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Keyword: opium

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  • Green Berets reveal Afghan National Army soldiers’ incompetence

    10/27/2014 6:24:19 AM PDT · by servo1969 · 20 replies
    washingtontimes.com ^ | 10-27-2014 | Rowan Scarborough
    Elite Army Green Berets are knocking the performance of the Afghan National Army, telling war tales of its soldiers hiding and quitting the fight.The Green Beret criticisms, contained in a U.S. Central Command “friendly fire” investigative file, provide a window into the flaws of a national army more than a decade in the making.The Special Forces soldiers gave poor marks to the institution that is supposed to keep Afghanistan’s democratically elected governments in power. The security force must rebuff an expected Taliban offensive, on its own, once all American troops leave after 2016.The soldiers gave statements to investigators after going...
  • China: Restaurant ‘sold opium-laced noodles’

    09/25/2014 7:35:07 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    BBC News ^ | 23 September 2014 | Last updated at 07:21 ET
    A Chinese noodle shop owner has admitted to lacing his wares with opium poppy seeds in an apparent effort to keep customers coming back, it’s reported. The use of the unusual ingredient—used to make opium—at the restaurant in Yan’an, in Shaanxi province, came to light after one of its clients tested positive in a routine urine test by traffic police, despite insisting he’d never touched drugs, the Xi’an Evening News reports. Suspecting the noodle shop he’d eaten at a few hours before the test might be to blame, the customer, Liu Juyou, persuaded relatives to frequent the shop as well...
  • Opium Production on the Rise Worldwide, U.N. Reports

    07/07/2014 11:18:36 AM PDT · by mgist · 2 replies
    NY Times ^ | 6/26/14 | By SOMINI SENGUPTA
    UNITED NATIONS — Illegal opium cultivation occupies more land worldwide than ever before, according to the United Nations, largely because of a surge over the last year in Afghanistan, the dominant opium producer. The annual World Drug Report, released Thursday, found that nearly 741,000 acres worldwide were occupied by opium-producing poppy fields, the largest area devoted to the farming of the crop since 1998, when estimates were first available. Afghanistan’s poppy fields alone expanded by 36 percent from 2012 to 2013, taking up 516,000 acres. Myanmar, too, stepped up opium production; nearly 143,000 acres were devoted to poppy cultivation there....
  • NY Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Curb Flood Of Mexican Heroin Into The State

    04/28/2014 4:09:12 PM PDT · by mgist · 7 replies
    Heroin peddled by Mexican drug cartels have flooded the Northeast – and unlike its predecessors from the 1980s, the drug is stronger, cheaper and purer. New York City has become the hub for the criminal enterprise and lawmakers in the state are putting forward a package of legislation that seeks to fight the resurgence of heroin. The bills, expected to become public on Monday, would toughen penalties for dealers, impose more funding for overdose-reversal drugs and increase insurance coverage for treatment. The proposed laws follow a series of forums that Senate Democrats held around the state on the sudden spread...
  • Resurgent Afghanistan drug trade threatening US goals, Pentagon warns

    01/20/2014 6:34:59 PM PST · by LeoWindhorse · 16 replies
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | Jan. 20 , 2014 | Anna Mulrine
    In the sharpest warnings they have ever issued on the topic, Pentagon officials told Congress the growing opium trade is threatening the costly US war effort to build a stable Afghanistan.
  • After 12 Yrs of U.S. Occupation, Afghanistan Sets Record for Growing Opium

    12/03/2013 12:08:10 PM PST · by rktman · 23 replies
    CNSNews ^ | 12/2/2013 | Ali Meyer
    “Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan reached a sobering record high in 2013,” said the UNODC. “According to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey, cultivation amounted to some 209,000 hectares, outstripping the earlier record in 2007 of 193,000 hectares, and representing a 36 per cent increase over 2012.”
  • Addiction ravaging Afghanistan called ‘a tsunami’

    11/04/2013 4:39:00 PM PST · by Pan_Yan · 14 replies
    Boston Globe ^ | November 03, 2013 | Azam Ahmed
    The number of drug users in Afghanistan is estimated to be as high as 1.6 million, or about 5.3 percent of the population, among the highest rates in the world. Nationwide, 1 in 10 urban households has at least one drug user, according to a recent report from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. In the city of Herat, it is 1 in 5. From 2005 to 2009, the use of opiates doubled, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, putting Afghanistan on par with Russia and Iran, and the number of heroin users jumped...
  • Afghanistan, the drug addiction capital

