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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This news will come as no surprise.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said in a report back in April that Afghan poppy cultivation is set to register a new record this year. The Asian country produced 75 percent of the global poppy crop in 2012 with the figure expected to take a 15 percent leap this year.

"...production of narcotics has surpassed 8,000 tons (Opium production in Afghanistan skyrocketed from 185 tons to 8,200 tons between 2001 and 2007) since Britain took over the responsibility of fighting poppy cultivation in Afghanistan."


From the Executive Summary of the UNdoc (link below):

"In 2013, the Opium Risk Assessment was carried out in two phases similar to the year before. The first phase was implemented between December 2012 and January 2013 and covered the Central, Eastern, Southern and Western region, where opium was sown in fall 2012. The second phase took place in February-March 2013 and covered the Northern and North-eastern regions, where opium poppy is mainly cultivated in spring. This report presents the findings of both phases. According to the 2013 Opium Risk Assessment increases in poppy cultivation are expected in most regions and in the main poppy-growing provinces."

See: http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/ORAS_report_2013_phase12.pdf

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heroin Makes a Comeback
ZUSHA ELINSON and ARIAN CAMPO-FLORESCONNECT | August 8, 2013 | WSW


Of course for some communities heroin never really went away, but the Wall Street Journal reports that in small American towns the decreased street availability of prescription painkillers has led to a resurgence.

'...
Heroin use in the U.S. is soaring, especially in rural areas, amid ample supply and a shift away from costlier prescription narcotics that are becoming tougher to acquire. The number of people who say they have used heroin in the past year jumped 53.5% to 620,000 between 2002 to 2011, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. There were 3,094 overdose deaths in 2010, a 55% increase from 2000, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Credit: The Wall Street Journal

Much of the heroin that reaches smaller towns such as Ellensburg comes from Mexico, where producers have ramped up production in recent years, drug officials say. Heroin seizures at the Southwest border, from Texas to California, ballooned to 1,989 kilograms in fiscal 2012 from 487 kilograms in 2008, according to figures from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The heroin scourge has been driven largely by a law-enforcement crackdown on illicit use of prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and drug-company reformulations that make the pills harder to crush and snort, drug officials say. That has pushed those who were addicted to the pills to turn to heroin, which is cheaper and more plentiful.
...'

Related: UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2012

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Despite Western Efforts, Afghan Opium Crop Hits Record High
Krishnadev Calamur | November 13, 2013 | NPR



Photo: Afghan farmers collect raw opium
Credit: John Moore/Getty Images


Quote:

The amount of land under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is at a record high, the United Nations said in a report released Wednesday. Opium production in 2013, meanwhile, rose 49 percent over 2012, according to the 2013 Afghanistan Opium Survey. The country is the world's No. 1 poppy producer. The report's findings come as Western troops prepare to leave Afghanistan in 2014 more than a decade after they deposed the Taliban and attempted to bring stability to the country.




Related: UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2013

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Last edited by Southpark Fan on Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pact provides for permanent US occupation of Afghanistan
Bill Van Auken | 22 November 2013 | WSW


Quote:

A draft agreement reached late Wednesday night between Washington and the puppet regime of President Hamid Karzai calls for as many as 15,000 foreign troops, the vast majority of them American, to continue occupying Afghanistan through 2024 and beyond.

The deal would also leave the Pentagon in control of nine major bases spread across eight provinces. While these bases are to be formally ceded to Afghanistan next year, they would effectively remain in US hands. They include Bagram Airbase, north of the capital, the largest US facility, Kandahar and Shorab airbase in the south, Shindand Airbase in Herat province near the western border with Iran, the Jalalabad and Gardez airbases near the eastern border with Pakistan, as well as facilities at Kabul International Airport, Herat International Airport and Mazar-i-Sharif Airport in the north near the former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

While the ostensible purpose of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) is to leave behind a “residual” US-led force to train, advise and provide logistical support to the Afghan security forces, as well as conduct counterterrorism operations, the deal would consolidate Washington’s longstanding strategic aim of establishing a permanent military foothold in a strategic region that borders China, Iran and the oil-rich Caspian Basin. This was what the Afghan war—prepared well in advance of the September 11, 2001 attacks—has been about from its onset.

