Author Topic: Opium Production Under the Taliban  (Read 100 times)

Ant

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Opium Production Under the Taliban
« on: November 19, 2004, 08:09:04 AM »
This is from a Feb. 22nd 2001 article in the Economist. 

Afghanistan’s opium fiends
Feb 22nd 2001

JUST as some rare good news emerges from Afghanistan, where the Taliban rule by strict religious decree, they are condemned again. They were already unpopular for harbouring the world’s most-wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, who may have masterminded bomb attacks on American targets, and for their abysmal treatment of women and non-Muslims. This week an American group, Human Rights Watch, accused the Taliban of massacring 300 men during a battle for control of a town in January. Even the sliver of good news, that the opium harvest is likely to be cut to zero this year, has been described by some outsiders as a sneaky trick to push up export prices.

Afghanistan last year produced 3,200 tons of opium, three-quarters of the world’s supply. Transformed into heroin, it is exported by smugglers, mostly to Europe. Exports of the stuff, along with the smuggling-out of refugees, have long been the only profitable industry in the country. But after years of lobbying by the United Nations and the imposition of sanctions, farmers have been banned from growing the poppy flower. The Taliban issued a fatwa in July forbidding the crop as ungodly, with a warning to young Afghans against addiction to opium.

Although it is easily the most profitable crop for desperately poor and indebted farmers, and though the Taliban raise revenue by taxing the trade, that edict has been strictly enforced. Sandro Tuchi of the UN Drug Control Programme said this week that a survey of Helmand and Nangarhar, two fertile districts which produced 86% of Afghanistan’s opium last year, revealed just 25 hectares (about 60 acres) of poppy bushes and “no systematic poppy cultivation”. Farmers have opted for wheat instead; just as well, given that the country is in its worst drought for 30 years, a threat to areas holding 8m-12m people.

But opium prices have shot up, says Mr Tuchi. A kilo bought at the place of production last July would cost $35-40. This year it fetches $200-350, depending where you buy it. Higher prices for heroin in Europe are likely to follow, even if the Taliban sell opium from their stockpiles in the far north and south of the country. That is possible only for a few months, because opium soon dries and becomes too hard for simple conversion into heroin. Such high prices could quickly tempt farmers and the Taliban to return to their old ways and reap handsome profits.

If they stick to last year’s fatwa, the change should be welcomed with “cautious optimism”, suggests the UN. But the many other bones of contention between the outside world and the Taliban mean that international recognition of the Islamists as Afghanistan’s government is still a long way off. This month the Taliban’s informal “embassy to the UN”, in a scruffy quarter of New York, was ordered to be closed by the American authorities. In retaliation, the UN was told to shut its political office in Kabul, the Afghan capital. No peace pipes yet.

http://www.economist.com/research/backgrounders/displaystory.cfm?Story_ID=S%26%28H%28%2DQA%27%24%0A

You can judge it anyways you like, but opium production was cut under the taliban, and then surged post-US invasion.  Now, personally, I blame Bush and Co. for not paying attention to this issue post-invasion.  Terrorism and the Drug Trade are closely, so when you say your fighting a War on Terror, but your ignoring a massive drug market in a country you just invaded, your not being entirely cnadid when you say your fighting a effective War on Terror.   To pass the blame onto the Afghan government, and say, well they are in charge now is not exactly fair either.  Either way, if Bush and Co. was really concerned with terrorism, they would be concerned with the drug trade as well, but it appears as if they are not.
 

*Jamal*

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2004, 08:12:15 AM »
Now, personally, I blame Bush and Co.
Listen, I dislike Bush, but you're just blindly making stupid remarks now. This has less to do with Bush than it does with our entire fuckin foreign policy. Read about our foreign policy of the last 50 years, and you'll see what I mean. Opium production was staggering during the Clinton years as well. Our country doesn't give a shit...  the amount it spends to fight the drug trade is minimal compared to the amount it makes off of it...
 

acbaylove

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2004, 08:14:52 AM »
^ Now you understand it? Coming from a Bush hater like you. Out.
 

*Jamal*

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2004, 08:17:12 AM »
^ Now you understand it? Coming from a Bush hater like you. Out.

Come again.. this time in English..

Now understanding what? LOL seriously, when your English isn't that good, you have to try to clarify what you're saying... you can't just be like "now u understanding it? out"
 

acbaylove

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2004, 08:27:44 AM »
LOL i was talking to Ant!
Let me try it again (LOL! HELP!!): "Ant, now that even Jamal, a Bush hater, is writing the same things i did, do you understand i wasnt just "hating on Bush"? BETTER? ;D

Shit, you're worse than my ex english teacher. At least she had a nice ass!
 

