Friday, May 14, 2010

AFGHANISTAN: SCARCE HEROIN MAKES HIGHER PRICES

"According to U.N. surveys, a kilogram of wet opium at an Afghan farm sold for $85 last month, compared with $54 a year earlier. Farmer Mahmood: "The Americans sprayed something and that's why the harvest was so bad," he said. "Now I don't care what it takes to repay my loans and to provide food for my children, even if it means joining the Taliban."

All disease, death, misery and depravity are effects of it being sold on the black market.

Henk Ruyssenaars

May 14th 2010 - The propaganda broadcasting BBC chimes in, and announces that some kind of fungus has hit Afghan opium poppies. Antonio Maria Costa, the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) told the BBC that this year's opium production could be reduced by a quarter, compared with last year.

BBC: "He said the disease - a fungus - is thought to have infected about half of the country's poppy crop. Afghanistan produces 92% of the world's opium. Mr Costa said opium prices had gone up by around 50% in the region."*

When monopolists like these are involved, they nearly always act in the same pattern. At first they flood the market, at cheap prices, until many are hooked. Then the cartel uses their media to support the 'scarce' tactic, and the prices go up. Meaning: more profit! This looks like it again. Similar to the financiers cartel's artificial global money market disaster. Which they control too.

And, for those who don't know yet what kind of multi-billion dollar drug business this is - and who the real drug lords are - maybe it's better to have a look at what the 'Lotus Eater' is. And how many billions are made all the time by the biggest drugs dealers on earth, the criminal cartel and their gofers, the armed 'errand boys' of the CIA. - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/2w6o4gs

Opium is used to make heroin, and the criminal group financing this - in a country at war - is dominating 90 to 95% of the world market. They apparently now make opium/heroin more scarce, so the price will go up. Simple, isn't it? So, the criminal cartel and its 'drug lords' keep making billions of the suffering and deaths of human beings. As usual: people NEVER count. They're just tools to get more power and profit.

And the profit of course did go up too, while Mr. Costa from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime says he doesn't know why the fungus is there. In the story I did before, concerning the Golden Triangle, the US, Banks & UK, it was the same as every year the illegal invasion of Afghanistan resulted in a record opium harvest.*

And now it's made scarce, possibly by the 'Lotus Eater' fungus, to drive up the prices? Just think logical about it: who has the 100s of $millions to do this? And how much profit offers a liter of oil compared to a kilo of heroine?

THE CRIMINAL CARTEL IS THE MAFIA

Concerning the criminal cartel financing all this, there was one who told the truth too: "It is not the ordinary people that are the problem," said Col. Miakhel Muhammad Mangal, commander of the force's Third Battalion, who found mines laid in the fields against his unit. "It is the groups behind them, the mafia." - Quote from The New York Times.*

Of course it's a suspicious matter, and also the Wall Street Journal today writes about this, with the usual 'Taliban'-spin: "Poppy Blight Hurts Farmers, but Taliban Stand to Gain." - Kandahar, May 14th 2010 - Afghanistan - Coalition commanders and Afghan officials are debating whether a mysterious blight that wiped out much of the nation's opium harvest this year will bolster or undermine the Taliban, who use the drug trade to help finance their operations.

Afghanistan's poppy harvesting season just ended and, according to initial estimates by the United Nations, poppy yields shrank this year by 30% because of an unidentified plant disease; some U.S. military commanders expect a decline of as much as 50%. Afghanistan accounts for 90% of global opium production, with the crop's local value last year estimated by the U.N. at $2.8 billion.

Most of this is grown in Taliban-heavy southern provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, where the U.S. has sent troops in recent months, aiming to reverse insurgent momentum. The Taliban derive a significant part of their income from the narcotics industry, both by taxing poppy farmers and by processing the raw opium into heroin and smuggling it through Pakistan.

"THIS IS GOOD FOR THE GOVERNMENT"

On the face of it, a bad poppy harvest should be cause for celebration, and Afghan officials said they welcomed the news of the bad harvest. "This is good for the government," explains the governor of Kandahar province, Tooryalai Wesa. "The Taliban will have problems financially, and the farmers will have learned their lesson and, next year, will not plant the poppies anymore."

Some U.S. officers agreed, predicting that a bad poppy harvest will dent the Taliban's ability to pay its recruits—and will make jobs with Afghan security forces and cash-for-work projects financed by the U.S. Agency for International Development more attractive.

The coalition's chief commander in southern Afghanistan, British Maj. Gen. Nick Carter, however, cautioned against such optimism. "A lot of farmers do depend for their livelihood on poppy, and therefore they may well discover that they are in a much more impoverished place—and that may well drive people to the insurgency," he said.

Adding to the insurgency's pull is a rumor—widely believed in southern Afghanistan and denied by coalition officials—that the poppies were deliberately infected by U.S.-led forces.

One of those who believe this rumor is a farmer from the Shah Wali Kot district ofin Kandahar who goes by one name, Mahmood, who borrowed money to plant poppies earlier this year. "The Americans sprayed something and that's why the harvest was so bad," he said. "Now I don't care what it takes to repay my loans and to provide food for my children, even if it means joining the Taliban."

The bad harvest also caused a jump in opium prices, which means the Taliban are still likely to reap a windfall.

