Friday, February 28, 2003

The UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) issued its Annual Report in which it stated that in 2002 Afghanistan reclaimed its position as the world's biggest producer of opium (see paragraphs 428 and 453 and 456 in the section of the report on Asia). It was the Taliban who had practically stopped opium production, and the famous $43 million grant by the United States to Afghanistan in the spring of 2001 was supposed to be in recognition of the Taliban's efforts in the supression of poppy growing (of course, some of us wonder whether it was part of the exercise in convincing the Taliban to allow the gas pipelines through Afghanistan, the failure of which led to the threats of war against Afghanistan by the United States, which threats led to the acceleration of the attack on the United States). One of the reasons for the war in Afghanistan was the restoration of opium production. The Americans are currently mad at some Europeans for their failure to follow the Americans blindly into war in Iraq, but I wonder if the Europeans shouldn't be even more angry at the Americans for allowing their CIA to flood Europe with cheap Afghan heroin. The NATO attack on Serbia freed up the KLA drug distributors in Kosovo, making the attacks on Serbia and Afghanistan bookends of the European heroin distribution system.