Afghan civilians being slaughtered while poppy production is booming

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MASSIVE NATO firepower is killing hundreds of Afghan civilians, as British forces in Helmand province battle with Taleban fighters seeking to bring back to power the former government of Mullah Omar.

The slaughter of innocent civilians has reached the point where the puppet president of Afghanistan, Karzai, has had to protest at the lunacy of lobbing shells from long-range artillery at targets 30 miles away, but only hitting civilians.

The British forces are obviously losing the war for the hearts and minds of the local residents. However they have the hearts and minds of the local farmers and landowners very much on the top of their list of priorities as the latest figures for opium production, largely in Helmand province, shows.

Afghanistan, and Helmand province in particular, is now producing 90 per cent of the world’s opium, which is refined to produce the heroin that is flooding Europe and the UK, with deadly and desperate consequences.

In the 1980s, the figure for Afghan production of opium, as a percentage of the world total, was 30 per cent. In the late 1990s the Taleban government took over and banned opium production and forced the chief drug merchants into exile.

In 2002, after the US-UK invasion and the overthrow of the Taleban government, the drug merchants flocked back into Afghanistan and now under the US and UK occupation are making the biggest profits that they have ever made.

While civilians are being slaughtered, the great landowners are able to produce record breaking poppy crops, harvest them, collect them together and then export them from the province to western Europe – all under the noses of British troops.

This is being done in the middle of a war in which British casualties are mounting and mountains of shells and other ammunition are being used up.

It is obvious that the Helmand drug industry is being tolerated, protected, and allowed to function, in the interests of retaining the support of the billionaire drug merchants and the farmers.

The idea behind sending British troops to Helmand was ostensibly to extirpate the drug trade and put an end to the plague of drugs being exported to Western Europe.

Now, the drug lords are being allowed to get on with their business undisturbed, while the cities and prisons of Britain are full of youth dying from heroin addiction.

Capitalism remains capitalism. Achieving the strategic aims of the Afghan war, that is laying the basis for dominating oil and gas rich Central Asia, is much more important to the bosses and their political leaders than either the lives of their troops, the lives of Afghan civilians or the lives of thousands of British youth victims of heroin addiction.

It is crystal clear that the best way of dealing with the record drug production and export of drugs from Afghanistan is to withdraw British troops entirely to allow the Afghan people to bring back the government that they chose to run their country, which had banned opium production.

It is also clear that the drug trade is very big business, and that to deal with it requires dealing with the bankrupt and completely degenerate capitalist system that both profits from it, and produces the millions of people who cannot face a life without heroin, cocaine, or a large number of other drugs.

What this situation requires is a socialist revolution in the major capitalist countries to smash capitalism and imperialism and to create the conditions for the building of a different world.

This will be based on production for people’s needs, not profits, and as well will put an end to the exploitation of one half of the planet by the other.

This revolution will unleash the revolutionary enthusiasm of generations of youth and banish the alienation, demoralisation, and hopelessness that grips untold millions of people and is a feature of capitalism in its death agony.