Evgeny Khrushchev (Russia)
Valorization & monetization of the US drug policy
A decision to set up a slush fund for Marja opium poppy farmers in the heat of the harvest campaign is the most effective way to dismantle counternarcotics strategy led by DEA and SOF and to reveal the State Department’s “Drugstore Policy” in Afghanistan.
What the Secretary of State called “the best decision in the face of an array of less-than-perfect options” has set in motion the worst-case nightmare scenario – a boon for the drug lords, a bane for the drug busters.
The essence of this nefarious proposition, promoted by narco lobby special envoy to the US Richard Holbrooke, was unveiled in the Washington Post on April 13: “Marines try unorthodox tactics to disrupt Afghan opium harvest”.
The article carefully misleads a gullible reader to believe this hoax was initiated by the White House to be happily implemented by the US Marines.
Though the narco envoy was never mentioned in the WP piece, it was Richard Holbrooke who concocted The Bucks for Drugs subterfuge and dispatched his minion John Kael Weston to bamboozle Brig. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, commander of the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade.
As the story goes, the Marines ought to cash in $12 million from the Commander’s Emergency Response Program – “to disrupt the Afghan opium harvest.”
Here are the main fraudulent premises of the swindle – political & financial – attributed to the US administration by the Washington Post pamphlet:
• “Eradication would drive farmers into the hands of the insurgency”
• “Poppy farmers are poor creatures who face economic peril if they cannot harvest or sell their crops”
These disinformation sound bites betray the Holbrooke hallmark and are adroitly exploited by narco-insurgency propaganda. Ambassador Thomas Schweich, a former US top drug buster in Afghanistan, exposed this drug lobby guerilla marketing in his seminal article “Is Afghanistan a Narco-State?” in the NYT way back in July 27, 2008:
“Karzai had long opposed aerial eradication,” (p.2) Why? “More than 95 percent of the residents of the poppy growing provinces [Helmand & Kandahar] – voted for Karzai.” (p.7)
“Poppy cultivation was becoming limited to the south, more associated with the insurgency and disassociated from poverty…UNODC convincingly demonstrated that poor farmers were abandoning the crop and that poppy growth was confined to the wealthiest parts of Afghanistan…It rejected the idea that farmers would starve without the poppy, concluding that ‘poverty doesn’t appear to have been the main driving factor in the expansion of opium poppy’.”
“UNODC shattered the myth that poppies are grown by destitute farmers…Eighty percent of the land under poppy cultivation in the south had been planted with it only in the last two years …these farmers didn’t need an alternative livelihood. They had abandoned their previous livelihoods…to take advantage of the security vacuum [which coincides with UK military presence] to grow a more profitable crop: opium…Yet Afghan officials continued to say that poppy cultivation was the only choice for its poor farmers.” (p.4)
“The ‘starving farmer’ was a convenient myth. [NATO] …wanted to avoid any uptick in violence from [counternarcotics] strategy, even if the strategy would result in long-term success…the Taliban loved it because their propaganda campaign consisted of trotting out farmers whose fields had been eradicated and having them say that they were going to starve.” (p.5)
What WP spins as “unorthodox tactics” and “one of the most novel (?)US attempts to crack down on Afghanistan’s drug trade” had been tried & failed a long time ago. Back to Ambassador Thomas Schweich:
“Payment for eradication is disastrous counternarcotics policy: if you pay cash for poppies, farmers keep the cash and grow poppies again next year for more cash. And farmers who grow less-lucrative crops start growing poppies so that they can get the money, too. Drug experts call this type of offer a ‘perverse incentive’, and it has never worked anywhere in the world.” (p.8)
I didn’t know that Rear Admiral Gregory Smith could manipulate Washington Post imbed at CAMP LEATHERNECK as a message multiplier for Richard Holbrooke narco propaganda. Now I do – and you do too.
Source: RT Blogs