    04/10/2013 6:30:03 PM PDT · by Pan_Yan · 12 replies
    BBC ^ | 10 April 2013 Last updated at 19:06 ET | Tahir Qadiry
    Afghanistan produces 90% of all opiate drugs in the world, but until recently was not a major consumer. Now, out of a population of 35 million, more than a million are addicted to drugs - proportionately the highest figure in the world. Right in the heart of Kabul, on the stony banks of the Kabul River, drug addicts gather to buy and use heroin. It's a place of misery and degradation. In broad daylight about a dozen men and teenage boys sit huddled in pairs smoking and injecting. Among them are some educated people - a doctor, an engineer and...
  • Book Review: Seeds of Terror

    03/08/2013 12:59:14 PM PST · by eagleye85 · 6 replies
    Eagleye Blog ^ | March 8, 2013 | Bethany Stotts
    In Afghanistan, farmers grow poppy for opium, which is later processed into heroin and, ultimately, sold as heroin on the black market. How, when the Quran defines drugs as “the filth of Satan’s handiwork,” does the Islamic populace in Afghanistan justify growing this illicit crop? For one thing, the sale, but not consumption, of opium is acceptable to the locals because it is supposedly consumed by the West–by infidels–and thus furthers the war on them, outlines Gretchen Peters in her book Seeds of Terror: How Drugs, Thugs, and Crime Are Reshaping the Afghan War. Peters has worked for the Associated...
  • Ch-Ch-Changes, Plus Personal C-C-Confessions

    01/17/2013 5:17:45 AM PST · by servo1969 · 3 replies
    seraphicpress.com ^ | 1-15-2013 | Robert J. Avrech
    With deep condescension, my professors informed me that we live in a post-religious world. Religion, I was lectured, was the opiate of the people. I wondered, but never had the courage to suggest, that perhaps Marxism was the opiate of the elites.
  • Rep. ROHRABACHER (1999) -- How the Clinton Administration brought the Taliban to power

    09/28/2001 7:01:18 PM PDT · by Nita Nupress · 43 replies · 2,520+ views
    Senate testimony | April 14, 1999 | Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
    April 14, 1999, Wednesday COMMITTEE HEARING SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS: SUBCOMMITTEE ON NEAR EASTERN AND SOUTH U.S. SENATOR SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS) HOLDS HEARING ON THE CRISIS IN AFGANISTAN  WASHINGTON, D.C. SPEAKERS: U.S. SENATOR SAM BROWNBACK (R-KS), CHAIRMAN U.S. SENATOR JOHN ASHCROFT (R-MO) U.S. SENATOR GORDON H. SMITH (R-OR) U.S. SENATOR ROD GRAMS (R-MN) U.S. SENATOR CRAIG THOMAS (R-WY) U.S. SENATOR PAUL DAVID WELLSTONE (D-MN), RANKING MEMBER U.S. SENATOR ROBERT G. TORRICELLI (D-NJ) U.S. SENATOR PAUL S. SARBANES (D-MD) U.S. SENATOR CHRISTOPHER J. DODD (D-CT) U.S. REPRESENTATIVE DANA ROHRABACHER (R-CA) THE HONORABLE KARL F. INDERFURTH ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR SOUTH ...
  • Friends and Enemies (Oliver North)

    09/29/2011 6:54:30 PM PDT · by jazusamo · 24 replies
    Creators Syndicate ^ | September 30, 2011 | Oliver North
    WASHINGTON — When the U.S. State Department announced this week that it finally is going to designate the Haqqani network as a foreign terrorist organization, it was a nonevent for most of our countrymen. That's because few Americans know how deadly the organization is. For that we can thank those at Foggy Bottom who are wedded to the naive hope of a near-term "diplomatic breakthrough" in Afghanistan. Couple that misguided belief with the Obama administration's self-deception that the radical Islamic jihad against the West ended with the demise of Osama bin Laden and it's understandable why the Haqqani network...
  • When opium was cheaper than whiskey – and Great Britain waged a "wicked" drug war

