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Central Asia, the graveyard of empires: 55,000 Troops Needed In Afghanistan

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=6901815
The top U.S. commander in Afghanistan offered a grim view Wednesday of military efforts in southern Afghanistan, warning that 17,000 new troops will take on emboldened Taliban insurgents who have “stalemated” U.S. and allied forces. Army Gen. David McKiernan also predicted that the bolstered numbers of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan — about 55,000 in all — will remain near those levels for up to five years.
APTOPIX Afghanistan US

February 19, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan: Obama's Vietnam, Imperial Hubris | Leave a comment

FLASHBACK to October, 2001: The Lies About Taliban Heroin by Michael C. Ruppert

http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/10_10_01_heroin.html
FTW, October 10, 2001 – The governments of the United States and Britain – along with a lap-dog mainstream media all too willing to regurgitate falsehoods – are feeding us a line of demonstrably inaccurate lies about the Taliban and opium. We are being warned of a “new flood” of al-Q’aeda opium as the war expands. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair boasts, “We will bomb their poppy fields,” he neglects to mention that there aren’t any poppy fields in Taliban controlled areas to bomb. This outrageous deception of the public, in an effort to stir up support for the war effort, is further evidence that most of the rest of the government’s line following the attacks of September 11, is simply not credible. A simple side-by-side comparison of reports from the UN and the U.S. government, along with major media stories from before and after the Sept. 11 attacks exposes the lie. Even the U.S. State Department (www.state.gov/www/regions/sa/facts_taliban_drugs.html) acknowledges that in July 2000, Mullah Omar of the Taliban ordered a ban on poppy cultivation in all Taliban controlled regions of Afghanistan. That State Department Fact Sheet, published after Jan 1, 2000, however, expresses U.S. disbelief in the ban’s effectiveness. This position is, however, flatly contradicted by some very credible sources, including Secretary of State Colin Powell. He gave the Taliban $43 million this May to replace the income lost to Afghani farmers as a result of the ban. Their wheat crops had failed due to the drought and they had no money from opium harvests to buy food. The middlemen who had stockpiled the opium had income. But the farmers, who had harvested in the summer of 2000, had already been paid. In February 2000 citing reports from Agence France-Presse, the AP, and UPI, FTW published a story describing the Taliban’s successful destruction of their poppy crop. We viewed this at the time – possibly incorrectly – as a move by the Taliban to take $90 billion in drug cash out of the western banking system. That sales remained stable, however, is reflected in the fact that heroin prices fell only slightly in 2000. Had Afghanistan stopped selling altogether, then Western Europe, which gets its opium from Afghanistan, would have seen a steep increase in prices. It did not. So why then did Powell give Afghanistan the $43 million? I wish I knew.
http://www.amazon.com/Crossing-Rubicon-Decline-American-Empire/dp/0865715408/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234095936&sr=8-1
ctrcover

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan: Obama's Vietnam | Leave a comment

FLASHBACK to November, 2000: Taliban destroys heroin labs

http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/1999/02/19/heroin_afghan990219.html
Thirty-four heroin labs were destroyed in southern Afghanistan Friday. The move was an effort by the hard-line Taliban militia to ban heroin production in the Islamic country. Afghanistan is a leading producer of opium, from which heroin is derived. There are hundreds of small laboratories throughout the country where raw opium is refined to produce heroin powder. Many are near the border with Pakistan – a smuggling route to western countries. The Taliban’s top drug control authority said the destroyed labs are in the Nangarhar province, close to the Pakistani border. Abdul Hamid Akhundzada also said 15 people working in the labs were arrested during the raids. The Taliban, which rules almost 90 percent of the country, has imposed a harsh version of Islamic law in the areas it controls. It says in a country under its law there is no room for drugs. Countries in the West and the United Nations have been constantly demanding a crackdown on the heroin labs. The United States in particular has made a crackdown on the drug trade one of the main conditions for better relations with the Taliban. The U.S. government has also asked that the Taliban set up a broad-based government and observe human rights, especially those of women and girls.

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan: Obama's Vietnam | Leave a comment

NATO commander: Afghanistan drug raids imminent (or the Anglo-American empire prepares to cover its Heroin assets in Central Asia)

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090208/ap_on_re_eu/nato_afghanistan;_ylt=ApiJZb0HoeaousxGxDPaItSs0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTFoNzA1NmcxBHBvcwMxNARzZWMDYWNjb3JkaW9uX3RvcF9zdG9yaWVzBHNsawNuYXRvY29tbWFuZGU-
MUNICH – In an effort to strike at a key income source for Taliban militants, the top NATO commander said Sunday that operations to attack drug lords and labs in Afghanistan will begin within the “next several days.” Gen. John Craddock, who also heads the U.S. European Command, also said that the U.S. and its allies are making progress in their efforts to fill the need for more troops, equipment and intelligence gathering in Afghanistan. He, however, would not disclose any specific commitments he got this weekend as world leaders met at a security conference here. NATO defense ministers, during a meeting last fall in Hungary, authorized troops in Afghanistan to launch the drug attacks, but there had been questions about whether allies would be willing to follow through. Money from Afghanistan’s booming illicit drug trade has been blamed for pumping up to $100 million a year into the coffers of resurgent Taliban fighters.
…what atrocious LIES. Say what you will about the Taliban, but they DEFINITELY did not condone opium cultivation and heroin processing as the Quran strictly forbades it.
Germany Security Conference

February 8, 2009 Posted by | Afghanistan: Obama's Vietnam | Leave a comment