While on the eve of the 2012 US election, President Barack Obama insisted that his administration was “bringing our troops home from Afghanistan,” and was committed to a timetable that would “have them all out of there by 2014,” this new agreement essentially commits Washington to unending military intervention in the impoverished country. A UN mandate allowing the deployment of US and allied troops in Afghanistan expires at the end of 2014. The new deal, which would take effect on January 1, 2014, calls for continuing the US military presence to “2024 and beyond.” Karzai made a public appeal to support the agreement to the nearly 3,000 Afghan clan leaders and dignitaries assembled in a Loya Jirga (Pashto for grand assembly) he had convened in Kabul. He urged acceptance of the pact on the grounds that it would bring stability to Afghanistan. The Afghan president said that the deal would keep between 10,000 and 15,000 occupation troops in Afghanistan, while committing the US government “to seek funds on a yearly basis to support the training, equipping, advising and sustaining” of hundreds of thousands of Afghan troops and police. At the same time, Karzai sought to strike a nationalist pose, stating at one point, “I don’t trust the US, and the US doesn’t trust me.”

In discussions with US officials, Karzai had demanded that Obama issue a statement acknowledging and apologizing for “mistakes” over the past decade that had led to the deaths of Afghan civilians.

A letter from Obama released in Kabul on Thursday—and brandished by Karzai before the Loya Jirga—failed to do either. Instead, it praised US troops for their “enormous sacrifices” and vowed that in future US forces would not enter Afghan homes “except under extraordinary circumstances involving urgent risk to life and limb of US nationals.”

While the Karzai regime had called for an outright ban on US troops engaging in any of the “night raids” against Afghan homes that have provoked intense popular anger, Obama’s letter essentially affirms that they will continue the practice as the Pentagon sees fit.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Related: When Most U.S. Forces Leave Afghanistan, Contractors May Stay

Great book: The Ultimate Daily Show and Philosophy More Moments of Zen, More Indecision Theory

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Last edited by Southpark Fan on Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Acute child malnutrition has doubled in Afghanistan since 2012
Mark Church | 7 January 2014 | WSW



Photo: In Bost Hospital in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, an 8-month-old boy named Samiullah is suffering from marasmus, a form of advanced malnutrition. Afghan hospitals have reported significant increases
in severe malnutrition cases among children.
Credit: New York Times



Quote:

A recent New York Times report on child malnutrition in Afghanistan further exposes the ongoing social catastrophe produced by the US-led invasion of the country in 2001. According to the United Nations, chronic or long-term children malnutrition cases have increased by 50 percent in the past year.

While the Times attempts to mystify the reasons for this escalating disaster—the January 4 article is titled “Afghanistan’s Worsening, and Baffling, Hunger Crisis”—its origins lie in the destruction of the nation’s infrastructure and economy.

The article and accompanying photo essay paints a dreadful picture of the lives of thousands of Afghan children. In hospitals across the country reporters found children suffering from diseases such as kwashiorkor and marasmus. Both diseases are the result of insufficient protein.

Kwashiorkor causes a distended belly, changes in skin and hair colour, swelling, lack of growth and a weakened immune system. Marasmus is brought about by the lack of normal growth and the wasting away of fat and muscle tissue. This leaves children with saggy skin and aged-looking faces and bodies. Afghan children as young as eight months are reported to be suffering from marasmus.

While doctors cite major increases in these diseases in the Kandahar, Farah, Kunar, Paktia and Paktika provinces, a rapid rise of cases has been reported in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

According to the Times, the Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital in Kabul is recording 100 new cases of severe child malnutrition and five to ten deaths per month. This is double the number recorded at the hospital in 2012.

The hospital’s paediatric ward, considered one of the best in Afghanistan, is now so over-crowded that two or three children are being accommodated on each bed. The centre is also critically under resourced with one non-operational incubator, one suction pump and a handful of oxygen bottles.

Even more poorly equipped regional hospitals are taking the brunt of the upsurge. The Bost hospital in Helmand Province, for example, is reporting 200 new cases a month.

Despite this, UNICEF and Afghanistan’s ministry of health have refused to declare an official emergency, claiming that Afghanistan’s official rate is only 7 percent of the child population and therefore below the 10 percent threshold for the crisis to be made official.

The Afghanistan Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey for 2010-11, conducted by UNICEF and Afghanistan’s Central Statistics Organisation, found that the worst affected regions were the southern provinces of Kandahar and Helmand. Both have been at the centre of ongoing US-led military operations against the Taliban.

The survey placed the number of children suffering from malnutrition in these provinces at 29.5 percent with about one million children under 5 malnourished. It is also estimated that 1 in 10 children die before they are five and that 59 percent of children grow up stunted because of malnutrition.

The Times notes the devastation and displacement brought produced by US-led occupation but then cites Médecins Sans Frontières officials who claim that the increase could be because more people were now trying to obtain medical assistance after hearing about new facilities.

Afghan women were also blamed for not breast-feeding their babies and using milk-powder and dirty water. In fact, only a quarter of the population has access to clean drinking water while many women are malnourished, impairing their ability to breastfeed.

