Abby Martin takes a look at a shocking statistic that puts opium production in Afghanistan at a record high, and puts into perspective the different corporate interests that could be keeping US forces in Afghanistan well beyond 2014.
Tag Archives | Afghanistan
The opium trade is alive and well in Afghanistan, despite the efforts of Western nations to control it – At least according to NPR. I’m not especially convinced that the United States is doing much to control opium, and I don’t think it wants to.
The amount of land under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is at a record high, released Wednesday.
Opium production in 2013, meanwhile, rose 49 percent over 2012, according to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey. The country is the world’s No. 1 poppy producer.
The report’s findings come as Western troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in 2014 more than a decade after they deposed the Taliban and attempted to bring stability to the country.
Kathy just got back from one of her twelve trips to Afghanistan, in order to publically share the stories of families that she lived with. Kathy has traveled to many war zones and documented heartbreaking stories of families that were affected by war. She has also been arrested 60 times in her life and refuses to pay taxes that goes to supporting many of the wars that she has documented.
An excellent article and documentary on Afghanistan now available through Vice: ”This Is What Winning Looks Like”.
It should be mandatory viewing for every citizen of every country that was involved in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. It shows life from our and our allies perspective – the honest, the honorable, the gullible, the liars, the politicians, the occupying forces, the Afghan security forces, the war lords, the addicts, the desperate, the corrupt, the child molesters, the murderers, the government – the fantasy that has been defined as victory.
The documentary is well worth watching and should be sobering for anyone who has not yet come to terms with what has been unleashed. The Following quote from an elected local Afghan official sums up the consequences quite well (emphasis added):
… Read the rest
“When they came to Afghanistan they came here for a purpose. They couldn’t fulfill their purpose and now they are trying to release themselves.
After the bombings that killed and maimed so horribly at the Boston Marathon, our country’s politics and mass media are awash in heartfelt compassion — and reflexive “doublethink,” which George Orwell described as willingness “to forget any fact that has become inconvenient.”
In sync with media outlets across the country, the New York Times put a chilling headline on Wednesday’s front page: “Boston Bombs Were Loaded to Maim, Officials Say.” The story reported that nails and ball bearings were stuffed into pressure cookers, “rigged to shoot sharp bits of shrapnel into anyone within reach of their blast.”
Much less crude and weighing in at 1,000 pounds, CBU-87/B warheads were in the category of “combined effects munitions” when put to use 14 years ago by a bomber named Uncle Sam. The U.S. media coverage was brief and fleeting.
One Friday, at noontime, U.S.-led NATO forces dropped cluster bombs on the city of Nis, in the vicinity of a vegetable market.… Read the rest
Philosophy professor, social critic and activist Cornel West says that like Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, there is no way to avoid the conclusion that President Obama—due to his execution of foreign wars and direction of clandestine military operations overseas resulting in the direct and foreseeable death of innocent people—should be called out for what he is: a 'war criminal'. Appearing on Tavis Smiley's radio program on Thursday, West said: "We’ve been talking about this for a good while, the immorality of drones, dropping bombs on innocent people. It’s been over 200 children so far. These are war crimes.”
Don’t tell anyone you’re an atheist if you live in Afghanistan, Iran, Maldives, Mauritania, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or Sudan! Story via Reuters:
Atheists and other religious skeptics suffer persecution or discrimination in many parts of the world and in at least seven nations can be executed if their beliefs become known, according to a report issued on Monday.
The study, from the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), showed that “unbelievers” in Islamic countries face the most severe – sometimes brutal – treatment at the hands of the state and adherents of the official religion.
But it also points to policies in some European countries and the United States which favor the religious and their organizations and treat atheists and humanists as outsiders.
The report, “Freedom of Thought 2012″, said “there are laws that deny atheists’ right to exist, curtail their freedom of belief and expression, revoke their right to citizenship, restrict their right to marry.”
Other laws “obstruct their access to public education, prohibit them from holding public office, prevent them from working for the state, criminalize their criticism of religion, and execute them for leaving the religion of their parents.”…
[continues at Reuters]
With such an effort, surely this war on drugs will be won soon. Wired reports:
… Read the rest
Unsure how your private security firm makes money as the U.S. war in Afghanistan winds down? One option: Go into the drug trade — more specifically, the lucrative business of fighting narcotics. The State Department needs a business partner to keep its fleet of drug-hunting helicopters and planes flying worldwide. You could make up to $10 billion.
Starting next month, the State Department will solicit some defense-industry feedback on a contract to help operate its 412 aircraft, based in at least eight nations, before it reopens the contract for bidding. Among the missions: “Provide pilots and operational support for drug interdiction missions such as crop spraying.”
In Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Pakistan, and Guatemala, State Department air operations mostly perform “counternarcotics and law enforcement activities,” explains State Department spokeswoman Pooja Jhunjhunwala, and in Afghanistan it does transportation support as well.