Apparently Muslims should apologise for all the heroin


by Sunny
11th August, 2009 at 10:28 am    

This is the leaflet a man in Preston, Lancashire, had been distributing in his area. According to Lancaster UAF:

Anthony Bamber, 53, of Greenbank Street, Preston, will appear at Preston Magistrates Court on Wednesday charged with incitement to commit religious hatred. Three other people arrested last year in connection with the investigation have been released from their police bail.

A 41-year-old man from Nelson, a 44 year-old man from Darwen, and a 57-year-old man from Nelson were all arrested on Wednesday, November 19 2008 on suspicion of the publication and distribution of written material intended to stir up racial hatred and the possession of racially inflammatory material. However they will not now face any charges.

These people are popping up everywhere eh? And yet there are people apparently concerned about ‘extremism’ that are not writing about any of this (especially right-wing blogs).


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  1. pickles

    New blog post: Apparently Muslims should apologise all the heroin http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/5486


  2. Addiction Treatment

    Pickled Politics » Apparently Muslims should apologise all the heroin http://bit.ly/2FN5hg


  3. Apologise? For what, exactly? | Sim-O

    [...] Pickled Politics I find out the news that a man has been charged with incitement to commit religious hatred for [...]


  4. The heroin market is not a Muslim crime against humanity « Engage – the anti-racist campaign against antisemitism

    [...] is one example. Another is the leaflets accusing Muslims of crimes against humanity which were circulated in Preston, [...]




  1. kardinal birkutski — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:32 am  

    Get back to the fourth form debating society, you silly little twit.

  2. James Graham — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:36 am  

    “Before the Islamic invasion, it was almost impossible to find heroin on our land”

    Wow, they really don’t know their history do they? Do the words ‘opium wars’ mean nothing to them?

  3. Yakoub — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:48 am  

    What makes this fascist shit twice damaging is that there IS a drug problem in some Muslim communities, because our communities are over-represented in inner-cities. But as I discovered when I was treated for prescription codeine dependency last year, the all white drug counsellors were full of the usual racist platitudes, e.g. “they tend to sort out their own problems”. I just lurv it when white folks refer to muslims as “them” to me, because I’m white, even as I stand in front of them in shalwar kameez. QED.

    With approximately 1 in 10 male prisoners in England Muslim (and I’d hazard a guess that a high proportion of those convictions are drug related), evidently “their” problem isn’t going away. God forbid that our this kind of mendacious Nazi propoganda, or well-meaning liberal responses to it, should inadvertently make things worse.

  4. Dawn Baker — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:52 am  

    Scraping the bottom of the barrel today? You must be short of real news.

  5. Golam Murtaza — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:53 am  

    So what news do you have for us Dawn?

  6. coruja — on 11th August, 2009 at 11:46 am  

    Good grief, give them a copy of ‘Traffic’, the Steven Soderbergh version, got black people & every ‘fink.

  7. Roger — on 11th August, 2009 at 12:19 pm  

    Have they never heard of Thomas De Quincey? Where do they think he got his opium from?

    For once Jasper Lee had a point- or part of a point. Anyone who takes illegal drugs is paying murderous criminals in Britain and abroad. Just don’t pretend that it is a “victimless crime”.

  8. Amrit — on 11th August, 2009 at 1:42 pm  

    Replace ‘heroin trade’ with ‘BNP’.

    Then replace ‘Muslims’ with ‘Neo-Nazis.’

    There! Fixed. :-D

  9. Eben — on 11th August, 2009 at 1:43 pm  

    Well I think they have a point, I mean how much heroin comes from proper White, Nordic countries like Norway and Finland?

    I mean its not as if climate has anything to do with it is it? Or geography. There’s absolutely no logical reason why goods from central Asia would arrive in the UK through Turkey, why not New Zealand or Uruguay?

  10. Jai — on 11th August, 2009 at 1:46 pm  

    It makes about as much sense asking Muslims en masse to apologise for heroin as it would make sense to ask Christians en masse to apologise for cocaine…..given the fact that most cocaine is grown & processed in South America (especially Colombia).

    Meaning, of course, that it would make no sense at all.

