Let's see now...
The Taliban in Afghanistan destroys their entire opium
crop in January of 2001.
The United States bombs, attacks and has occupied Afghanistan
since Oct 2001.
Now Afghanistan is the top heroin producer...
Hmmm...it's not about controlling drug profits, or is it? - From The Wilderness
Afghanistan displaces Myanmar as top heroin
Saturday, 01-Mar-2003 11:20AM PST
Story from AFP
Copyright 2003 by Agence France-Presse (via ClariNet)
WASHINGTON, March 1 (AFP) - Afghanistan has toppled Myanmar as the world's top
source of illicit opium, but the southeast Asian state is streaking ahead as
the region's prime producer of amphetamines, the United States said Saturday.
In a major drugs strategy report, Washington backed up figures released by
the United Nations last week showing an increase in poppy cultivation since
of Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers.
" The size of the opium harvest in 2002 makes Afghanistan the world's leading
opium producer, the report said.
" Trafficking of Afghan opium and heroin refined in numerous laboratories
inside Afghanistan creates serious problems for Afghanistan and its neighbors."
The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, collated by the State Department
from US posts abroad, said that the area under opium cultivation in the country
last year reached 30,750 hectares (76,000 acres).
The figure rose from a low of 1,685 hectares (4,160 acres) in 2001 after the
fundamentalist Taliban, later ousted by a US-led war, banned opium production.
The report nevertheless credited US-backed President Hamid Karzai, who was
in Washington this week, with taking a number of important early steps in a
effort to cut drug production.
The drive has been complicated by political upheaval and uncertain security
Although the report found that Myanmar was still a major source of opium, it
concluded that production had declined for the sixth staight year to 630 metric
tonnes in 2002 down 26 percent from a year earlier.
It called on the military regime in Yangon, which earns frequent criticism
here for its human rights record, to carry on the fight against narcotics --
it said had yielded "measurable results."
But the report found Myanmar delinquent in cracking down on bans on opium production
in areas controlled by ethnic Wa groups.
It branded the country as Asia's top source of amphetamine-type products, and
said it had not taken "significant steps" to stop the trafficking
of the tablets.
President George W. Bush in January accused Myanmar of failing to adequately
battle drugs production, in a body blow to Yangon's bid to shed its reputation
as a "narco-state."
The decision featured in the president's annual report to Congress listing
countries which fail to meet US standards for combating the drugs trade, and
therefore liable for US sanctions.
Saturday's report is billed as the factual basis for
those assessments which saw Bush designate 23 countries
as major drugs producers.