced, with 7,700 tons delivered last year and more than 8,500 the year before that. Map showing where Afghan opium is going »

"So if the world only needs around 4,000 tons of opium and a further 1,000 is seized, where is the rest of it going?"

According to Kemp, world demand for opium remains stable yet prices are not crashing, which suggests a large amount of opium is being withheld from the market.

"Our guess is that around 12,000 tons of opium has been stockpiled somewhere -- not all in one place but in and around Afghanistan," he added. "So while production might be coming down -- mostly because of market reasons -- there's still a lot of product around to satisfy demand for about two years."

It is unclear exactly who is responsible for this but there's growing evidence, according to the U.N., that the Taliban are becoming increasingly involved in the industry and could be sitting on huge stockpiles of opium to use as credit for financing their activities.

my take...? the "stockpiling by the taliban" line is disinformation, pure and simple... the damn stuff is being stockpiled by the super-rich elites as a hedge against the ugliness of the world economy that they're principally responsible for creating...

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