Is Afghanistan Deliberately the World’s Largest Poppy Field?

By Patrick Brogan

In November of last year, the Foundation for Economic Education published an article by Scott Burns titled Losing Hearts and Minds: The Failed Drug War in Afghanistan. In the article, Scott Burns makes the following point; “Despite having the best of intentions and more money at their disposal than ever before, the U.S. has been completely unable to stem this tidal wave of poppy production.”

However, for a number of reasons, I’m sceptical about all of this. As we have made the point many times before, including in the podcast, stopping drug production is not all that difficult. Are the Americans deliberately funding and profiting off of the opium trade?

Sounds ridiculous? Well, it does until we look into the history of the CIA. Iran-Contra relates very closely to this. Under the Reagan administration, Iran was sold weapons by those in the US even though it was under an arms embargo. Nicaragua was embroiled in a civil war at this time. The US backed the Contras to oust the “pro-Marxist” Sandinista Government. How are these two linked? Money.

The US Government was funding the Contras, but a law was brought in by Congress outlawing this. So, the Americans needed to finance the militias covertly. The sales from the weapons bound for Iran did exactly this. Then there was an even more sinister turn in this story. Money from cocaine sales also went into the Contras’ coffers. That’s not disputed. What is disputed is how high up the command chain this went and what was the CIA‘s involvement.

In the 90s, a fresh story arose. A journalist named Gary Webb wrote a story saying the CIA was heavily involved in the crack epidemic in Los Angeles. The Corbett Report made an excellent documentary about this and what happened Webb subsequently. Indeed, as part of this series, there was a two-part documentary on Danny Casolaro. Casolaro’s story even goes further and suggests that major players in the finance world were involved, including the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).

Indeed, I’m far from the first person to suggest that the CIA might have something to do with the massive influx of heroin into the US since the Taliban fell from power, an organisation that had outlawed it a few months before 9/11. All of this certainly deserves closer scrutiny.


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