According to U.N. surveys, a kilogram of wet opium at an Afghan farm sold for $85 last month, compared with $54 a year earlier. "If the price is so high, next year the opium farmer population will increase because it's so profitable," says Jean-Luc Lemahieu, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime representative in Kabul. "This inflates the narcotics bubble."*

According to author William Blum, in his story on "The Real Drug Lords - A brief history of CIA involvement in the Drug Trade," he already wrote about Afghanistan as a drug producer for the CIA in the early days, the 1980s to early 1990s, and it shows how much experience the criminal cartel has in Afghanistan too:

"ClA-supported Mujahedeen rebels [now, 2001, part of the "Northern Alliance"] engaged heavily in drug trafficking while fighting against the Soviet-supported government and its plans to reform the very backward Afghan society. The Agency's principal client was Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, one of the leading druglords and a leading heroin refiner.

CIA-supplied trucks and mules, which had carried arms into Afghanistan, were used to transport opium to laboratories along the Afghan/Pakistan border. The output provided up to one half of the heroin used annually in the United States and three-quarters of that used in Western Europe.

U.S. officials admitted in 1990 that they had failed to investigate or take action against the drug operation because of a desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies. In 1993, an official of the DEA called Afghanistan the new Colombia of the drug world." - [end quote]- Url.: http://www.serendipity.li/cia/blum1.html

The: "desire not to offend their Pakistani and Afghan allies," ought to be expressed in billions of dollars, and political as well as strategical advantages. The rest is the usual hypocrisy.

THE BLACK MARKET OF HEROINE

Journalist Nick Davies also wrote about it in The Guardian (UK): "In the case of heroin, all of the side effects which are associated with the drug – all of the disease and death and misery and depravity are the effects not of the drug itself but of the black market on which the government insists that it is sold. So, we have dirty heroin polluted with all kinds of dangerous crap; dirty needles which spread hepatitis and HIV; desperate users who can’t afford to eat or look after themselves; and a never-ending tidal wave of property crime and prostitution.

Pure heroin properly used is a benign drug. It’s worst physical side-effect is constipation. Other drugs, like cannabis and cocaine do have some bad side-effects, but always and everywhere it is true that no drug becomes safer when its production and distribution are handed over to criminals. Water would become dangerous if we banned it and were forced to drink ditchwater from blackmarket dealers. Alcohol did become far more dangerous, when it was prohibited in the United States and brewed with methylated spirits which attacks the optical nerve (which is why so many of the old blues singers were blind.)

In Holland and Switzerland, where they have been supplying their most prolific addicts with clean heroin, they have proved the virtues of legalisation. The average age of addicts in Holland has been rising for years, because they have taken away the blackmarket which sucks in new users as each user deals to his or friends to find funds for their own habit." - [end excerpt]*

And another quote, to show why it's 'forbidden' - and thus profitable - in many other countries: "Portugal provides an effective model of how decriminalisation in a more developed country can be effective. After a surge in heroin use in the 1990s the Portuguese government decriminalised possession of all narcotics for personal use. Hobbs and Mena note that following decriminalisation, “The number of newly reported cases of HIV/AIDS among drug users also decreased significantly, along with drug-related mortality, and decriminalization freed up resources that were channelled into treatment and other harm reduction programs”.*

And it's always the same question when one sees stories and situations like this one, about the prices and now again the fungus:

Who profits?


Henk Ruyssenaars


Weblog - Url.: http://forpressfound.livejournal.com/

RELATED:

BBC - "Fungus hits Afghan opium poppies" - Url.: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8679203.stm

"Poppy Blight Hurts Farmers, but Taliban Stand to Gain" - Wall Street Journal [Also owned by the cartel's spin master Rupert Murdoch] - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/3xrkwak

Google search - Afghanistan & fungus - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/38v85dc

* "Golden Triangle US, Banks & UK: Record Opium Harvest Afghanistan" - Url.: http://disc.yourwebapps.com/discussion.cgi?disc=234999;article=513;

* The Guardian (UK)- Nick Davies on heroin too. - "Prohibition – a most destructive habit." - Url.: http://www.nickdavies.net/2006/12/05/prohibition-a-most-destructive-habit/

* "Report finds Afghanistan is on the verge of becoming a narcotics state." - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/fwycv

* "Video: US Tortures In Afghanistan Continuing - RT" - Url.: http://www.eurasiareview.com/2010/02/31624-video-us-tortures-in-afghanistan.html

* He too was 'suicided' because he investigated and did research: Gary Webb + CIA +drugs - Url.: http://tinyurl.com/oj97w

* "Is Drug Policy A Human Rights Abuser?" - Jospeh Allchin - Url.: http://www.eurasiareview.com/2010/04/is-drug-policy-human-rights-abuser.html

* FPF-COPYRIGHT NOTICE - In accordance with Title 17 U. S. C. Section 107 - any copyrighted work in this message is distributed by the Foreign Press Foundation under fair use, without profit or payment, to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the information. Url.: http://liimirror.warwick.ac.uk/uscode/17/107.html

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Editor: Henk Ruyssenaars
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Tags: Afghanistan, Lotus Eater, fungus, CIA, criminal cartel, opium, heroin, spin