    02/19/2012 12:32:31 PM PST · by DogByte6RER · 27 replies · 1+ views
    Cannon Beach Gazette ^ | Thursday, February 16, 2012 | Robert Lewis Knecht
    When opium was cheaper than whiskey – and Great Britain waged a "wicked" drug war When Opium Was Cheaper Than Whiskey - and Great Britain waged a "wicked" drug war The bottles have a beautiful aqua color to them. If you hold them up to the light, rainbows fire across the delicate patina. But their beauty belies the deadly reality behind the delicate hues. The bottles once held opium based "elixirs," such as Dr. McMunn's Elixir of Opium, most claiming to be a cure for a host of ailments, including the relief of "convulsions and spasmodic action," as well as...
  • Opium production soars in Afghanistan: UN

    01/12/2012 2:08:43 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 7 replies
    Yahoo ^ | 1/12/12 | AFP
    Production of opium and the illicit crop's value soared in Afghanistan last year, the United Nations said in a report released Thursday. According to the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime, farmer income derived from Afghanistan's opium crop in 2011 was $1.4 billion (1.09 billion euros), representing nine percent of GDP. "Opium is therefore a significant part of the Afghan economy and provides considerable funding to the insurgency and fuels corruption," Yury Fedotov, executive director of the UN office, said in a statement. Afghanistan grows about 90 percent of the world's opium. The UN said poppy-crop cultivation covered more than...
  • Afghanistan Opium Cultivation Rises 7%

    10/11/2011 1:02:42 PM PDT · by gandalftb · 11 replies
    The Christian Science Monitor ^ | October 11, 2011 | Tom A. Peter
    After 10 years of war, Afghanistan remains the world’s leading opium supplier, responsible for 90 percent of the global supply. Opium cultivation rose by 7 percent in 2011 compared with last year. Opium production also climbed 61 percent this year. A crop blight destroyed much of Afghanistan’s opium harvest last year causing a decrease in opium production and creating a simultaneous spike in prices. Higher prices led to much speculation that more Afghan farmers would turn to the crop this year, which has indeed proved to be the case. UN officials estimate that 10 percent of opium harvest proceeds reach...
  • Fort Bragg Suspect Wanted in Second Murder, Was Growing Opium Poppies (killed councilman Melo)

    08/31/2011 6:21:28 PM PDT · by Libloather · 11 replies
    SFist ^ | 8/31/11 | Jay Barmann
    Fort Bragg Suspect Wanted in Second Murder, Was Growing Opium PoppiesBy Jay Barmann in News on August 31, 2011 2:30 PM Aaron Bassler, suspected of shooting Fort Bragg city councilman Jere Melo last Saturday, remains at large, and now his father has come forward to tell reporters that his son is schizophrenic, and that he was likely responsible for a second murder that occurred 30 miles away on August 11. James Bassler says his son had refused psychiatric treatment, and had moved into the woods after going broke four months ago. Furthermore, investigators have found two small poppy fields in...
  • Fox News Propaganda - zot file

    05/12/2011 10:54:42 AM PDT · by Suck My AR-16 · 63 replies
    May 12, 2011 | Suck My AR-16
    Let Me Push Certain Individuals Buttons Fox News will air a Oliver North special on Special Ops, probably because of the Osama bin Laden operation in Pakistan. Part of the program will cover the U.S. DEA in Afghanistan and a mission to go after the Opium drug profits used by the Taliban. The Poppy Fields of Afghanistan supply the raw materials used to make Opium. How ironic. Oliver North is one of the principals involved in Drug Running during the Iran / Contra operations in Central America. The profits from those drugs illegally funded the weapons smuggling for that war...
  • Poppy eradication in Helmand gains momentum

    08/26/2010 8:30:48 AM PDT · by gandalftb · 10 replies
    Defence News ^ | 26 Aug 10 | staff
    Helmand is the largest cultivator of poppies in Afghanistan with just under 173,000 acres of the 346,000 acres) of arable land in the province dedicated to the crop.The next largest producer is neighbouring Kandahar province with about 50,000 acres under cultivation.To promote alternative livelihoods to growing poppies the food programme last year distributed wheat seed, fertiliser and grape vines to some 65,000 farmers across Helmand.Eradication actually increased this year, up from 3,645 acres last year to 3,959 acres this year.Police supported by military and civilian mentors from the UK, seized 5,000kg of opium, 155kg of heroin and 12,000kg of precursor...
  • WSJ NEWS ALERT: Corruption Suspected in Airlift of Billions in Cash From Kabul

