Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Drug war undermining Afghan, Iraqi peace

Jerry Stratton, October 10, 2005

In Prohibition and Terror—The Afghan Connection, the Drug War Chronicle writes that according to ex-drug czar Barry McCaffrey, “black market opium profits are energizing Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan” and “widening the drug trade into the Persian Gulf and Iraq, where its illicit profits may be helping to finance the insurgency there.” And while “US officials are reluctant to link black market drug profits to the insurgencies in either Afghanistan or Iraq”,

…for McCaffrey the link was obvious. “Is there a relationship between $2 billion in this impoverished 14th-century desperate land, and the appearance of brand-new guns and shiny camping gear? Of course there is,” he said. It's not just Afghanistan, said McCaffrey. “We are seeing bunches of opium and heroin appear in the Persian Gulf, headed into Iraq,” he added.

Prohibition continues to fund terrorist organizations, and we continue to pour money into maintaining prohibition.

“These prohibitionist policies always have unintended consequences,” said former UN drug control program supply reduction and law enforcement chief Tony Snow. “The institutions that make up the international drug policy framework still stubbornly refuse to learn from their mistakes.”

While the experts are calling for a new path, the US, UN and Western powers appear committed to more of the same old prohibitionist policies, with all the evils they engender. With a tougher fight against the opium traffic the only option the West is considering, it appears to be guaranteeing a war without end in Central Asia and the Middle East, paid for by the profits made possible by prohibition.

The sooner we end prohibition, the more successful we will be at blocking terrorist funds, because prohibition is, as it has always been, one of the best and easiest means for criminal organizations to grow.

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