  11. Soso — on 11th August, 2009 at 1:52 pm  

    There is SOME connection between Islam and the heroin trade.

    The U.S. has recently changed tactics in Afganistan and is now hunting down drug lords as a way of weakening the insurgency. If they can severely curtail the heroin trade, then perhaps they’ll weaken the islamist Taliban to the point where they can be neutralised.

  12. Random Guy — on 11th August, 2009 at 1:59 pm  

    Soso, well done on making the connection. I hope you didn’t expend too many brain cells in coming to your conclusion. Unfortunately, you may have under-used your brain potential, because ‘Islam’ has no connection with Heroin. Afghanistan does.

    Way to go to proving the point of this article though. If someone like you who (I assume) can read and write can already make the fallacy of saying the connection is to “Islam”, imagine what your stereotypial BNP-aligned lout will think.

    And 10/10 for wishful thinking as well. The U.S. has inherited the nightmare of its own creation in Afghanistan. It doesn’t look like they will get Pandora’s box shut any time soon.

  13. douglas clark — on 11th August, 2009 at 2:01 pm  

    OK. Just legalise it. Then it wouldn’t be a problem, would it?

  14. cjcjc — on 11th August, 2009 at 2:21 pm  

    @17 – unfortunately they won’t, will they…

  15. Don — on 11th August, 2009 at 2:33 pm  

    I know that it has been suggested that concerned governments should simply buy the stuff in the field, use some of pharmaceutically and burn the rest.

    I gather that Afghan farmers made around $700m a year for a product which sold for around $3.5b. How much are western countries collectively paying for ineffective preventative measures?

    After a while it might be possible to persuade farmers to switch crops. Anyone know the reasons this approach was rejected?

  16. Sunny — on 11th August, 2009 at 3:06 pm  

    I’ve deleted Lee John Barnes’ comment – he’s a typical boring BNP twit.

    ‘dawn baker’ is just funny.

  17. Roger — on 11th August, 2009 at 3:23 pm  

    “It makes about as much sense asking Muslims en masse to apologise for heroin as it would make sense to ask Christians en masse to apologise for cocaine…..given the fact that most cocaine is grown & processed in South America (especially Colombia).

    Meaning, of course, that it would make no sense at all.

    …well, it might make sense if Roman Catholics apologised…Actually, there have been reports that the South and Central American drug cartels are expanding into heroin production recently. Perhaps they should be encoursged to eliminate their Afghan competitors?

    “I gather that Afghan farmers made around $700m a year for a product which sold for around $3.5b”
    I think you greatly overestimate the amount that Afghan farmers make out of heroin production, Don.

  18. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 3:45 pm  

    Don, Afghan officials dismissed the plan to buy up opium, mainly on moral grounds, but also stating that there isn’t sufficient global medicinal demand to justify it, and the quality/price ratio isn’t worth it compared to controlled crop production. They’ve also accused ICOS of being a powerfully rich lobby group.

    Council for Foreign Relations has a good summary of the issues: http://www.cfr.org/publication/19478/

  19. Soso — on 11th August, 2009 at 3:48 pm  

    Actually, there have been reports that the South and Central American drug cartels are expanding into heroin production recently. Perhaps they should be encoursged to eliminate their Afghan competitors?

    You miss an important point. SOME of those involved in Afganistan’s drug trade are ALSO religious clerics who use the proceeds from heroin to buy arms in order to advance the ’cause’ of Islam.

    South American cartels haven’t any connection with the Roman Catholic church or Catholic clerics, and the money gleaned from that drug trqade is most certainly not employed to spread Catholicism.

    There is a religious angle to the Afgan heroin trade in that those who engaging in it do so partly to flood Western Europe with drugs in an effort to weaken those societies from within so as to better promote Islam.

    They’re on the record as saying so, and so I’d suggest that ‘Muslim’ take them up on their version of Islam rather than crying “slander”!
    Islam may be against drugs, but it isn’t against drugs as long as those being dealt them are non-muslims.

  20. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 11th August, 2009 at 5:20 pm  

    “It makes about as much sense asking Muslims en masse to apologize for heroin as it would make sense to ask Christians en masse to apologize for cocaine…..