    06/27/2010 5:01:55 PM PDT · by Glenn · 38 replies
    WSJ Email Alert ^ | 06/27/2010
    More than $3 billion in cash has been openly flown out of Kabul International Airport in the past three years, a sum so large that U.S. investigators believe top Afghan officials and their associates are sending billions of diverted U.S. aid and logistics dollars and drug money to financial safe havens abroad. The cash -- packed into suitcases, piled onto pallets and loaded into airplanes -- is declared and legal to move. But U.S. and Afghan officials say they are targeting the flows in major anticorruption and drug trafficking investigations because of their size relative to Afghanistan's small economy and...
  • Affluent Afghans Build Opulent 'Poppy Palaces'

    06/05/2010 10:40:34 PM PDT · by gandalftb · 2 replies · 481+ views
    WA Post ^ | Sunday, June 6, 2010 | Karin Brulliard
    KABUL -- For rent: a four-story, 11-bedroom dwelling of pink granite and lime marble, complete with massage showers, a rooftop fountain and, in the basement, an Asian-themed nightclub. Price: $12,000 a month.It's a relative bargain in Kabul's version of Beverly Hills. There's a war on, but carnival-colored mansions are mushrooming alongside cratered streets and sewage streams. Vast outdoor chandeliers, heated indoor pools and acres of mirrored, skyscraper glass windows abound. The grandiose houses, derided here as narco-tecture, have become the most obvious symbols of Afghanistan's corruption, which is fueled both by an enormous influx of U.S. dollars and by the...
  • Tractors Given to Afghan Farmers

    05/27/2010 8:58:44 AM PDT · by gandalftb · 5 replies · 250+ views
    UK Minister of Defence ^ | 26 May 10 | staff
    Soldiers from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment handed out 20 new tractors to farming co-operatives in the Nad 'Ali region of Helmand province.To qualify for the equipment, the co-operatives had to show that they were willing to stop sowing poppy crops.
  • Afghanistan opium poppies hit by mysterious disease

    05/13/2010 4:13:18 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 28 replies · 713+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 5/13/10 | AFP
    KABUL (AFP) – As the pink poppy fields of southern Afghanistan yield their sticky harvest, opium production in the country that supplies the world with heroin is set to fall, farmers and officials say. That's good news for the fight against the multi-billion-dollar drugs trade but it could be bad news for Afghan farmers struggling to feed their families as the war against Taliban insurgents and drugs gangs escalates. "This year we had less poppy cultivation, which I think was because of our public awareness campaign which we launched before cultivation started," said Gul Mohammad, head of the counter-narcotics department...
  • As Afghan Opium Blight Spreads, Farmers' Lives Wilt

    05/19/2010 1:15:42 AM PDT · by Brugmansian · 28 replies · 1,009+ views
    Radio Free Europe ^ | May 18 2010 | Mohammad Elyas Daee, Abubakar Siddique
    LASHKAR GAH -- Aziz Ahmad is a deeply worried man. With two wives and seven children at home, the 30-year-old farmer depends entirely on his opium-poppy crop to make a living. This year, it's proving to be an increasingly difficult task. First, falling water tables stunted his crop. Then a mysterious blight emerged to destroy most of what remained. In a normal growing season, Ahmad's 4-hectare plot in the Washer district of Afghanistan's southern Helmand Province yields 100 kilograms of opium -- enough to cover his debts and ensure his family's survival over the winter. This year he managed to...
  • IRGC MONEY LAUNDERING OPERATION UNCOVERED IN GULF

    03/27/2010 3:08:27 AM PDT · by Cindy · 3 replies · 217+ views
    SNIPPET: "According to the report, the funds, from IRGC opium sales, reached the Bahraini minister from Colombia, eastern China, and Azerbaijan, and were transferred to Europe. According to the report, Ali Jannati, the son of senior Iranian Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati , is also involved; he is Iranian Ambassador to Kuwait."
  • US troops close Taliban escape route before attack (the vise tightens)

    02/11/2010 10:19:41 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 51 replies · 1,619+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 2/11/10 | Alfred de Montesquiou and Christopher Torchia - ap
    NEAR MARJAH, Afghanistan – U.S. and Afghan soldiers linked up with Marines on the outskirts of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah on Thursday, sealing off escape routes and setting the stage for what is being described as the biggest offensive of the nine-year war. Taliban defenders repeatedly fired rockets and mortars at units poised in foxholes along the edge of the town, apparently trying to lure NATO forces into skirmishes before the big attack. "They're trying to draw us in," said Capt. Joshua Winfrey, 30, of Tulsa, Okla., commander of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. Up to 1,000 militants...
  • Frightened Afghans flee offensive in opium valley