*Jamal*

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2004, 08:30:59 AM »
Nah, I wasn't dissing your English... you just didn't really make it clear as to what you were saying...

You were just like "Now you understand it?"... I was just lost as to what you were talking about..
 

Ant

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2004, 08:32:12 AM »
Ok I dont know why this is so difficult to grasp but:

1.   Bush is the first US president to declare an outright "War on Terrorism"

2.  Terrorists are funded via the drug trade

3.   Under the Bush Admin's orders the US invaded Afghanistan as part of our fight on Terror

4.   In early 2001 the Taliban aggressively cut opium production

5.  After the US invasion opium production in Afghanistan surged.

6.  The Bush Administration often refers to Afghanistan as an amazing success story.

If you are fighting a war on terror, and the drug trade is part of that war, then don't you thin k its ineffective to invade a country, allow opium production to surge post-invasion, place the responsibility for stopping opium production on a newly formed government, and declare afghanistan one of your success stories?  I'm not just attacked Bush ever, I'm crticizing the whole administration.  Somebody fucked up.  If you are fighting a war on teror, as they claim to be, a country you JUST invaded, should not be the world's largest producer of opium just 2 years after your invasion.  Its as simple as that.  If their concern is fighting an effective war on terror, why shouldn't the afghanistan drug problem be an issue they should have dealt with?   

Yes, opium production may have been high under the Clinton years, but there are a host of problems for the world to deal with, they cannot all be managed.  Bush admin took on Terrorism as one of their main priorities.  By allowing opium production to surge in a country you JUST invaded, well maybe I'm an asshole, but in my mind it seems you just fucked up a lil bit.

Anywayz one liners like "i don't like bush, but your just being stupid"  are NOT effective arguments.  All your throwing at me is opinion, and again, I don't write posts calling anyone out or trying to diss people.  So please don't come in my posts with one-liner character attacks.   
 

acbaylove

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2004, 08:33:07 AM »
Nah, I wasn't dissing your English... you just didn't really make it clear as to what you were saying...

You were just like "Now you understand it?"... I was just lost as to what you were talking about..

Yeah, cause that's the 2nd topic opened about the same thing (opium in Afghanistan). I was referring to the original one and to something i said to Ant (and viceversa).
 

*Jamal*

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2004, 08:35:01 AM »
The effective argument was the part where I told you to look into the U.S. foreign policy of the last 50 years. If you know anything about our actions in Central/South America, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you're not aware, then go read about it.
 

Ant

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2004, 08:35:22 AM »
LOL i was talking to Ant!
Let me try it again (LOL! HELP!!): "Ant, now that even Jamal, a Bush hater, is writing the same things i did, do you understand i wasnt just "hating on Bush"? BETTER? ;D

Shit, you're worse than my ex english teacher. At least she had a nice ass!

Again, the fact that someone is a Bush-hater and they disagree with me doesn't prove your argument right.  If some random guy who liked Bush agreed with me, I wouldn't be like, look see this is conclusive proof I am right you are wrong.  The strength of your argument and the strength of your facts are what make your point correct or incorrect. 

If you declare a war on terror, and a country you just invaded to attack terrorism, is now producing 87% of the world's opium, and the drug trade and terrorism are closely connected, but you still go around saying how great a success sotry afghanistan is.  I'm sorry, but something is fucked up with all that.
 

Ant

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2004, 08:38:53 AM »
The effective argument was the part where I told you to look into the U.S. foreign policy of the last 50 years. If you know anything about our actions in Central/South America, you'll know what I'm talking about. If you're not aware, then go read about it.


I'm only going to write this one more time.

Bush claims to be fighting an effective war on terror.  Bush choose to invade afghanistan as part of the war on terror.  The drug trade and terrorism are closely connected.  Now afghanistan is the world'es larget opium producer. 

