Obama's opium war

By enquirewithin · May 10, 2009 · Updated May 10, 2009 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    By now it's clear that the upcoming, Pentagon-enabled, summer surge in the "Af" section of Obama's war in AfPak will be deployed essentially as Obama's new opium war. In a spicy historic reversal, the British Empire (which practically annexed Afghanistan) wanted the Chinese to be hooked on its opium, while now the American empire wants Afghans to stop cultivating it.

    The strategy boils down to devastating the Pashtun-cultivated poppy fields in southern Helmand province - the opium capital of the world. In practice, this will be yet another indiscriminate war against Pashtun peasants, who have been cultivating poppies for centuries. Needless to say, thousands will migrate to the anti-occupation rainbow coalition/motley crew branded as "Taliban".

    Destroying the only source of income for scores of poor Afghans means, in Pentagon spin, "to cut off the Taliban's main source of money", which also happens to be the "main source of money" for a collection of wily, US-friendly warlords who will not resign themselves to being left blowing in the wind.

    The strategy is also oblivious to the fact that the Taliban themselves receive scores of funding from pious Gulf petro-monarchy millionaires as well as from sections in Saudi Arabia - the same Saudi Arabia that Pentagon supremo Robert Gates is now actively courting to ... abandon the Taliban. Since the Obama inauguration in January, Washington's heavy pressure over Islamabad has been relentless: forget about your enemy India, we want you to fight "our" war against the Taliban and "al-Qaeda".
    Thus, expect any Pashtun opium farmer or peasant who brandishes his ax, dagger, matchlock or rusty Lee-Enfield rifle at the ultra-high tech incoming US troops to be branded a "terrorist". Welcome to yet one more chapter of the indeed long Pentagon war against the world's poorest.
    From an article by Pepe Escobar, "Rebranding the Long War, Part 1- Obama does his Bush impression", Asia Times Online, May 8, 2009


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  1. Scrubbs
    Cmon guys, if the US govt. really wanted the Afghans to stop growing poppies, they could. Just how much money do you think it would take to buy off the farmers? I think they make an average of like $600 per crop. Anyway, by reading this article and a host of others one get the impression that the USA will do anything to end the insurgency and halt opium cultivation. Then why wont they consider giving money to the farmers in order for them to quit growing poppies? Think about it, it wouldnt take much money at all to buy them off, considering the USA is one of the richest nations in the world.

    This is all about war, NOT stopping opium production, if the USA really wanted it stopped, it would be stopped in a matter of months.

    I know some of you might say - "we are in a financial depression right now" and I will tell you once again - a USA dollar turns into big money in Afghanistan.

    We can spend trillions for defense, billions here, millions there but we can't take a small fraction of that to give to the farmers of Afghanistan to end opium cultivation?

    I disagree with the war on drugs, but to me it is very clear that the US has a hidden agenda.

  2. enquirewithin
    This in extract from more general article. The author is very much aware of the US having a hidden agenda. Of course, the US doesn't care about opium in Afghanistan. (Karzai's US-backed puppet government has strong links with the drug trade too.) The troops are there for a variety of reasons. The author speculated later that they may even be used to put oli-rich Balochistan under US control.
  3. thebige
    Swim takes a few steps back,to look at this whole "Iraq" war problem.......
    He believes that the US now has a permanent foothold in the middle east only to secure a constant supply of oil to feed its mechanized armed forces in case of a large scale military action in the middle east that might disrupt the US's oil consumption and ultimately provide defense of the United States
    They have now also inherited the region's social woes and are responsible for managing them.....poppy growing,in-fighting,economic ills.
    Swim believes that a major conflict(world wide) will ensue if the US tries to wrestle control of the opium trade away from those who control it today........
    That is just swims opinion......
    As history has shown swim........this will not stop the opium trade from continuing.
  4. fnord
  5. enquirewithin
    Invalid thread?
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