    Why is everyone so defensive all the time? I may be only one member of the mass .. but I apologize! I apologize for everything!
    Including all my philosophical blah blah :P
    Stop seeing everything as racist.
    I’m glad the south american drug trade has been brought into this debate, because it is the same thing.
    And The majority of south america is not only catholic but socialists – the 2 go together just as Islam and their established governments.
    You only need look at their historical foundation to understand how they got there.
    If you ask them why – they blame us – americans for wanting it, capitalism, and a million other things that take focus off themselves and their own actions.
    But the real reason is …
    There is a well of poverty and despair so deep that impels them to act so insanely.
    and I apologize for saying I blame established religion . And think everyone with a religious affiliations should at try to stop being so self righteous.
    Never have I said anything against Islam or muslims.
    My argument has always been against religion as an out dated concept. It all teaches people to suffer through life, in hope of something better in either an after life or a next life. Until we start worrying about this life things will never change.
    and the easiest thing to do is resent the people who aren’t suffering and bring them down to the suffering level, instead of rising up.
    why have these groups of people turned destructive means for survival? why put so much effort into the drug industry (or what ever) instead of building something real? like farming?
    and when the people who do have … try to get involved they are meddling, imperialist, capitalist scum?

  21. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 5:37 pm  

    Soso, I think you’re overemphasising the religious aspect at the expense of the fact that Heroin gets money that gets you weapons. And that for the farmers involved, it’s direct material concerns in a highly insecure environment rather than a desire to destroy the west that motivates them to see a kilo of crop for $150.

  22. JuliaM — on 11th August, 2009 at 5:49 pm  

    “…there IS a drug problem in some Muslim communities, because our communities are over-represented in inner-cities…”

    Why, of course! Because drug addiction has an environmental cause (you need to call Erin Brokovitch, stat!), and absolutely nothing to do with free will and choice…

  23. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 5:55 pm  

    On a side note, does anyone know what happened to all the drug addicts around Euston that were pushed westwards by Kings X redevelopment?

  24. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:13 pm  

    soso and naadir,
    I agree with you both … cause you are both saying the same thing. And again I apologize but no matter how you look at it someones version of Islam is to blame. I’m not blaming all muslims, or even Islam ..just someones version. Even if you can’t say they do or don’t have motivation to “bring down the west” they do – do it for money, to get weapons to spread their own sad distorted version, which is good for no one (east or west) in the end.

    Julia M.
    yeah yeah free will. I’m all for free will, but the idea that what you do is ok as long as you only hurt yourself is bull shit, as this whole topic should clearly expose. I myself have vices of my own – I can enjoy a beer or two like its the greatest gift on earth, and I smoke cigarettes – I’m both sorry and great full other drugs have a negative effect on me, I tend to not like feeling altered, because I generally like how I feel as is …. I do have to question supporters of drug use , why they need to escape themselves.
    but if your free will to feel what ever it feels like when using drugs … is supporting the Taliban in spreading radical Islam and columbian drug lords wanting to overthrow their own governments, I would have to say your free will to do so hurts a lot of people.

  25. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:26 pm  

    “Queen of Fiddlesticks”, no I’m not saying the same thing. SoSo seems to locate Islam as the cause of heroin production. Whereas, the cause should be located as in international political economy – the continuation of more than two decades of trade that was expanded with CIA support during the Cold War under conditions of acute insecurity and low state sovereignty.

    I refer back to the CfR article above, and also:

    1. Ikramul Haq, “Pak-Afghan Drug Trade in Historical Perspective,” Asian Survey 36, no. 10 (October 1996): 945-963.

    2. J. Goodhand, “From holy war to opium war? A case study of the opium economy in North Eastern Afghanistan,” Central Asian Survey 19, no. 2 (2000): 265–280.

  26. damon — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:28 pm  

    What are the routes from which heroin comes into Europe? By air of course. And then the land routes, where we read of Iran having a serious problem with armed groups of smugglers crashing across the desert border in 4×4′s and trying to outrun and out shoot the Iranian’s.
    http://articles.latimes.com/2000/mar/21/news/mn-11094
    The destination for this cargo is Turkey (I guess) and then points west.

