Never Too Late!

Never Too Late!
any resemblance to anyone real or imaginary is mere bad luck
we are all lying in the gutter, but some of us are trying to get up


Here be scorpion-smokers


The three largest markets in the world by dollar volume, so it is said, are the trades in arms, oil and drugs. In Afghanistan these three intertwine with chaotic and unpredictable geopolitical, economic and chemical / psychopharmacological consequences that are felt far far away - in the boardrooms of global energy concerns, in the warm rush in a junkie's veins in London, in the weapon markets of the Bulgarian Black Sea.

The petroleum and natural gas factor in the civil war is explored in Ahmed Rashid's definitive Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia.

And for the most comprehensive overview of the drugs connection we now have a strong contender. Look, it even clicks through to Amazon... go ahead and buy a copy... Until we get around to publishing the realgem overview of the Afghan drug scene, this book is thorough and may I say even scholarly without being dry. David MacDonald (formerly of the Afghan Interim Government Counter-Narcotics Directorate) tries to sort the scorpion tales from the truth while searching for the elusive smokers of scorpion tails.

These latter which you can find, scorpion smokers that is. As to hard and fast facts about the Afghan-global heroin trade, the international 'official' statistics and facts (UN, US Govt, UK FCO, international drug-enforcement agencies, intelligence organisations, consultancies and think-tanks) as far as the heroin / opium economy are concerned are all made up. All of them. It wouldn't gall me as much if I knew I couldn't make up even better statistics myself, and for half the money.

This being so, anecdotal evidence is worth more than any quantitative statistical evidence in this particular field, and here we have an overview presented by someone with obvious extensive personal experience of this complex subject...

(Ah, I do have to mention though, AREU have done some solid research on the opium economy focusing on the farmers themselves.)

(zippedy-doo-dah, zippedy-deh...)

(pretty poppies in badakshan)