    02/08/2010 11:09:15 AM PST · by NormsRevenge · 18 replies · 789+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 2/8/10 | AFP
    LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan (AFP) – Afghan men, women and children fearing imminent fighting between the Taliban and US troops, loaded up trucks on Monday and streamed out of one of the world's main sources of heroin. Wrapped in blankets to fend off the winter chill, families packed up goats, furniture and clothes, clogging roads with taxis, cars and tractors in a major exodus to safety, dodging roadside bombs planted to kill US and NATO troops. "We left the area because lots of aircraft were flying over and lots of forces were moving back and forth," Shir Ali Khan told AFP...
  • PLEASE! STOP POSTING SAME MESSAGE ON ALL BOARDS!

    08/16/2002 7:39:49 AM PDT · by Merchant Seaman · 715 replies · 30,137+ views
    Annoyed Reader
    The purpose of FreeRepublic.com's multiple message boards is to limit the topics for each board to particular topics. Posting the same message on all the boards defeats the purpose of multiple-boards for special topics. It is very annoying to see the same message on every bulletin board. PLEASE! DO THE READERS A FAVOR. STOP CROSS-POSTING YOUR MESSAGES!
  • Troops Uncover Opium, Weapons Caches in Afghanistan

    01/11/2010 3:39:32 PM PST · by SandRat · 5 replies · 362+ views
    WASHINGTON, Jan. 11, 2010 – Forces have uncovered numerous weapons caches and large amounts of narcotics during operations in Afghanistan over the past few days. Today, an international force discovered one ton of opium in the back of a vehicle during a patrol in Helmand province. The driver and two passengers were seen hiding the vehicle behind a sand dune and fled on foot. They threw an assault rifle in nearby bushes. Troops caught the men and placed them in custody. The drugs were destroyed. In other operations today: -- An international force discovered a cache of 320 large-caliber machine...
  • DEA Mourns the Loss of Three DEA Special Agents in Afghanistan

    10/27/2009 12:27:56 AM PDT · by Cindy · 25 replies · 1,343+ views
    US DOJ.gov/DEA ^ | October 26, 2009 | n/a
    Note: The following text is a quote: DEA Mourns the Loss of Three DEA Special Agents in Afghanistan OCT 26 - WASHINGTON, DC – The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) today confirmed that three Special Agents were killed during a counternarcotics mission in Afghanistan. “Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration mourns the tragic loss of three DEA Special Agents and seven U.S. service members killed in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan,” said Acting Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. “The incident occurred during the early morning hours of October 26, when these heroic individuals were returning from a completed, joint counternarcotics mission.”...
  • U.N. reports dramatic fall in Afghan opium production

    09/02/2009 5:57:11 PM PDT · by Pan_Yan · 4 replies · 272+ views
    CNN ^ | updated 2:03 p.m. EDT, Wed September 2, 2009 | Atia Abawi
    KABUL, Afghanistan (CNN) -- Afghanistan's opium production dropped dramatically this year partly because of new aggressive drug-fighting tactics in the country, a United Nations study found. According to the report from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, production dipped by 10 percent this year, while cultivation fell by 22 percent. "At a time of pessimism about the situation in Afghanistan, these results are a welcome piece of good news and demonstrate that progress is possible," said Antonio Maria Costa, the office's executive director. The United Nations notes that drugs originating in Afghanistan have "catastrophic consequences." "They fund the activities...
  • Police bust pair after Thai opium is delivered in broomsticks to Dorris motel

    09/01/2009 3:39:41 PM PDT · by AuntB · 7 replies · 997+ views
    KTVL ^ | Sept. 1, 2009 | KTVL
    DORRIS, Calif. -- Agents from the Siskiyou County-Wide Narcotic Task Force were assisted by the California Department of Justice, Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol in the service of a search warrant at the Elm Motel in Dorris, California. Drug agents learned that a shipment of opium had been intercepted by U.S. Customs en route from Thailand on its way to the Elm Motel in Dorris on Highway 97, just south of the California Oregon border. The opium had been hidden in the hollow handles of broomsticks that were mixed in with baskets and bamboo items. Drug agents...
  • Opium barons at top of kill or capture list as US targets the Taliban