    To talk about it as a muslim issue is of course rubbish. But much of the chain of supply from Afghanistan and Pakistan into Europe may well be made up of people who are nominally muslims.

    The Turkish underworld that supplies heroin has criminal connections in Britain. And some of those have been proven to have family links back to Turkey.

    By the time it’s being sold on the street I’m sure it’s a much more multi-denominational affair.

    btw – was this claim by the UK deputy high commissioner for Jamaica ever proved one way or the other?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/centralamericaandthecaribbean/jamaica/1380324/One-in-10-fliers-from-Jamaica-is-drug-mule.html

    He reckoned that one in ten people on flights from Jamaica might be carrying drugs. Up to 30 KG’s per flight he said. (It sounds way way too much)

    It prompted a new visa requirement for Jamaican nationals to the UK that has caused hardship and some resentment.

  27. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 6:50 pm  

    Damon, totally agree there.

    I’ll also add, that if you think religion is to do with the heroin trade, then you’re missing that it’s an intervening variable with something else a lot more relevant: the old silk road.

    James C. Scott has a new book coming out on “escape agriculture,” practised by fugitive, runaway populations who wish to remain stateless, which probably has quite a bit of explanatory power [LSE mp3 podcast here].

  28. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 11th August, 2009 at 7:14 pm  

    Naadir,
    I read everything you offered thank you, all very interesting.
    But you two are saying the same thing, what he said was “SOME” and he said it in great big letters more than once.
    In the one link it talks about Afghanistan becoming a war economy. Did you not read your own offerings for debate. That article was from 10 years ago, and states 90% of opium production was in the hands of the Taliban.
    We can go on for no end over how and why … and in some strange way everuone is right! thats what creates a whole picture.
    Do I blame Muslims? NO!!
    But why is it so hard for muslims? NO! and I have spent enough time with them to know how beautiful they are. But so is everyone else who read/were taught their religion properly, and by “religion” I mean any organized belief system, including some martial arts, and simple philosophy … and there are those who are willing to think for themselves.
    But at the same time no matter what – there are religious extremists in every group!
    Who do I blame for Catholic nut jobs? I blame Catholicism!
    Why couldn’t Muslims say they are sorry for this?
    Sorry that other people misunderstand, teach wrong, read wrong … anything?
    That doesn’t mean it’s all your fault!

  29. Don — on 11th August, 2009 at 7:33 pm  

    Roger #18 Really? That works out at around $2000 each to support a family and pay labourers and taliban taxes.. Based on very broad estimates that there 350,000 farmers and half million landless peasants.

    http://stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle-old/406/afghanistan2.shtml

    NB, I don’t vouch for this specific article, but the figures seem in line with other sources.

  30. Don — on 11th August, 2009 at 7:43 pm  

    @Naadir #19,

    Thanks, that was helpful.

  31. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:01 pm  

    ummm.. no offense but you guys are starting with the fluffy talk that gives the left a bad name…
    poor poor farmers and peasants, can’t grow their poppy.
    what do you think happens to the opium? no matter what it will pass through the hands of and benefit the Taliban in one way or another. I am trying very hard to understand and see things from everyone’s different perspective.
    I can’t understand how I read all the same things from what has been given in links to information …
    and come to the conclusion all this is because of the Taliban/ years of war ….and others are now feeling bad for farmers having no choice but to grow poppy for survival?

  32. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:12 pm  
  33. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:38 pm  

    that link is from 2001 -
    things have changed.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/07/09/070709fa_fact_anderson

    The debilitating and corrupting effects of the opium trade on the government of President Hamid Karzai is a significant factor in the Taliban’s revival.

    The Taliban instituted a strict Islamist policy against the opium trade during the final years of their regime, and by the time of their overthrow they had virtually eliminated it. But now, Lieutenant General Mohammad Daud-Daud, Afghanistan’s deputy minister of the interior for counter-narcotics, told me, “there has been a coalition between the Taliban and the opium smugglers. This year, they have set up a commission to tax the harvest.” In return, he said, the Taliban had offered opium farmers protection from the government’s eradication efforts. The switch in strategy has an obvious logic: it provides opium money for the Taliban to sustain itself and helps it to win over the farming communities.

