Turkey has sharpened its anti-PKK political offensive, to include increased "information focus" on the sources of PKK finances. Fundraising by Kurdish "front organizations" in Europe is a major source of PKK cash; the Turkish government has been pressing central and western European countries to shutdown the "fronts" operating in their territory. Turkey has especially put pressure on its NATO allies. The other big source of PKK money is the drug business. Yes, the PKK is involved in drug smuggling. This is old news but the kind of news that often gets little media coverage. Turkey has started pointing out that the PKK began smuggling opium in 1982, moving some of its "product" through PKK-controlled camps in Lebanon. The PKK has also provided a "connection to Europe" for the Afghanistan-Iran and Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran opium and heroin trade routes.
Reflections of Fidel
Poppy farmers in Afghanistan are being compelled to give away their daughters to local drug traffickers after failing to clear their loans.
According to a report appearing in the Newsweek magazine, these farmers have been involved in this business for decades on the stony hillsides of eastern Afghanistan and in the dusty southern plains.
Taking the example of Sayed Shah, the magazine says he borrowed 2,000 dollars from a local trafficker, promising to repay the loan with 24 kilos of opium at harvest time. But just before the harvest, the government destroyed Shah's entire two and a half acres of poppy.
Unable to pay off his debt, Shah fled with his family, but was found by the trafficker. Village elders then unanimously ruled that Shah would have to reimburse the trafficker by giving Khalida, his ten-year old daughter in marriage.
This system of "loan brides", is cruel, but the magazine says that for the farmers, it os a way out of their back-breaking debt.
'Afyon' a historic island in a sea of steppe
Important: Do NeoCons, CIA Want Bush Assassinated to Stay in Power, Invade Pakistan?
Poppy fields found in the Algerian Sahara
He noted that the total area of the poppy and cannabis plantations discovered is still modest: only between four and five hectares. "Algeria is not a growing country" for drugs, he said.
Taleban seeking missiles to attack Nato helicopters
The surface-to-air missiles played a key role in driving out Soviet troops in the 1980s because they let mujahideen fighters shoot down Russian helicopters. Military commanders fear that such attacks could paralyse current Nato operations.
Afghanistan's counter-narcotics minister, General Khodaidad, said the Taleban was busily scouring illegal arms markets for better anti-aircraft weapons.
Nirvanistan: She's On The Main Line India is a fast emerging transit nation for cocaine, heroin too
The fallout of this trend is a cause of some concern for the Narcotics Control Bureau. Officials say South American cocaine is now trafficked to India, to be exchanged for cheap Afghan-origin heroin bound for Europe or North America. Thus, if the quantum of heroin coming into India goes up, it naturally has an impact on the inflow of cocaine, which is much in demand in the party circuit in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa.
POLITICS, SCIENCE & HYSTERIA RESURGENCE 2
Where the UN drug authorities have claimed a 'success story' ... Big reductions in opium cultivation in Burma and Laos upon closer inspection it turns out to be a misleading claim. In Laos opium has been replaced in many places by a far worse drug known as 'ya ba' [Amphetamines].
In the junta-ruled Burma [Myanmar] much is made of the drastic opium reduction in the northern Wa state but again there has been no cutbacks in 'ya ba' pills that are manufactured in batches of a million at a time flooding SE Asia and beyond.
The failure of orthodox drug enforcement strategies in so many countries has not worked. In the US zero tolerance has filled the jails but the drug mafias continue to prosper. In Thailand under former PM Thaksin Shinawatra his declaration of police quotas led to a shoot the suspects policy with corpses piling up and few questions asked.
TNI-[The Transnational Institute ] that closely monitors narcotics agencies commented on the UNODC 2006 report:
"The report suffers from the tension between UNODC policy makers who want a strict control regime maintained and who are under huge US funding pressure and the experts willing to open an honest debate about the effectiveness of outdated aspects of the current policy framework." .
Other UN agencies have regular evaluations of their operations but the UNODC-[formerly the UNDCP it is now called the UN Office for Drugs and Crime] never seems to feel the need for any debate over its effectiveness and seldom responds to any criticism. The same applies to its sister agency the INCB International Narcotics Control Board-both based in Vienna.
TNI and other critics argue that these two UN agencies are too much obsessed with a US agenda ' the war on drugs' too the detriments of other issues. The eradication of narcotic crops also affects economic livelihood, the use of coca plant and opium as proven medicinal treatments and other development issues.
It is fairly obvious that the global drugs problem is a complex subject Involving health problems, need for treatment of drug addicts, impact on communities and society, and the need for a sustainable solutions.
The knee-jerk response of politicians to round up a few suspected traffickers and shoot them as with Thaksin's ' war on drugs' in Thailand, only leads to a lot of corpses and highly-publicised body-counts. When the police are encouraged to shoot on sight, this is a breakdown in the rule of law and the promotion of a police state, where the citizens live in daily fear of trigger-happy cops.
That the UNODC never criticised former PM Thaksin's bloody war on drugs, prompted another UN agency UN Human Rights in Geneva to prod their sister agency UNODC in Bangkok, to distance themselves from the killings on the street.