Punk’d: The Assassination of Kim Jong-nam

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2014 UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey

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By: Cygnus

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

Afghanistan’s Record Opium Harvest Is Flowing to the West

After years of denial, the UN Office of Drug Control Policy finally admits that Afghan Opium is supplying US markets. 

Source: RSN

ast Africa is becoming a major transit point for heroin from Afghanistan, especially for shipments to Europe.

Most of it still takes an established path known as the “Balkan route” through Iran and southeast Europe, Reuters reports. Recent seizures along the Kenyan and Tanzanian coastlines, however, point to a “southern route.”

Between 2002 and 2011, Africa was sporadically identified as an origin for heroin reaching Europe. In 2012, however, East Africa became a prominent spot, according to the UN.

Afghanistan is the source of 80% of the world’s illicit opium products, according to The United Nations’ 2014 World Drug Report.

Afghan opium cultivation has increased by 7% from 2013 to 2014 and production increased as much as 17% over the same period, the UN reported in November. “Authorities “are worried that a record opium harvest in Afghanistan will flood global heroin markets this year,” Reuters also notes.

Map covering the drug trafficking through the Middle East. (photo: UNODC)

Map covering the drug trafficking through the Middle East. (photo: UNODC)

The US Drug and Enforcement Agency has spent years chasing after one organization, known as “Akasha,” responsible for the production and distribution of huge amounts of narcotics in Africa, according to Reuters.

Increased drug trafficking could destabilize the already volatile region, Western officials say, fearing a repeat of what happened in Guinea-Bissau, Africa’s first “narco state.”

Adding to the global nature of the problem, opiates and opioids, like heroin, top the list of drugs that cause the most disease and drug-related deaths, according to the UN.

 

Stratfor: Ukraine Coup Plotted by US Over Russian Stance on Syria

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According to several sources, namely Stratfor, Ukraine has undergone a “Western-backed coup” in the course of the recent political upheaval that forced now-ousted President Viktor Yanukovych to leave the country.

Ukraine has been gripped by unrest since November 2013, when Yanukovych refrained from signing an Association Agreement with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia.

On February 23 2014, amid rising violence in the country, the Ukrainian parliament ousted Yanukovych and named Oleksandr Turchynov, the legislature’s speaker, as interim president.

As the crisis was brewing in Ukraine, US and European officials repeatedly expressed support for the anti-government Ukrainian protesters. The protests took violent forms as an increasing number of the protesters resorted to violence in confronting Ukrainian security forces.

Stratfor, an ad-hoc public intelligence provider, confirms what the more conspiratorial-minded among us have long suspected:

MOSCOW, December 19 (Sputnik) – The United States is behind the February coup in Kiev, which came in response to Russia’s stance on Syria, said George Friedman, the founder and CEO of Stratfor, a global intelligence company.

Russia has repeatedly said that the coup in Kiev was organized by the US, Friedman told Kommersant newspaper. Indeed, it was the most overt coup in history, the political analyst stressed.

The United States decided to act following Russia’s successes in the Middle East, a key region for the US. Americans saw that Russians could influence what was happening in the Middle East, Friedman said. Russians are one of the many challenges in the region that the US faces, he stated. The US thought Russia’s activities were an attempt to harm Washington, the political analyst told the newspaper, adding that events in Ukraine should be viewed in this context.

Russians seem to have underestimated how seriously the US would react to Moscow’s activities in the region and that they would easily respond, Friedman said. The US understood that the thing Russia wants the least is instability in Ukraine, he added.

The head of Stratfor, also known as “The Shadow CIA,” insisted that Russia’s involvement in Syria was not the only reason for the Ukrainian crisis. However, many in Washington started to perceive Russia as a problem, the expert told the newspaper, adding that at that time the US decided to divert Russia’s attention away from the Middle East.

Syria has been in a civil war since March 2011. Over 100,000 people have died as a result of the armed conflict. Russia repeatedly stated that the election of Syria’s president Bashar Assad was legitimate, and that the people of Syria should control their future. From the beginning of the war the US supported the opposition and stated that the conflict would not be over with Assad in power.

For more details, check out this article from March, 2014 on RSN:

If the US State Department’s Victoria Nuland had not said “Fuck the EU,” few outsiders at the time would have heard of Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, the man on the other end of her famously bugged telephone call. But now Washington’s man in Kiev is gaining fame as the face of the CIA-style “destabilization campaign” that brought down Ukraine’s monumentally corrupt but legitimately elected President Viktor Yanukovych.

“Geoffrey Pyatt is one of these State Department high officials who does what he’s told and fancies himself as a kind of a CIA operator,” laughs Ray McGovern, who worked for 27 years as an intelligence analyst for the agency. “It used to be the CIA doing these things,” he tells Democracy Now. “I know that for a fact.” Now it’s the State Department, with its coat-and-tie diplomats, twitter and facebook accounts, and a trick bag of goodies to build support for American policy.  Read More>>

Afghanistan: The Making of a Narco State

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Afghanistan produced 6,400 tons of opium in 2014, about 90 percent of the world’s supply.

 

Source: Rolling Stone (Issue 1224; Dec 18, 2014)

Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan is named for the wide river that runs through its provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, a low-slung city of shrubby roundabouts and glass-fronted market blocks. When I visited in April, there was an expectant atmosphere, like that of a whaling town waiting for the big ships to come in. In the bazaars, the shops were filled with dry goods, farming machinery and motorcycles. The teahouses, where a man could spend the night on the carpet for the price of his dinner, were packed with migrant laborers, or nishtgar, drawn from across the southern provinces, some coming from as far afield as Iran and Pakistan. The schools were empty; in war-torn districts, police and Taliban alike had put aside their arms. It was harvest time.

Across the province, hundreds of thousands of people were taking part in the largest opium harvest in Afghanistan’s history. With a record 224,000 hectares under cultivation this year, the country produced an estimated 6,400 tons of opium, or around 90 percent of the world’s supply. The drug is entwined with the highest levels of the Afghan government and the economy in a way that makes the cocaine business in Escobar-era Colombia look like a sideshow. The share of cocaine trafficking and production in Colombia’s GDP peaked at six percent in the late 1980s; in Afghanistan today, according to U.N. estimates, the opium industry accounts for 15 percent of the economy, a figure that is set to rise as the West withdraws. “Whatever the term narco state means, if there is a country to which it applies, it is Afghanistan,” says Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who studies illicit economies in conflict zones. “It is unprecedented in history.” Continue reading

Insider: “We are going to see a real test of the missile defense system…They are gearing up for something big.”

Source: Steve Quayle

I just spoke with a close associate who has been working for the last three years at Barksdale AFB, on various construction projects. Likely, you will not remember that I wrote you about 6 weeks ago to ask for prayers for people in that area. This man is just a guy…a construction worker…been there all his life…salt of the earth kind of guy. In his words…”I am just a working man…doing the best I can do.”

To let you know, I have cautioned him, and literally begged him to leave that area…but he wants to hang on for as long as he can, so that he can tell people what he is seeing, and hearing…but it may be that he is finally rattled enough to pick up stakes and get out of there now. I am praying that he gets out soon. Continue reading