  34. anobody — on 11th August, 2009 at 8:39 pm  

    A bit harsh trying him for racial incitement.

    Opium production in Afghanistan actually rocketed post Taliban.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Afghanistan_opium_poppy_cultivation_1994-2007b.PNG

  35. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:29 pm  

    well it seems this topic isn’t interesting, I thought it was….. and it opened up so much to talk and think about.
    The comments were all good too.

    I don’t know why the people brought to attention in the post chose to use the word “Muslim”
    Maybe the men listed had some personal connection to drug use … by their ages maybe they have lost children to the drug world, and traced it back to the source.
    I know everyone I know has lost someone they love to heroin use … myself – more than one! So if you wanna talk about the dangers of drugs … anytime!
    I saw someone mentioned the opium wars … If that is to represent what comes around goes around – it’s a pretty sad reasoning.
    Instead it should be a way to remember why exactly opium is now illegal.
    and should remain that way.
    I know I don’t want my government to spend money buying up overstock of poppy for afghan farmers to keep doing what they are doing. I want them to do like every other civilization and evolve properly.

    I don’t know what you want from the right sunny?
    Just as I did way back in the beginning when my friends were spreading the “dangers of Islam” I told them it was the wrong way to go …
    I’m gonna keep telling you the same- this approach doesn’t help it makes it worse …

  36. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:32 pm  

    An Afghan farmer does not a Taliban member make.

    You’re picking the discussion of the Taliban from the articles and eliminating the other pieces that go together to explain why Afghan farmers grow opium:

    * Gross insecurity. Any produce you make is likely to flow through Taliban hands.

    * Poor infrastructure – irrigation, availability of agricultural raw products, whatever.

    * Small tenant landholdings, ingrained in central Asian customs. This reduces economies of scale (agribusiness works). This issue has been such a major problem for the region, that Ghandhi partially incited Pakistani separatism just so what remained as India would be more politically centralised and cohesive.

    * Effective trade routes through neighbouring countries with loose borders.

    Given those conditions, which have remained fairly constant for decades, it’s entirely rational that farmers would opt for a high price cash crop where quality and safety doesn’t matter, and you don’t have to compete with agribusiness. You’ll get cycles going up and down, depending on internal security, but until infrastructure and border control have improved, and until the government feels secure enough to climb the mountain of land reform, you’re not going to see the end of opium growth in the region for some time.

    Oh, and and to which group am I supposed to belong who feels blamed that it’s all my fault?

  37. Roger — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:42 pm  

    Sorry, Don, I thought you meant that Afghan farmers had a net income of $700 million from opium sales, not that this was gross income before meeting expenses.

  38. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 11th August, 2009 at 10:55 pm  

    never any where did I say farmer equals Taliban!
    never ever anywhere!
    Im not at all … I can add a million pieces why they do it … so can you, and I’m tired of excuses.

    until infrastructure and border control have improved, and until the government feels secure enough to climb the mountain of land reform, you’re not going to see the end of opium growth in the region for some time.

    absolutly!! and guess who gotta go first for that to happen …
    and Im sorry but the argument supporting the farmers is rubbish! If they can come up with the resources to build and organize opium and drug smuggling they can figure out how to grow food instead!
    stop whining everyone!
    and I dont know what group you belong too, who knows where I belong even?
    Guess who I blame for the problems in south America? Catholics!!
    so sorry too I blame muslims for muslim problems…etc..

  39. Naadir Jeewa — on 11th August, 2009 at 11:47 pm  

    Except farmers aren’t organising smuggling. They’re producing opium for onward shipping, with the Taliban taxing the flow of that product out of the country.

    If it was cheaper, and more reliable to grow food, farmers would. That is all. It’s an argument about a rational calculus, not a normative claim to stick up for underdog farmers.

    I’ll shup up now.

  40. douglas clark — on 12th August, 2009 at 1:26 am  

    Naadir Jeewa,

    Thanks for that link @ 29. The LSE podcast, I mean.