The principal cause of this social catastrophe is the impoverished and ruined state of the Afghan nation, brought about by US-led invasion in 2001. Touted as a “war against terror”, Washington claimed the military occupation would not only remove the Taliban and Al Qaeda but bring democracy and prosperity to Afghanistan. All subsequent experience has confirmed that its principal and ongoing aim was to secure a key strategic position for US imperialism in Central Asia.


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Southpark Fan



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PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The propaganda line used by the Yankees and the Brits that they must stay in Afghanistan to 'protect the wimmins' is particularly breathtaking in its pathological audacity. We know they're really there for the oil and gas pipelines, the rare-earth minerals and the opium, so please, spare us this BS!

U.S. troops are needed in Afghanistan to 'protect women'? Really?
Bahar Azizi | 08 Jan 2014 | Sott.net


Quote:
This recent Reuters article is a prime example of how the mainstream media distorts reality to fit the imperial agenda:

Quote:
Violent crime against women in Afghanistan hit record levels and became increasingly brutal in 2013, the head of its human rights commission said on Saturday, a sign that hard won rights are being rolled back as foreign troops prepare to withdraw.

"Hard won rights"? Which rights, exactly? Ever since the appearance of the 'Taliban' and the U.S. invasion and occupation, Afghanistan has been pushed into a downward spiral of destruction, death and misery. You would think that if the U.S. had any intention of improving the situation in Afghanistan during these past 12 years, things would have been... well, improving. But, obviously, that's not the case. In short, if violent crime against women in Afghanistan has hit record levels, it is a direct result of the 12 years of US and British occupation of my home country.

But before we wade further through the mire of this particular Reuters article, let's look back at how media reports described violence against women and women's rights in Afghanistan under U.S. military occupation...


In the case of Afghanistan, American politicians and media blamed the Afghan society in that the oppression of women was simply as a result of their "uncivilized" nature. However, they did not mention the fact that the American government was responsible for arming and training the Islamic fundamentalists in the 1980s, who were eventually the cause of the plight of Afghan women. Nonetheless, the conditions of Afghan women proved rhetorically useful for American intervention in the region.

Related: Afghan Children Pay the Price of Brutal War

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pentagon unveils plan to keep 10,000 troops in Afghanistan
Bill Van Auken | 24 January 2014 | WSW


Quote:

The US military has proposed keeping 10,000 troops in Afghanistan after the formal withdrawal of American “combat forces” at the end of this year. Claiming that any lower troop level would not be viable, the Pentagon proposes a complete pullout by next December rather than maintaining fewer than 10,000 soldiers and Marines.

The senior US commander in Afghanistan, General Joseph Dunford, presented the proposal to a recent White House meeting of the National Security Council. He argued that 10,000 troops was the minimum force needed to secure strategic bases across Afghanistan. US intelligence and State Department officials seconded the recommendation, according to media reports, insisting that the proposed troop level was required to protect their continued operations as well.

The Pentagon is determined to keep control of Afghan bases, which provide the American military with the means of projecting military force against neighboring China, Iran, South Asia and the oil-rich former Soviet republics of Central Asia.

“The proposal is 10,000 or basically nothing, a pullout,” an unnamed senior official familiar with the White House discussions told the New York Times .

In addition to US forces, some 2,000 to 3,000 troops from NATO and other allied countries would remain in Afghanistan after 2014 under the plan.

There are currently approximately 37,500 US troops occupying Afghanistan, along with 19,000 from NATO and allied countries. The number of US troops is scheduled to drop to 32,000 by next month and fall more steeply after Afghan presidential elections set for April.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pakistan air force pounds North Waziristan, massacring scores of civilians
Sampath Perera | 25 January 2014 | WSW


Quote:

Pakistani military jets and helicopter gunships attacked several villages of North Waziristan agency on early Tuesday morning, killing at least 40 people. While the military claimed the targets were ‘militants,’ reports emerged from the area claimed scores of civilians were among the dead, including women and children. This was the first use of fighter jets in North Waziristan since 2007, when a ceasefire agreement was reached with tribal chiefs of the region.

According to the military, the operation’s purported target was Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP)—a grouping of several Islamic militias resisting the US-led NATO occupation of Afghanistan. However, media reports suggest that a major offensive against the TTP and allied groups may be in the offing.

Pakistan's government is under constant pressure from Washington to launch an offensive in North Waziristan to take control of the area. The US government alleges that militants such as Haqqani Network have established safe havens there to launch attacks on its positions in Afghanistan. It has held Haqqani’s fighters responsible for several high-profile attacks in Kabul.