    08/10/2009 3:31:44 PM PDT · by myknowledge · 22 replies · 851+ views
    Times Online ^ | August 11, 2009 | Imre Karacs
    The Pentagon has put 50 of Afghanistan’s powerful opium barons on a “kill or capture” list, signalling a radical shift in tactics against the Taleban. The announcement came as the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, admitted that the insurgency, nurtured by tens of millions of dollars from the country’s vast poppy fields, now held the upper hand. The existence of the “joint integrated prioritised target list” — a rogues’ gallery of drug lords who are earmarked for arrest or assassination — is revealed in an unpublished Senate report obtained yesterday by The Times. It was confirmed...
  • Opium addiction ravages Afghan families

    08/09/2009 10:19:51 AM PDT · by Mount Athos · 12 replies · 660+ views
    AP ^ | Rukmini Callimachi
    In dozens of mountain hamlets in this remote corner of Afghanistan, opium addiction has become so entrenched that whole families — from toddlers to old men — are addicts. From just one family years ago, at least half the people of Sarab, population 1,850, are now addicts. Afghanistan supplies nearly all the world's opium, the raw ingredient used to make heroin. "I am ashamed of what I have become," says Beg, an unwashed turban curled on his head. "I've lost my self-respect. I've lost my values. I take the food from this child to pay for my opium," he says,...
  • No more opium, no more money for Afghan villagers

    08/03/2009 5:05:07 AM PDT · by Prodigal Son · 4 replies · 482+ views
    Ft Mill Times ^ | August 3, 2009 | RUKMINI CALLIMACHI
    SHAHRAN, Afghanistan — For as long as anyone can remember, there was no need for paper money in this remote corner of the Hindu Kush. The common currency was what grew in everyone's backyard - opium. When children felt like buying candy, they ran into their father's fields and returned with a few grams of opium folded inside a leaf. Their mothers collected it in plastic bags, trading 18 grams for a meter of fabric or two liters of cooking oil. Even a visit to the barbershop could be settled in opium. But the economy of this village sputtered to...
  • ANOTHER DEAD IMU DRUG RUNNER

    07/31/2009 9:28:49 AM PDT · by Cindy · 1 replies · 246+ views
    OSINT.INTERNET-HAGANAH.com ^ | July 30, 2009 | n/a
    Note: The following text is a quote: July 30, 2009 ANOTHER DEAD IMU DRUG RUNNER Both Reuters and AFP report the recent demise of Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan activist Nemet Azizov in a firefight with Tajik forces in the Rasht valley. Mr. Azizov was allegedly involved in the production and/or trafficking of heroin produced from opium grown in nearby Afghanistan. Posted on 30 July 2009 @ 20:14 GMT
  • DEA sends more agents to Afghanistan

    07/30/2009 12:05:33 PM PDT · by gandalftb · 6 replies · 323+ views
    United Press International and NPR ^ | July 29, 2009 at 11:48 PM | staff
    KABUL, Afghanistan, July 29 (UPI) -- The United States' top anti-drug agency will substantially boost its presence in Afghanistan to check opium trafficking, the Taliban's main revenue source. "One year ago, we had 13 personnel in Afghanistan working counternarcotics," Jay Fitzpatrick, the DEA's assistant regional director based in Kabul. "We're in the process of increasing the number of personnel to 81." The U.S. network reported the DEA also plans track the top 10 to 20 narcotics traffickers in Afghanistan with the help of Afghan authorities.
  • NATO caveats (Outgoing NATO Cdr, Gen John Craddock's Top 10 Crazy-Way-to-Fight-a-War List)

    07/10/2009 3:42:14 PM PDT · by xzins · 12 replies · 692+ views
    UPI ^ | July 10, 2009 | ARNAUD DE BORCHGRAVE
    Commentary: WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- The outgoing NATO SACEUR, or supreme allied commander Europe, would gladly forgo more NATO troops to fight Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan if allied countries dropped their caveats against their use in combat operations. Gen. John Craddock, the outgoing supremo, says these caveats "increase the risk to every service member deployed in Afghanistan and bring increased risk to mission success." They are also "a detriment to effective command and control, unity of effort and … command." NATO's International Security Assistance Force consists of 58,300 troops from 41 countries. But NATO's 28 member nations provide the...
  • U.S. MARINES PROTECT AFGHAN’S POPPY FIELDS

