The Watering Hole: October 29 — President Obama honors returning war dead

President Obama traveled to the Dover Air Force Base very early this morning to meet the flag-draped caskets of 18 Americans killed in military service in Afghanistan this week. Reporters witnessed Obama standing at attention and saluting the coffin of Army Sergeant Dale R. Griffin, whose family consented to media coverage. (Source: ThinkProgress)

HT: Paul Jamiol

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14 thoughts on “The Watering Hole: October 29 — President Obama honors returning war dead

  1. Along those lines.. this from 2005 and 2006:

    The Spoils of War: Afghanistan’s Multibillion Dollar Heroin Trade
    Washington’s Hidden Agenda: Restore the Drug Trade

    (2005) by Michel Chossudovsky (Global Research)

    Who benefits from the Afghan Opium Trade?
    (2006) by Michel Chossudovsky (Global Research)

    I was upset to read the news about those two helicopters going down in Afghanistan killing so many soldiers. Red flags went up when I heard there were DEA agents on board.

    Nobody should be surprised to read about Karzai’s brother being on the CIA payrolls. According to the first article listed, Hamid Karzai himself was also working with the CIA:

    Immediately following the October 2001 invasion, opium markets were restored. Opium prices spiraled. By early 2002, the opium price (in dollars/kg) was almost 10 times higher than in 2000.

    In 2001, under the Taliban opiate production stood at 185 tons, increasing to 3400 tons in 2002 under the US sponsored puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai.

    While highlighting Karzai’s patriotic struggle against the Taliban, the media fails to mention that Karzai collaborated with the Taliban. He had also been on the payroll of a major US oil company, UNOCAL. In fact, since the mid-1990s, Hamid Karzai had acted as a consultant and lobbyist for UNOCAL in negotiations with the Taliban. According to the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan:

    “Karzai has been a Central Intelligence Agency covert operator since the 1980s. He collaborated with the CIA in funneling U.S. aid to the Taliban as of 1994 when the Americans had secretly and through the Pakistanis [specifically the ISI] supported the Taliban’s assumption of power.” (quoted in Karen Talbot, U.S. Energy Giant Unocal Appoints Interim Government in Kabul, Global Outlook, No. 1, Spring 2002. p. 70. See also BBC Monitoring Service, 15 December 2001)

    Consider this:

    Narcotics: Second to Oil and the Arms Trade
    The revenues generated from the CIA sponsored Afghan drug trade are sizeable. The Afghan trade in opiates constitutes a large share of the worldwide annual turnover of narcotics, which was estimated by the United Nations to be of the order of $400-500 billion. (Douglas Keh, Drug Money in a Changing World, Technical document No. 4, 1998, Vienna UNDCP, p. 4. See also United Nations Drug Control Program, Report of the International Narcotics Control Board for 1999, E/INCB/1999/1 United Nations, Vienna 1999, p. 49-51, and Richard Lapper, UN Fears Growth of Heroin Trade, Financial Times, 24 February 2000). At the time these UN figures were first brought out (1994), the (estimated) global trade in drugs was of the same order of magnitude as the global trade in oil.

    The IMF estimated global money laundering to be between 590 billion and 1.5 trillion dollars a year, representing 2-5 percent of global GDP. (Asian Banker, 15 August 2003). A large share of global money laundering as estimated by the IMF is linked to the trade in narcotics.

    Based on recent figures (2003), drug trafficking constitutes “the third biggest global commodity in cash terms after oil and the arms trade.” (The Independent, 29 February 2004).

    Moreover, the above figures including those on money laundering, confirm that the bulk of the revenues associated with the global trade in narcotics are not appropriated by terrorist groups and warlords, as suggested by the UNODC report.

    There are powerful business and financial interests behind narcotics. From this standpoint, geopolitical and military control over the drug routes is as strategic as oil and oil pipelines.

    However, what distinguishes narcotics from legal commodity trade is that narcotics constitutes a major source of wealth formation not only for organised crime but also for the US intelligence apparatus, which increasingly constitutes a powerful actor in the spheres of finance and banking.

    In turn, the CIA, which protects the drug trade, has developed complex business and undercover links to major criminal syndicates involved in the drug trade.

    In other words, intelligence agencies and powerful business syndicates allied with organized crime, are competing for the strategic control over the heroin routes. The multi-billion dollar revenues of narcotics are deposited in the Western banking system. Most of the large international banks together with their affiliates in the offshore banking havens launder large amounts of narco-dollars.

    This trade can only prosper if the main actors involved in narcotics have “political friends in high places.” Legal and illegal undertakings are increasingly intertwined, the dividing line between “businesspeople” and criminals is blurred. In turn, the relationship among criminals, politicians and members of the intelligence establishment has tainted the structures of the state and the role of its institutions.

    Where does the money go? Who benefits from the Afghan opium trade?…..

    Sorry this is so long..

  2. muse, why don’t you make that a new thread? excellent stuff.

    Wonder how the drug warlords took to our market collapse – they must have lost a bundle, too.

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