  41. JuliaM — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:05 pm  

    Quuen of Fiddlesticks:“…yeah yeah free will. I’m all for free will, but the idea that what you do is ok as long as you only hurt yourself is bull shit…”

    Wow, that’s a great comeback. It’s to a point I didn’t make, and is the total opposite of the one I was making, but never mind…

  42. Golam Murtaza — on 12th August, 2009 at 12:20 pm  

    The court case against the BNP man has now begun and this was the headline from the Yorkshire Post website a few minutes ago:

    “BNP member on religious hatred charge for blaming heron trade on Muslims”

    Nice subbing guys!

  43. Soso — on 12th August, 2009 at 5:13 pm  

    Naadir Jeewa:Queen of Fiddlesticks”, no I’m not saying the same thing. SoSo seems to locate Islam as the cause of heroin production.

    No I don’t identify ISLAM as the cause of this. I’m suggesting that SOME radical Islamists see the heroin trade and the flooding of The West with heroin as ONE jihadist strategy among many others to weaken the ‘enemy’ and to advance islam.

  44. Sunny — on 12th August, 2009 at 5:38 pm  

    Lol Golum!

  45. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 12th August, 2009 at 6:00 pm  

    Im sorry I miss read you julia :(
    I have a personal connection to heroin abuse so it tends to set me off.

  46. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 12th August, 2009 at 6:36 pm  

    naadir,
    Im gonna disagree with you ….
    If it was cheaper, and more reliable to grow food, farmers would

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Pressured_On_Opium_Crops_Many_Afghan_Farmers_Switch_To_Cannabis/1505493.html

    They do it to get rich, and it hurts a lot of people in a lot of place including themselves and their own country.

    as far as this post and the BNP and the right …..
    I will put myself in the position necessary.
    I apologize for the farmers of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan who for what ever reason have chose to produce these illegal crops. I apologize for any person involved in the smuggling of these drugs and those who would willingly poison not only British lives and society with their actions but also bring shame and criticism to there own communities.

  47. Naadir Jeewa — on 12th August, 2009 at 10:00 pm  

    Right, I hit the stacks today and found the following:

    Afghanistan’s pre-war agrarian economy was a mix of wheat production, berries and nuts, the latter items best suited to semi-arid conditions that caused poor harvests on a regular basis, as well as being resilient to traditional warfare in the N.E. “anarchic” societies. All the trees were destroyed by the ensuing wars, and mainly by the Taliban during the 1990s. UN studies find that 20 years of fighting entirely destroyed nonfarm income, forcing the majority of households to rely on weak agriculture in a poor ecological setting.

    In 1972, a US cabinet committee reported that Afghan farmers made $300~360/hectare for opium, twice the average for fruit, stating “there is no substitute crop-except for hashish that can…provide anywhere near an equal income.” Yields are 30kg/hectare, 3 times that of Burmese crops.

    Opium is labour-intensive and in 1999, offered 30 days of seasonal employment for a million Afghans (quarter of available labour), mainly itinerant refugees, providing a daily income of around $2.50.

    According to UNODC’s strategic studies, the most comprehensive of their kind, heroin (and cannabis) have significant advantages over food crops:
    “credit access, storability, increasing value over time, permanent marketability, and easy transportability.” Non-perishability means that opium can constitute household savings, and can be put up in collateral against other loans.

    What explains the rise in Cannabis production, is that it was kept at bay by the Taliban, who feared greater levels of addiction since hashish “is consumed by Afghans, Muslims,” but “Opium is permissible because it is consumed by unbelievers in the West…”

    The traders that ship Opium have seen their capital increase from ~$250 to $10,000 in 4 years. Southern traders are mainly educated, influential landholders, or civil servants and other professionals.

    By 2001, when the Taliban tried to institute a ban on opium in order to gain international recognition, a UN survey (which has disappeared in a website reorganisation) found that the “”ban resulted in a severe loss of income for an estimated 3.3 million people”, some 15% of the population, including 80,000 farmers, 480,000 itinerant labourers and their millions of dependents.”

    McCoy also highlights the not insignificant actions of the US in the region, from CIA’s complicity in developing opium trade during the Afghan-Soviet war, direct cash handouts to resurgent warlords of the Northern Alliance, and a network of massive debts built upon the opium trade created immediately after aid bills were signed, causing most of the assigned money to fall into corruption because of the usual mix of aid agency incompetence, zero accountability and transparency.