    07/07/2009 4:56:18 PM PDT · by Psion · 49 replies · 1,971+ views
    The Last Crusade ^ | July 7, 2009 | Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.
    Obama’s First Order: Don’t Hurt the Heroin byPaul L. Williams, Ph.D.thelastcrusade.org Obama's agenda; Narco-Nation Building Hey, guys, don’t pick the poppies. That’s the order from the Obama Administration to the 4,000 Marines presently engaged in Operation Khanjar or “Strike of the Sword,” an invasion of the Taliban infested Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan. The Marines of Bravo’s Company 1st Platoon sleep beside groves of poppies Troops of the 2nd Platoon walk through the fields on strict orders not to swat the heavy opium bulbs. The Afghan farmers and laborers, who are engaged in scraping the resin from the bulbs, smile...
  • U.S. reverses Afghan drug policy

    06/27/2009 7:28:14 AM PDT · by Jet Jaguar · 36 replies · 1,377+ views
    Reuters ^ | June 27, 2009 | Phil Stewart and Daniel Flynn
    TRIESTE, Italy (Reuters) - Washington is to dramatically overhaul its Afghan anti-drug strategy, phasing out opium poppy eradication, the U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan told allies on Saturday. Richard Holbrooke, attending a G8 conference on stabilizing Afghanistan, also discussed efforts to support its August 20 election. Washington has nearly doubled its troops to combat a growing Taliban insurgency and provide security for the vote. "The Western policies against the opium crop, the poppy crop, have been a failure. They did not result in any damage to the Taliban, but they put farmers out of work," Holbrooke told Reuters after...
  • US changes tack on Afghan poppies

    06/27/2009 1:55:44 PM PDT · by newbie2008 · 7 replies · 437+ views
    The United States is to change the way it deals with the massive poppy growing industry in Afghanistan. Instead of destroying the crops it will spend money encouraging Afghan farmers to grow different ones. US special envoy to Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke, at a G8 meeting in Italy, said current measures against poppy growers had been "a failure". The conference of foreign ministers in Trieste also called for credible elections in Afghanistan in August. Mr Holbrooke said that existing programmes of eradication had not reduced by one dollar the amount of money the Taliban earned from production. "Spraying the crops just...
  • 'Stoned wallabies make crop circles'

    06/25/2009 10:19:10 PM PDT · by FromLori · 12 replies · 515+ views
    BBC ^ | 6/25/09
    Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite", a government official has said. Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine. She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on security for poppy crops. Australia supplies about 50% of the world's legally-grown opium used to make morphine and other painkillers. We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. Then they crash Lara Giddings,...
  • Oz Crop Circles Blamed On 'High' Wallabies

    06/25/2009 9:07:25 AM PDT · by Cinnamon Girl · 8 replies · 666+ views
    sky news ^ | 2:04pm UK, Thursday June 25, 2009
    Wallabies are getting high on opium from poppy fields and flattening crops, an Australian official has said. The marsupials have been snacking on poppies growing in fields in Tasmania, the world's largest producer of legally-grown optium for medicines. Afterwards, they hop round in circles before crashing on top of the crops and trampling them to the ground. State attorney general Lara Giddings told a parliamentary hearing: "We have a problem with wallabies entering poppy fields, getting as high as a kite and going around in circles. "Then they crash. We see crop circles in the poppy industry from wallabies that...
  • Stoned wallabies causing crop circles

    06/24/2009 8:25:49 PM PDT · by cavador · 20 replies · 1,354+ views
    http://bigpondnews.com ^ | Thursday, June 25, 2009 » 10:01am | Rick Rockliff
    Stoned wallabies causing crop circles Tasmanian wallabies are getting stoned on the state's opium poppy crops and creating crop circles. Things are really hopping in Tasmania where wallabies are getting stoned on the state's opium poppy crops and creating crop circles. The wallabies are breaking into the poppy fields and making the circles while they're high. Rick Rockliff from Tasmanian Alkaloids says wildlife and livestock which eat the poppies are known to act weird, and he's told the Hobart Mercury there's been many stories about sheep eating the poppies and then walking around in circles. Tasmania is the world's largest...
  • Afghan Forces Confiscate Opium Cache, Capture Taliban Commander

