Is Canada protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time?

February 27, 2008

The opium trade now constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy of Afghanistan. This is the highest harvest of opium the world as ever seen. But there is now more than just raw opium produced there.

In fact, Afghanistan no longer exports much raw opium at all. It now exports not opium, but heroin. Opium is converted into heroin on an industrial scale, not in kitchens but in factories. Millions of gallons of the chemicals needed for this process are shipped into Afghanistan by tanker. The tankers and bulk opium lorries on the way to the factories share the roads, improved by American aid, with NATO troops.

Our soldiers are in effect helping facilitate the distribution of opium. This leads me to ask these two questions: Are Canadian troops in Afghanistan in fact supporting the global heroin trade so that more people in my city of Brampton can become addicts? Is the Harper government complicit in the heroin business?

For the full story, read “Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time” — by Craig Murray, in the Daily Mail [UK]

In case any readers wonder about the veracity of Craig Murray’s information, here’s a bit about his background:

“My knowledge of all this comes from my time as British Ambassador in neighbouring Uzbekistan from 2002 until 2004. I stood at the Friendship Bridge at Termez in 2003 and watched the Jeeps with blacked-out windows bringing the heroin through from Afghanistan, en route to Europe.

I watched the tankers of chemicals roaring into Afghanistan.

Yet I could not persuade my country to do anything about it. Alexander Litvinenko – the former agent of the KGB, now the FSB, who died in London last November after being poisoned with polonium 210 – had suffered the same frustration over the same topic.”
[…]

**Craig Murray’s quote is from the same article linked above.

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Day of Action Against the Wars – Saturday, October 27

October 26, 2007

Saturday, October 27 has been declared a Day of Action Against the Iraq and Afghan Wars by the Canadian Peace Alliance, Échec à la Guerre, and their member organizations. Demonstrations will be held across Canada and the U.S..

The Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War and many co-sponsoring groups will be holding a rally at

Hamilton City Hall

at 1:00pm on Saturday.

Last week, the Harper Government announced in the Throne Speech, their intention to extend Canada’s military contribution to the Afghan occupation to 2011. It is clear that the U.S. Administration has no plans to leave either Iraq or Afghanistan, in fact Bush and Cheney are threatening to attack Iran.

It is important to send a strong message to the Canadian Government that Canadians oppose these wars.

———-

Not One More Dead
Bring the Troops Home Now
Pan-Canadian Day of Action against war: October 27

The war in Afghanistan is getting worse day by day. The Government of Canada and its NATO allies tell us that security and reconstruction are improving and that the battle for the hearts and minds of the Afghan people is being won by the West. In reality the situation is much more dire. Reconstruction has been proven to be a smokescreen and the resistance to the occupation is growing. Violence increases every month that our soldiers remain in Kandahar.

It is time to stop the bloodshed – not in 2009 as our politicians suggest – but now. The Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la guerre call on the people of Canada and Quebec to demonstrate this October 27, 2007 and call for the troops to be brought home.

On that day people from Canada and the United States will be marching to end war. Our friends in the US have put out a call for events to end the Iraq war on same date; so we will be jointly marching to end the violence that our governments are intent on continuing.

The state of reconstruction in Kandahar is a shambles. The Senlis Council recently released a report that investigated the
reconstruction claims by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The Senlis Council found little of the promised reconstruction in Kandahar. The Afghan people are starving just outside the gates of the Canadian base. Their local hospitals have no medicine or equipment despite promises of money from CIDA. These failures, coupled with the rise in civilian casualties, have resulted in more people joining the resistance.

And what has been accomplished? Canadians have once again lost the Panjwai district of Kandahar after fighting four separate battles to hold it and being pushed off of that land again and again. After more than 18 months of fighting in the south which has killed hundreds of civilians and dozens of Canadian soldiers, the fight is still on for the same patch of land that was “secured” more than a year ago.

How many more will die on both sides to keep taking and retaking a spot of land?

The poppy trade is booming in Afghanistan with a record crop worth more than $3 billion USD this year. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report showed a 35 per cent increase in opium production from a year ago. This will only get worse the longer NATO stays in Afghanistan. The UNODC argues that more control from the state of Afghanistan will reduce opium production. More than 60 percent of the elected members of the Afghan parliament are connected to warlords and drug barons. To increase the control of the drug warlords in the opium producing areas will not result in a decrease in opium production.

The irony is that opium production had been eradicated by 2001. This increase in production is a direct result of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

The head of the Army in the UK, General Sir Richard Dannatt stated that the war in Afghanistan could go on for a generation. Thousands more civilians and soldiers will die and the resistance to the NATO occupation will grow. It is time to end this war.

On October 27 people in Canada and the US will be marching to call for peace in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands will march in a pan-Canadian day of action. Join us!

* Out of Afghanistan – Out of Iraq
Harper and Bush Bring the Troops back!

**************************************

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 27, 1pm

Toronto

CANADA OUT OF AFGHANISTAN
BRING THE TROOPS HOME NOW

PEACE RALLY & MARCH
U.S. Consulate, 360 University Avenue

(TTC: St. Patrick or Osgoode)

Organized by the Toronto Coalition to Stop the War

Not One More Dead! Bring the Troops Home Now!
Pan-Canadian Day of Action Against War: October 27

The Toronto Coalition to Stop the War is Toronto’s city-wide anti-war coalition, comprised of more than fifty labour, faith and community organizations, and a member of the Canadian Peace Alliance.
w: http://www.nowar.ca e: stopthwar@sympatico.ca tel: 416-795-5863

Please donate! Send a cheque or money order payable to TCSW Canada to:
TCSW, 427 Bloor St W, Box 13, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1X7

peace is possible


Afghanistan’s heroin bumper crop

July 28, 2007

There is a huge transformation taking place in Afghanistan after the sixth year of the US-led NATO occupation. But not the kind most people are hoping for…

Meanwhile, “the alarming escalation of the casualty rate among British soldiers in Afghanistan – up to ten per cent – led to discussion this week on whether it could be fairly compared to casualty rates in the Second World War”. And this week as the 64th British soldier to die in Afghanistan was buried, Brits are asking some serious questions about the mission.

Excerpt from the Daily Mail:

In six years, the occupation has wrought one massive transformation in Afghanistan, a development so huge that it has increased Afghan GDP by 66 per cent and constitutes 40 per cent of the entire economy. That is a startling achievement, by any standards. Yet we are not trumpeting it. Why not?

The answer is this. The achievement is the highest harvests of opium the world has ever seen.
[…]

For the full story, read: Britain is protecting the biggest heroin crop of all time, Daily Mail [UK]