"Am I therefore become your enemy,because I TELL YOU THE TRUTH...?"
(Galatians 4:16)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

U.S. Wars and the Opium Trade

When Turkey in the late 1940s became a site of NATO and US forces its rank became cemented as the number one supplier of opium to the heroin markets of the US and Europe. This illegal opium market was primarily centered in Europe, where the final processing into heroin was done before going on to the market for the rest of the world. Its profits were therefore also made largely by Europeans. In 1968 research ordered by the Nixon Administration revealed that this Turkish opium crop supplied 80% of the opium destined to become heroin for the illegal markets of Europe and the US .(1)
The Nixon Administration, claiming a threat to the security of the Nation by this situation in the newly proclaimed “war on drugs”, began a multi-pronged effort to limit the amount of opium produced in Turkey from reaching the United States. (2) The foremost of these (and actually the only one that produced even a modicum of success) was a program to buy the crop from the farmers in Turkey (where they still grow it to this day) at outlandish figures that increased by the year, eventually reaching over $25 per kilogram the US taxpayer was forced to spend in an attempt to buy up the entire opium crop of Turkey. This decision was made, all the while seeming to ignore the fact that the illegal channels could pay even $100 a kilogram and it wouldn’t affect the price of a $5 New York City addict’s dose by any more than 1c.(3) It also ignored the fact that the crop can be grown virtually anywhere in the world, that when the entire crop in Turkey was then bought (at inflated prices and at the expense of taxpayers) that it would then leave the entire rest of the world to take its place. But by then Turkey’s prominence as the number one supplier of opium to be manufactured into heroin for US demand had already begun to get competition from South East Asia during the Vietnam War, a market which in turn receded after the US pulled out of Vietnam...

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