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Afghanistan boasts record opium (heroin) crop under western occupation

Our 5,000 troops can't stop a record Afghanistan opium crop

Opium poppy production in Afghanistan has hit record levels despite the presence of 5,000 British troops, figures revealed last night.

[The term "despite" is slanted, carrying with it the implicit assumption that there is no causal relationship. Contrast "despite" with an antonym such as "because" which indicates an equally valid scenario worthy of further investigation before reaching any firm conclusions. A truly objective report would replace the word "despite" with a perfectly accurate neutral alternative like "during". One-sided Orwellian-style "Newspeak" terminology occurs when the media unquestioningly reports the official line -- either actively (deliberately e.g. to maintain relationships with important sources) or passively (subconsciously because all individuals including journalists are exposed to and conditioned by the same fundamental assumptions ingrained in the daily "news").]

Helmand Province, where UK soldiers are battling the Taliban, is now the biggest single heroin crop-producing area in the world.

The Conservatives yesterday accused the Government of a "spectacular failure" as the figures were published by the United Nations, amid fears of cheap heroin flooding Europe.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the rise is a "real cause for concern", and the figures in Helmand are "particularly disappointing" - but insisted progress is being made.

Statistics show the opium crop has doubled in two years. The amount produced in Afghanistan this year is expected to be more than 8,200 tons, a staggering 93 per cent of the world's opium, according to a report by the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime.

Helmand registered a 48 per cent increase in opium production this year, producing 53 per cent of Afghanistan's opium, up from roughly 42 per cent last year.

Before the 2001 invasion, the Taliban had managed to drastically reduce the poppy crop. But since being toppled it has backed poppy growing to finance its insurgency.

Shadow defence spokesman Dr Liam Fox said: "The Government has responsibility for dealing with poppy production in Afghanistan and is failing spectacularly."

Last night the Foreign Office said: "The increase in opium poppy cultivation is a real cause for concern.

"This has been driven by rising cultivation in Helmand and the south, in areas where security conditions prevent us from pursuing an integrated approach. The figures for Helmand are particularly disappointing.

"But there are signs of progress. In parts of the north and centre cultivation is down or stabilising and the number of poppy-free provinces has increased from six to 13."

More than half the estimated 1.5billion a year earned from drug production comes from Helmand. It has surpassed Colombia, Peru, Burma and Bolivia in illegal drug output.

"The situation is disastrous," said Antonio Maria Costa, of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime. "There is a cancer spreading throughout the body of Afghanistan."


Daily Mail, "Our 5,000 troops can't stop a record Afghanistan opium crop", 28 August 2007.


The Insider, "UK authorities drug-trafficking and money-laundering", 30 July 2003.

"The Insider" mailing list article, 28 August 2007.

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Tags: Afghanistan, opium, record, crop, production, heroin, illegal, drugs, Afghan, , conspiracy theories.

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