    06/17/2009 4:33:48 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 247+ views
    WASHINGTON, June 17, 2009 – Afghan security forces, assisted by coalition forces, confiscated an opium cache and captured several armed enemy fighters in the southern province of Kandahar today and captured a Taliban commander in an earlier operation, military officials reported. In the Kandahar engagement, the security forces were attacked in the Chenartu Valley by enemy fighters with small-arms fire. The combined patrol returned fire and called in air support on the enemy positions. At the site, forces recovered 30 pounds of opium and captured several armed militants. The combined security forces are in the area conducting multi-day clearing operations,...
  • 'Record' Afghanistan drugs bust

    05/23/2009 4:09:38 PM PDT · by Dubya · 10 replies · 896+ views
    BBC ^ | BBC
    'Record' Afghanistan drugs bust International and Afghan troops have killed 60 militants and made a record drugs haul in an operation in southern Afghanistan, the US military has said.
  • Coalition, Afghan Forces Detain Five, Seize Opium

    05/12/2009 6:13:44 PM PDT · by SandRat · 1 replies · 250+ views
    WASHINGTON, May 12, 2009 – Afghan and coalition forces captured two drug traffickers, seized about a half ton of opium, and captured three other suspects in separate overnight operations in Afghanistan. In the Musa Qaleh district of Helmand province, Afghan forces, advised by coalition forces, detained the drug traffickers and opium early today. The combined forces found nearly 1,000 pounds of black-tar opium during a search of a suspected militant’s home. A suspected drug trafficker and an armed accomplice were found in the house and detained without resistance. The suspected trafficker is believed to have ties with people who use...
  • Afghan Forces Seize 600 Pounds of Opium, Kill Seven Militants

    05/08/2009 4:51:50 PM PDT · by SandRat · 2 replies · 342+ views
    WASHINGTON, May 8, 2009 – Afghan forces, advised by coalition forces, confiscated 600 pounds of opium and killed seven armed militants last night during operations in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Prompted by local reports of Taliban activities in the area, the Afghan forces launched a search of compounds in a known insurgent safe haven and narcotics hub. The Afghan-led force found the opium, an AK-47 assault rifle with 1,000 rounds and remote-controlled bomb-making components during the search. The Afghan forces also found a trauma room fully stocked with medical supplies and ready to treat militant casualties....
  • Poppies prep for festival weekend

    04/23/2009 12:09:14 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 1 replies · 259+ views
    Valley Press ^ | Thursday, April 23, 2009. | RICH BREAULT
    LANCASTER [CALIFORNIA] - Poppies popped up Wednesday at Lancaster City Park. So did painted antelopes and ferocious-looking dinosaurs - all in preparation for this weekend's annual California Poppy Festival. "We've been planting poppy plants all week and will be planting about 500 plants today," said Jeff Campbell, recreation supervisor for Lancaster's Parks, Recreation and Arts Department. "And we'll probably be planting through Friday. "The tents for the festival started going up Monday and have been going up non-stop every day so far this week," Campbell said. "All told, we'll have about 175 tents. In the northwest area of the festival...
  • Holbrooke: Poppy eradication 'wasteful'

    04/01/2009 9:54:22 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 21 replies · 605+ views
    UPI ^ | March 31, 2009
    WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- Attempting to eradicate poppy fields in Afghanistan is counterproductive, the United States' top envoy to the country says. Even though U.S. President Barack Obama's new strategy for Afghanistan calls for continued efforts to destroy the flowers used in the production of opium, Richard Holbrooke, the administration's coordinator of Afghanistan policy, called the practice "wasteful and ineffective" at a Brussels forum this month, USA Today reported Tuesday. Moves to eradicate poppies have been "pushing farmers into the Taliban's hands" because it destroys their livelihoods, Holbrooke reportedly said.
  • Can pomegranates cut into the Taliban's opium trade in Afghanistan? (video)

    02/23/2009 5:49:00 PM PST · by Askwhy5times · 3 replies · 248+ views
    The Intellectual Redneck ^ | February 23, 2009 | The Intellectual Redneck
    Can pomegranates cut into the Talibans opium trade in Afghanistan? When I first heard this proposal, I thought it was a crazy idea. Now, I am not so sure. Pomegranates yield more then $2000 per acre than opium. The supporters of this proposal claim pomegranate farmers never return to growing opium. The downside is pomegranates are more difficult to transport in dangerous Afghanistan and the trees take 4~5 years to mature. The US Government is putting $12 million into publicizing the proposal. Video is here.