    A. W McCoy, The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Central America, Colombia (Lawrence Hill & Co., 2003).

    The Opium Economy in Afghanistan: An International Problem (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 2003)

  48. The Queen of Fiddlesticks — on 13th August, 2009 at 7:33 am  

    well if you are only arguing for arguments sake ..ok
    That is a 2003 report. In war things change very quickly.
    In 1972 farmers made $300? per hectare? $2.50 a day for workers? looks sad doesn’t it.
    do some conversions.

    http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/afghanistan/drugs-market.htm

    I do understand they have have some work cut out for them in building an economy,but that 2.50 “$” = 185,+ for 30 days work in a country with an annual income of 39,544 (how ever the currency is expressed in type)

    all I’m trying to say is they do have a choice! and they chose to do wrong! no matter how you look at it!

    Im not blaming “muslims” either … all I ask is why can’t someone say sorry anyway?

  49. Roger — on 13th August, 2009 at 8:02 am  

    Actually, the addicts have a free choice and they choose to be addicts. Perhaps they ought to apologise.

  50. Naadir Jeewa — on 13th August, 2009 at 8:12 am  

    The daily income figures are for 1999.

    Where on Earth are you getting such ridiculous figures for annual income from? Per capita GDP for 2009 is $345. I can’t believe you’re making such statements, when Afghanistan’s development level is so poor, it doesn’t even figure in UN Human Development Indices.

    And you can’t base profit on street value – 97.5% of the profit on heroin is made outside of Afghanistan.

    Who exactly do you want to apologise? Perhaps ask the CIA, who started the whole enterprise? Or perhaps the French colonial officers who set up the drug routes of the Golden Triangle? The users, as Roger says? The countries of Eastern Europe, who are unable to curb the activities of drug gangs? The European Union? The DEA for enacting periodic culls on end-user supply, pushing up world market prices and therefore production supply? Farmers? Taliban?

    Who exactly do you expect and want an apology from?

    Should the populations of other conflict-ridden countries with primary export resource curses (around a billion people globally) also apologise for not being able to transform their states after decades of crappy aid. No, the political economies of these countries remain stable once they get locked in, despite any amount of war.

  51. Naadir Jeewa — on 13th August, 2009 at 8:30 am  

    And just for comparisons sake, Afghanistans GDP per capita in PPP terms is $750 (IMF) ~ $758 (CIA), putting it in the bottom 10 countries in the world.

    The only estimates of income inequality that exist for Afghanistan (GINI=60) put in on a par with the Central African Republic, Bolivia, Haiti and Colombia.

  52. Naadir Jeewa — on 13th August, 2009 at 12:38 pm  

    Finally, here’s some more robust calculations:

    Earnings of opium farm owners from 2002 – 2008 in PPP
    Earnings of itinerant labourers from 2002 – 2008 in PPP

    For 2008, each farm owner would have earnt $3,358 in PPP terms, compared with $672 for a labourer. If those are underestimates, then the figures are highly unlikely to be above $5,272 and $1,054 respectively.

    For more information, see this spreadsheeet.

  53. Amrit — on 16th August, 2009 at 1:07 pm  

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/16/taliban-prefer-dead-diplomats

    Also, the Taliban do not get most of their money from narcotics, as is often said, but they receive a significant amount from private donors in the Gulf or elsewhere in the Islamic world who are much less keen to pay for violence directed at voting Afghans than strikes on western troops or their “stooges”.

  54. sidney — on 16th August, 2009 at 1:29 pm  

    funny i couldn’t find any texts in the islamic religious books saying export heroin to the UK. So how is it a related to any particular religion?

  55. Edna on Hols — on 16th August, 2009 at 2:43 pm  

    Roger – #7

    De Quincey when at at Foxghyll had a pharmacist in Kendal make up a package with his opium and put it on the mail-stage.

    He also went through a stage of trying to quit and employing a servant to STOP him indulging – much as I did with a spouse about tobacco.

  56. camilla — on 20th August, 2009 at 2:17 pm  

    in my country all the heroin is trafficed by muslims and gypsies, so … who is to blame when?

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