The difference between what your saying and what I am saying is simple.  Other presidents did not claim to be fighting a war on terror.  I dont disagree US foreign policy has its flaws.  But if Bush is going to say he is fighting a war on terror, and yet the countrie he is invaded are turned into fucked up messes, then there is cause for concern and reason for criticism. 
 

acbaylove

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2004, 08:47:27 AM »
Ok I dont know why this is so difficult to grasp but:

1.   Bush is the first US president to declare an outright "War on Terrorism"

2.  Terrorists are funded via the drug trade

3.   Under the Bush Admin's orders the US invaded Afghanistan as part of our fight on Terror

4.   In early 2001 the Taliban aggressively cut opium production

5.  After the US invasion opium production in Afghanistan surged.

6.  The Bush Administration often refers to Afghanistan as an amazing success story.

If you are fighting a war on terror, and the drug trade is part of that war, then don't you thin k its ineffective to invade a country, allow opium production to surge post-invasion, place the responsibility for stopping opium production on a newly formed government, and declare afghanistan one of your success stories?  I'm not just attacked Bush ever, I'm crticizing the whole administration.  Somebody fucked up.  If you are fighting a war on teror, as they claim to be, a country you JUST invaded, should not be the world's largest producer of opium just 2 years after your invasion.  Its as simple as that.  If their concern is fighting an effective war on terror, why shouldn't the afghanistan drug problem be an issue they should have dealt with?   

Yes, opium production may have been high under the Clinton years, but there are a host of problems for the world to deal with, they cannot all be managed.  Bush admin took on Terrorism as one of their main priorities.  By allowing opium production to surge in a country you JUST invaded, well maybe I'm an asshole, but in my mind it seems you just fucked up a lil bit.

Anywayz one liners like "i don't like bush, but your just being stupid"  are NOT effective arguments.  All your throwing at me is opinion, and again, I don't write posts calling anyone out or trying to diss people.  So please don't come in my posts with one-liner character attacks.   

The problem in Afghanistan, like Jamal said, is that there's nothing to live with, so common people (not terrorists, but common people) are starting to produce opium as a job since there are no controls and since it's an easy way to make some money to live. Afghanistan President banned opium, but since the nation is too big and there are no real controls, nobody is respecting it. Plus if they see you producing opium, they cant send you to jail, cause they have bigger problems than opium. This is making common people produce it, and sell it. The mistake USA did is that they didnt really help Afghanistan to grew up on his own after the war, with a good economy, good industries, etc.. Terrorism has nothing to do with it. It's about money and international help. The same thing Costas asked for Afghanistan.
 

Ant

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2004, 08:53:51 AM »
I never said terrorists were producing opium.  I said terrorism and the drug trade are lnked, which they are.  Terrorist groups make money by transporting drugs.  That is why opium is a problem. 

As you said somewhat,  I believe the US fucked up by not giving afghanistan enough attention post invasion in helping them reestablish their country.   More could have been done to train police forces, help develop the economy, and so on.  Admittedly, I'm not an expert on this topic, but all I am saying is that if Bush claims to be fighting a war on terrror, more should have been done to curtail opium productin post-us invasion.  As we can see now that did not happen. 

Additionally, if Bush is going to call afghanistan a success, well to me, based on the fact that afghanistan is producing 87% of the world's opium. that claim is complete bullshit and in many ways afghanistan is as much of a failure as Iraq is.
 

acbaylove

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2004, 09:00:18 AM »
I never said terrorists were producing opium.  I said terrorism and the drug trade are lnked, which they are.  Terrorist groups make money by transporting drugs.  That is why opium is a problem. 

As you said somewhat,  I believe the US fucked up by not giving afghanistan enough attention post invasion in helping them reestablish their country.   More could have been done to train police forces, help develop the economy, and so on.  Admittedly, I'm not an expert on this topic, but all I am saying is that if Bush claims to be fighting a war on terrror, more should have been done to curtail opium productin post-us invasion.  As we can see now that did not happen. 

Additionally, if Bush is going to call afghanistan a success, well to me, based on the fact that afghanistan is producing 87% of the world's opium. that claim is complete bullshit and in many ways afghanistan is as much of a failure as Iraq is.

The help Afghanistan needs should come from the UN, not only USA. They need money. They need to give those people who are producing opium to live an alternative. It's like if Colombia declares war to USA. USA easly wins. Then what? If they dont rebuild Colombia, people will continue to produce heroin. You know what i mean?
 

acbaylove

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Re: Opium Production Under the Taliban
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2004, 09:03:11 AM »
The only way to fight terrorism is to give them terrorists a chance to make legal money by having a real job.
USA just bombed Talibans (well, they deserved it!), but when it comes to help the nation just bombed, nobody does it.
Not only USA. I'm talking about the whole world.
Shit just think about (ex) Jugoslavia, man!
Shit will get out of control again, soon.
Why?
Cause people dont have a job, people dont have money, they left Jugoslavia alone.