The Narco-State

November 2007

According to The Washington Times National Weekly Edition (Sept. 10), Afghan heroin traffickers are "expanding their illicit trade into the United States and Canada to become what authorities [the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police] say is the fastest-growing source of heroin in both countries.... About 92 percent of the world's heroin comes from opium poppies grown in Afghanistan, according to the 2007 World Drug Report.... Opium cultivation accounts for nearly 60 percent of Afghanistan's gross national product. Poppy production has expanded wildly since [U.S.-backed] Hamid Karzai's government took control in 2002."

According to Matthew Quirk in The Atlantic Monthly (March 2005), "When the Taliban banned poppy cultivation in 2000, opium production declined by 94 percent. But after the Taliban fell.... cultivation has exploded...."

Writing in The American Conservative (Sept. 25, 2006), Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, reports that "Hamid Karzai has admitted that many government ministers get payoffs from drug traffickers."

The Taliban also bankrolls its insurgency via the opium trade. But no doubt if the Taliban recaptures the Afghan government, it will banish the opium trade once again.

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New Oxford Notes: November 2007

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Afgan product is suroerior to Mexican herroin.
Mexican dope wins trade war because of propinquity with a nation of sybarites who have learned that second best will do as long as you have the gas to reach your connection.
Posted by: jrousseau
December 19, 2007 09:01 AM EST
Before we get too wrapped around the wheel on opium out of the middle east perhaps we should educate ourselves on the affect of the drug wars on Mexico. The narco-state is well established there. Their pernicious influence is now ubiquitous. Posted by: martillo
November 19, 2007 11:12 AM EST
Indeed, jrousseau is correct. With or without poppy production in Afganistan the intra drug trade will continue. My feeble effort was to say that part of the unintended consequences of the "drug wars" has been to raise the price of drugs and empower a vicious type of drug trader whose control is all along the U.S. border, at trans-shipment points and avenues of trasport to the point that they are the government in these areas and their tentacles reach to the highest levels in Mexico's governing society. Posted by: martillo
December 19, 2007 12:37 PM EST
Funny thing about people, they like to eat. Much of the problem in Afgan, South America (and, I suppose, Mexico) is that we want the people to give up drug production but give them no alternative that allows them to sustain their livelihood. Maybe, with the increasing demand for alternative fuel, we can get them (where the crops can be grown) to switch to crops that can be sold for biofuel, ethanol etc. Posted by: wunsch
December 19, 2007 12:43 PM EST
Ahh. The world in service to America. Either servicing our apetite for drugs or fuel. And I suppose the soil that grows hemp will not yield cereals? Posted by: martillo
January 02, 2008 06:43 PM EST
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