Daily Archives: August 5, 2008

US and NATO protecting Afghan drug trade


Afghan opium production soars to frightening record level

The Golden Crescent drug trade, launched by the CIA in the early 1980s, continues to be protected by US intelligence, in liaison with NATO occupation forces and the British military. In recent developments, British occupation forces have also been found involved in promoting opium cultivation through paid radio advertisements.

Pakistan Post | Aug 5, 2008

Naveed Miraj

ISLAMABAD: After the fall of Taliban government, Afghanistan has again become a hub of narcotics cultivation and smuggling. Thanks to protection, being provided by the US troops, western forces and the Afghan government which are fully involved in the business in the name of war on terror.

The poppy cultivation that came to an end during Taliban period has risen to its highest level as the farmers have cultivated opium in a vast area of 477,000 acres of land in 2007, a 14 per cent increase over the previous year and total production, spurred by unusually high rainfall. Last year it was cultivated on 165,000 hectres, which is 60 per cent more than that of the previous year while Drug Enforcement Agency has the capacity to eliminate only one per cent of the production in the country. Afghanistan supplies 93 per cent of the world’s opium, the main ingredient of heroin and cultivation of poppy has reached at unprecedented level as the opium harvest jumped 34 per cent last year to an estimated 8,200 tonnes. Most of the fields of opium in Afghanistan are owned by the pro-government people specially the warlords who also control various areas and promote poppy cultivation there under the protection of US and allied forces. The US and western forces for certain reasons have given a free hand to the Afghan farmers to cultivate opium therefore turning the country into the biggest opium producer in the world.

There are also reports that the US forces are exporting drugs in collaboration with these warlords who also provide handsome money to the US forces. According to a recent report published by The New York Times, John Schewit a senior US official who had been posted in Afghanistan during the past five years as the Chief of US Anti-Narcotics Agency in an article of 12000 words has confirmed that the US forces and Afghan government have done nothing to control and stop poppy cultivation. Even the US Congress has also criticised the US AID for not providing alternative sources of income to the Afghan people. The Golden Crescent drug trade, launched by the CIA in the early 1980s, continues to be protected by US intelligence, in liaison with NATO occupation forces and the British military. In recent developments, British occupation forces have also been found involved in promoting opium cultivation through paid radio advertisements.

According to reports, the Karzai government officials have also close links with drug smugglers and the government is totally helpless before these warlords. A chain has been made for narcotics smuggling from Afghanistan and opium first product of poppy is first sent to the north of the country for its procession and then smuggled to Central Asian states from where it travels to Europe via Iran.

Afghanistan’s economy has become a criminal economy and narcotics or drug smugglers have so permeated into the Afghan society that no force can control them. The independent observers are of the view that drug business is the major component of the Afghan economy and it is being run under the umbrella of US agencies working in the country in the name of socio-economic revival but to cover their illicit activities the US agencies specially CIA is blaming ISI for helping warlords to promote terrorism there. ISI that played tremendous role in Afghan war against Soviet aggression in 90s is now under fire from the US agencies as it has become main obstacle in their way to promote drug smuggling from Afghanistan via Pakistan and now they have to adopt alternative routes for this purpose. The Afghan government and allied forces have miserably failed to control internal security situation as they are more interested in the business other than bringing normalcy in the war-torn country and blaming ISI to protect their hidden agenda and Afghanistan is a golden arrow for them due to expanding drug business that is even stronger than the oil economy.

It is matter of fact that it was the ISI that helped Taliban government to control drug business who had imposed a complete ban on poppy cultivation seven years ago and ISI shut all doors for drug smuggling from Afghanistan via Pakistan but it is not acceptable for the USA and its allied forces to control the business that provides them huge money to fulfill their hidden agenda that could not be implemented through legal resources.

Iraq has third highest oil reserves

UPI | Aug 5, 2008

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) — A U.S. government report finds Iraq has the third largest oil reserve in the world and generated $96 billion in oil revenue from 2005-07.

The Government Accountability Office said Iraq has an estimated 115 billion barrels in crude oil reserves and exports account for 90 percent of the government’s revenues, totaling $90.2 billion. Projected revenues for 2008 could double that, the GAO said..

From 2005-07, Baghdad spent an estimated $67 billion on operating and investment activities, with only 1 percent of the total going to maintain Iraq-U.S.-funded investments.

“As of December 31, 2007, the Iraqi government had accumulated financial deposits of $29.4 billion, held in the Development Fund for Iraq and central government deposits at the Central Bank of Iraq and Iraq’s commercial banks,” the GAO reported. “This balance is the result, in part, of an estimated cumulative budget surplus of about $29 billion from 2005 to 2007. For 2008, GAO estimates a budget surplus of between $38.2 billion to $50.3 billion.”

The report said since 2003, the United States has put up about $48 billion for stabilization and reconstruction efforts in Iraq, obligating about $42 billion of that amount by last June.

French leaders accused of complicity in Rwanda genocide

Protesters hold a sign in front of the Louvre pyramid commissioned by Francois Mitterrand. It contains exactly 666 panes of glass.

Rwanda said top French politicians should “answer for their actions” as it named them in a report accusing France of arming and advising extremists in the 1994 genocide.

Telegraph | Aug 5, 2008

By Mike Pflanz in Nairobi

The two-year investigation said France helped the extremists who carried out the genocide and even took part in some of the killings.

It named François Mitterand, France’s late former president, and former prime minister Dominique de Villepin among 33 military and political leaders.

