"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, April 18, 2008

Senlis Council produce yet another despairing report on poppy cultivation, heroin production and trafficking in Afghanistan

"In the past year (2007-2008), opium production in Afghanistan reached a record level, estimated at 8,200 tons of raw opium. Traffickers also refined much of the opium into heroin before exporting it. The Taliban-led insurgency supported by al-Qaida spread to new areas in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The level of terrorism, especially suicide bombings, set record
levels in both countries, hitting high-profile targets such as Pakistan’s most popular politician, Benazir Bhutto, and the Serena Hotel in Kabul. After six years of assistance to the Afghan government by the UN, NATO, the world’s major military powers, the world’s largest aid donors, and international specialists on all subjects, the expansion of both the illicit industry and the insurgency constitutes a powerful indictment of international policy and capacity."

"In Afghanistan, nearly a third of the economy and probably an equal percentage of the population depends economically on the opium economy. Drug production affects not just farm income. It affects the balance of payments, tax revenues (through imports), the rate of exchange, employment, retail turnover, and construction."

Counter-Narcotics to Stabilize Afghanistan: The False Promise of Crop Eradication by Barnett R. Rubin & Jake Sherman, Senlis Council April 2008

This paints a bleak picture of the program for poppy eradication and that any such program will takes many years , if not decades. This brief sentence sums up the whole desperate and futile campaign .... " .. law enforcement cannot defeat an elite consensus. And the elite consensus in Afghanistan right now is that foreigners have offered no credible alternative to the opium economy."

Child trafficking

One remarkable fact (if true) is contained within a survey by Charney Research Page 12 .."
one out of seven respondents in poppy growing provinces and one in four in Helmand said they knew of farming families who had sold their children (most likely girls) in payment of opium debts as a result of eradication.

Farmers are advanced money "salaam" as a sort of futue contract on their crop, if this is destroyed b the US / NATO forces the debt stands.


Lou said...

Afghanistan opium production has increased while the amount spent by the British government in addressing the matter has decreased.

The 2007 opium production figure stands at 8,200 tonnes: by comparison in 2001, when the bad boy Talibanis were in, the figure was 185 tonnes.

Stephen Morgan said...

As well as their sterling work against the drugs trade (before the Sterling work to bring it back), we should remember that the Taleban (according to their own story of origin) first gained popularity by freeing child sex slaves from depraved warlords.

See "Enemy Combatant", Moazzam Begg.

This also seems to have made a come-back in the western-occupation era.

(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish