The mainstream narrative, that alleged Las Vegas mass-shooter Stephen Paddock’s father Benjamin Paddock was a bank robber, isn’t wrong. It’s just incomplete. Other than both Paddocks being criminals in the end, there is really no link between robbing banks and mass shootings. But do Stephen and his father Benjamin Paddock have more in common? Continue reading
When Afghan agriculture and industry are disrupted; when an entire season of a farmers work is wasted, the impoverished people take the quickest path to profitability: heroin. World leaders claim to be fighting terrorism, but they allow their ally in that fight, Pakistan, to block all Afghan produce and exports from international markets, essentially empowering heroin markets and those who profit from them.
Source: First Post
The “unilateral” blocking of the Durand Line by Pakistan choked off trade and caused damages of up to $90 million, Kabul complained to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) last week.
“The measures taken by the government of Pakistan at the entry points at the Durand line, border with Afghanistan, were tantamount to a total ban of trade between the two countries,” Dr Suraya Dalil, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN office at Geneva told the WTO Council for Trade in Goods on 6 April.
“…Afghan exporters were prevented from shipping any goods to Pakistan destined to be released for consumption in that country.”
“Similarly, they (Afghan exporters) could not export any goods to other countries which, in order to reach their destination, have to transit the territory of Pakistan,” Dalil said.
Imports to Afghanistan from Pakistan and other countries were also blocked.
Pakistan closed the border between the two countries from 17 February this year after a surge of terrorist attacks on its soil claiming that terrorists use Afghani soil against Pakistan. Though they had initially announced that the decision to close the entry points to the Durand Line was indefinite, the border re-opened on 21 March.
The Afghan diplomat described the consequences of closing the Durand Line as “huge”. Continue reading
Source: Bowling Green Daily News
For the first time in more than 10 years cocaine appears to be making a comeback in the United States with local law enforcement agencies seeing an uptick in the drug here and bracing for its effects on their resources as well as the human toll the drug takes.
Opioids, methamphetamine and marijuana continue to consume a vast amount of manpower and financial resources for police and the justice system in this area, causing concern for already taxed narcotics officers as they see an increase locally in cocaine use and trafficking.
What is likely driving the upward trend is the substantial increase in the illegal coca crop cultivation in Colombia.
A joint U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, American Special Forces and Afghan counternarcotics operation in October resulted in an eye-popping seizure of 20 tons of drugs, which officials said was the “largest known seizure of heroin in Afghanistan, if not the world.”
The operation was kept under wraps until today, when a DEA official confirmed the contents of a field intelligence report obtained by ABC News but did not explain why a successful “superlab” takedown — which agency veterans agreed is an unprecedented narcotics haul — was not officially announced. [emphasis added – why was this not reported for two months? It took a field report leaking for it to be acknowledged.] Continue reading
After a decade of denial, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime has finally shown Afghan narcotics trafficking into the United States on their yearly report, the World Drug Report. As discussed previously on this site, preceding iterations of this report were used by the media to draw the conclusion that all illicit opioids consumed in the US were of Latin American origin. This was patently false. The UN’s own reports have clearly shown that Afghanistan was supplying 90-98% of the world’s opium since 2001 while countries like Colombia, Peru, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico combine to produce very little opium. Continue reading
Each year, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime releases a report covering opium production around the world and in Afghanistan, the world’s leading producer of illicit Opiates. Opium production within the Afghan borders has been on the rise since 2001, when the United States invaded the country and usurped Taliban control of the state (the Taliban had completely eradicated poppy production in a single year). In 2014, while yield was slightly off-peak, the land area used to grow Afghanistan’s most popular and lucrative crop has never been higher.
Poppy fields presently cover 224,000 hectares of land in the embattled country; equating to over 20% of the total cultivated land area of the country. That’s right – over 1/5 of Afghan farm land is dedicated to providing the rest of the world with opium-derived substances. To put that into perspective, consider that 224,000 hectares is enough poppy fields to fill either Israel or Haiti completely. Or almost the entirety of the smaller Caribbean Islands. New York City (78,550 hectares), one of the most populous cities in the world could be covered almost 3x over with Afghan poppy fields. In fact, New York AND Los Angeles could easily be covered in 2014’s growing area. Poppy fields are so commonplace in Afghanistan, it’s almost impossible to not have seen the pictures (more) (even more) of US Soldiers passing through waist-high Poppy during patrols over the past several years.
Despite the clarity of the UN report, when it comes to US politicians addressing the endless, costly, unjust war on drugs, everyone is seen scratching their heads like the drugs are coming from an enigmatic source in a distant galaxy. It’s clear to just about every informed person on the planet that something fishy is going on in Afghanistan. The UN report outlines where the opium is grown, who grows it, how much grows, which dates it is harvested and how it leaves the country. Despite this wealth of information, the United States, one of the predominant leaders in the international war(s)-on-ideologies (drugs & terror) has been out-smarted and out-farmed by the simple, tribal peoples of Afghanistan. Poppy fields flourish year after year, with eradication efforts declining significantly (-63% from previous year in 2014). It would seem that Afghan opium (processed into morphine, then heroin or counterfeit prescription pills for foreign markets) is a yet another problem that is not meant to be solved. Annihilating global narcotics trafficking organizations, the markets they serve and the terrorists they fund apparently isn’t a high priority. The United States would rather wait until billions in drug-profits are transformed into machine guns, bombs, RPGs and convoys of Toyotas (filled with angry, sociopathic maniacs) before they take action. Instead of tearing down fields of Poppies (something the pre-9/11 Taliban was able to accomplish in a single growing season), they send soldiers overseas to fight battles in Iraq and Afghanistan that now need to be re-fought. Narcotics profits have been the single biggest boon to terror organizations and policymakers have yet to figure out that narco-terror is a hydra who’s heads will keep regrowing unless the source of power is destroyed once and for all. Within our government, allegedly exists the top minds in law, policy, and essentially, problem-solving. Yet, when faced with the challenge of international networks of money, drugs and weapons over the past 50 years, they are made to look inept. Meanwhile, the American people look on in horror, mouths agape, wondering…”are they doing this on purpose?”
One only has to look into the history of state-complicity in drug trafficking to answer that question…but for now, look into the UNODC Afghan Opium Survey graphics. The full report is worth a read and available online, here. Continue reading