The agency is also a central focus of the illegal, CIA-run drone war in Pakistan. Thousands of men, women and children have already been killed by frequent drone strikes.

The military claimed TTP commanders and foreign fighters among those killed by its recent air strike. Areas of Mir Ali and Miran Shah—the two main towns in the agency, both close to the Afghan border—came under a sustained attack for several hours that destroyed houses and at least one mosque. Jets have also bombed targets in nearby Kurram agency.

Most of the casualties were civilians. A survivor who spoke with Al Jazeera said: “We had no idea what happened in the dark, and those who survived came out of their homes in desperation along with children and started walking away into the open.”

Media put the number of civilian casualties between 15 and 27. Following the attack, hundreds of families started to flee the area, fearing further offensives by the military.

The army has denied that the raid signalled a major offensive, claiming it was retaliation for attacks on it.

On Sunday, at least 26 soldiers were killed inside a military compound in Bannu, a major city in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa close to North Waziristan, when a bomb exploded. It is suspected that it was planted in a civilian vehicle rented to transport soldiers from the compound.

A day later, a TTP suicide bomber targeted the high-security zone surrounding army headquarters in Rawalpindi. The bomb blasted a checkpoint in walking distance from army headquarters—killing 13, including 8 security personnel.

Anonymous military officials told the Dawn, “This [air raid] hadn’t been planned before, and Pakistan Air Force jets were called to hit hideouts of the militants involved in attacks on security forces.”

Nevertheless, there is rising speculation of a coming military offensive, after Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif cancelled his scheduled appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The announcement came after a TTP attack.

The military offensive Pakistan is contemplating would be part of a US campaign to crush opposition to its plans for keeping permanent military bases in Afghanistan after a so-called "withdrawal." This policy aims to maintain US access to Central Asia, while carrying out its “pivot to Asia” against China. The policies of the Sharif government and the Pakistani ruling elite will escalate the bloodshed, while dragging the country behind the geopolitical maneuvers of US imperialism.

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Fintan
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a couple of years since SouthparkFan's
through reporting on Afgnanistan had any
actual significant news to report.

That shows just how slow endgame can be.

But endgame is a bitch - and it always arrives.

Quote:
VIETNAM 2.0 AS U.S. CITIZENS IN
AFGHANISTAN TOLD TO LEAVE NOW
http://bit.ly/2bCjGJq and
http://cbsn.ws/2bCkb6f





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bri



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fintan wrote:
It's a couple of years since SouthparkFan's
through reporting on Afgnanistan had any
actual significant news to report.

That shows just how slow endgame can be.

But endgame is a bitch - and it always arrives.

Quote:
VIETNAM 2.0 AS U.S. CITIZENS IN
AFGHANISTAN TOLD TO LEAVE NOW
http://bit.ly/2bCjGJq and
http://cbsn.ws/2bCkb6f







https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Saigon
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Afghan Opium Production 40 Times Higher since US-NATO Invasion
August, 31, 2016 | Tasnim News Agency


Quote:
Since the US-led NATO invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the production of opium in the country has increased by 40 times according to Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, fueling organized crime and widespread death.

The head of the FSKN, Viktor Ivanov, explained the staggering trend at a March UN conference on drugs in Afghanistan. Opium growth in Afghanistan increased 18 percent from 131, 000 hectares to 154, 000, according to Ivanov’s estimates.

“Afghan heroin has killed more than one million people worldwide since the ‘Operation Enduring Freedom’ began and over a trillion dollars has been invested into transnational organized crime from drug sales,” said Ivanov, according to TeleSUR news website.

Prior to the invasion of Afghanistan, opium production was banned by the Taliban, although it still managed to exist.

The US and its allies have been accused of encouraging and aiding in the opium production and the ongoing drug trafficking within the region. Ivanov claimed that only around 1 percent of the total opium yield in Afghanistan was destroyed and that the “international community has failed to curb heroin production in Afghanistan since the start of NATO’s operation.”

Afghanistan is thought to produce more than 90 percent of the world’s supply of opium, which is then used to make heroin and other dangerous drugs that are shipped in large quantities all over the world. Opium production provides many Afghan communities with an income, in an otherwise impoverished and war-torn country. The opium trade contributed around $US 2.3 billion or around 19 percent of Afghanistan's GDP in 2009 according to the UN.

Around 43 percent of drugs produced in Afghanistan are moved through Pakistan, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Daesh is reported to have recently taken over opium production and trafficking. In November, the extremist group was estimated to be earning over $US 1 billion from the opium trade. Profits also go to international drug cartels and money-laundering banks.

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