In 100 days 14 years ago, more than 800,000 of Rwanda’s minority Tutsi tribe and moderates from the majority Hutus were killed.

A French force sent to establish a “humanitarian safe zone” once the genocide had started directly took part in killing and raping Tutsis, the report alleged.

“French soldiers themselves directly were involved in assassinations of Tutsis and Hutus accused of hiding Tutsis,” it said.

“French soldiers committed many rapes, forced sexual intercourse specifically with surviving Tutsi women. They clearly requested Interahamwe [Hutu militia] … to kill Tutsis,” the special commission report said.

“They also clearly requested to have Tutsi who had infiltrated in displaced population camps brought to them and have Interahamwe kill at least some of them. They let Interahamwe kill Tutsis under their eyes.”

A spokesman for the French foreign ministry refused to comment, but the release of the report follows years of souring relations between Paris and Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.

“We have not yet read the report which has not been sent to us by the Rwandan government. We are therefore not in a position to react,” a spokesman said.

In 2006, a French judge accused President Kagame and nine of his closest officials of being responsible for starting the genocide.

In return, Rwanda expelled the French ambassador, closed French schools and intensified its efforts to join the Commonwealth.

The report states that France knew that the genocide was likely to take place but failed to act. French military advisers worked closely with the Rwandan government in the years leading up to 1994.

Those advisors helped draw up battle plans and military strategy for the Rwandan armed forces, including elite units which are accused of being among the first to start the killings, the report said.

The French suggested a program to arm civilians to protect against opposition rebels, and then went on to train volunteers. These militia formed the core of the later genocidal infrastructure.

Training and funding was also given to a department of Rwanda’s national intelligence services on how to establish a computerised database of people’s tribes, which was later used to draw up a “kill list” of Tutsis.

Once the genocide had started, on April 6, 1994, France sent arms to support the genocidal government, according to the report, which heard from 120 witnesses since it was set up by President Kagame in 2006.

On five occasions during May 1994, an unmarked Boeing 707 landed at the airport in the then Zairean town of Goma, which lies on the border with Rwanda.

Each time, up to 18 tonnes of weapons believed to be from Eastern Europe were unloaded and driven into Rwanda, witnesses told investigators.

One senior Rwandan official spent 27 days in Paris as the genocide was taking place, to “accelerate” six arms deliveries worth more than £2.5 million.

“Considering the gravity of the alleged facts, the Rwandan government enjoins competent authorities to undertake all necessary actions in order to bring the French political and military accused leaders to answer for their acts before Rwandan justice,” the report concludes.

Analyst: Pakistani ISI terrorists are puppets of the CIA

CIA knew about Pakistani intelligence links to terror from the beginning

“CIA has close ties with most intelligence agencies around the world and there are several intelligence agencies working under the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI has always been one of the puppets of the CIA and US government.”

Afghan Observer Says CIA Was Well Aware of ISI Links With Militants

RedOrbit | Aug 1, 2008

Text of report by state-run Iranian radio external service from Mashhad on 31 July

[Presenter] A report by New York Times says a senior CIA official confronted Pakistani officials over ties between the country’s intelligence service and militants in the tribal areas. According to this report, the secret visit by CIA deputy chief to Islamabad was aimed at alerting Pakistan about its intelligence service’s links with the militants and Al-Qa’idah members in the tribal areas. It is believed that support of ISI has resulted in an increase in violence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has rejected this and a former Pakistani intelligence official has said that the US government tries to justify its failure by blaming Pakistan.

The report comes after Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani met US president in Washington and urged him not to act unilaterally against militants in Pakistan’s lawless tribal zones but Pakistani premier insisted that Pakistan was committed to fighting terrorism.

American military and intelligence officials have also hailed the decision by the CIA to take a harder line toward the ISI’s dealings with militant groups but Pakistan has not yet demitted to helping militants.

Speaking about this, Afghan observer Wahid Mozhda said the US intelligence officials knew about the links between militants and the ISI from the very beginning, but are now sharing this with the media. He said the Pakistani authorities are heavily dependent on the ISI and in fact the ISI guarantees the autonomy of Pakistan, with its closed links with the militants who are mostly linked to Al- Qa’idah.

[Mozhda] CIA has close ties with most intelligence agencies around the world and there are several intelligence agencies working under the CIA and Pakistan’s ISI has always been one of the puppets of the CIA and US government. I have no doubt that the CIA from the very beginning was aware of the close links the ISI had with militants, in particular the Taleban.

[Reporter] Despite knowing all this, why has the US government come up with the claim now?

[Observer] It was CIA that in fact founded the Taleban through the ISI and sent them to Afghanistan, but now that the US feels a threat from the Taleban who have become the right hand of Al- Qa’idah in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it is trying to put the blame on the Pakistani ISI. The government of Afghanistan has been shouting about the ISI’s links with the Taleban but this was never heard. There is a mountain of evidence about the ISI’s links with the Taleban and militants. The Taleban receive direct support from the ISI and currently the top Taleban commanders are living in tribal areas of Pakistan, but the ISI never dares arrest these Taleban.

The Pakistani government regards the ISI as its backbone. The government does not make any decisions without the involvement of the ISI. In fact, the ISI is saving the autonomy of the government through its links with the Taleban and militants. The ISI supports the Taleban and orders them to launch their destructive activities inside Afghanistan, not Pakistan. It is very clear that the Taleban, without the help of a strong body inside Pakistan, cannot have regular meetings, financial systems and experts who make hand-made bombs and send them to Afghanistan.

Source: BBC Monitoring South Asia