Qui Bono?

Who benefits from the Afghan Opium Trade?
Michel Chossudovsky

http://www.globalresearch.ca/”>Global Research, September 21, 2006

The United Nations has announced that opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has soared and is expected to increase by 59% in 2006. The production of opium is estimated to have increased by 49% in relation to 2005. 

The Western media in chorus blame the Taliban and the warlords. The Bush administration is said to be committed to curbing the Afghan drug trade: “The US is the main backer of a huge drive to rid Afghanistan of opium… “

Yet in a bitter irony, US military presence has served to restore rather than eradicate the drug trade.

What the reports fail to acknowledge is that the Taliban government was instrumental in implementing a successful drug eradication program, with the support and collaboration of the UN. 

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Afghan opium crop soars to “frightening levels”: UN

By Jon Hemming Mon Aug 27, 10:13 AM ET

KABUL (Reuters) – Opium production has soared to “frightening record levels” in Afghanistan, which now has more land producing drugs than Columbia, Bolivia and Peru combined, the United Nations said on Monday.

Afghanistan is locked in a vicious circle where drug money feeds both the Taliban insurgency and official corruption which in turn weaken the government’s hold of large parts of the country and allows more opium to be produced.

The area of Afghan land where opium poppies are grown rose by 17 percent to 193,000 hectares in 2007 from 165,000 last year and this year’s harvest was 8,200 tonnes, up from 6,100 tonnes in 2006, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said.

Afghanistan produced 93 percent of the world’s opium in 2007, up from 92 percent last year, the annual UNODC report said.

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