- The Facts:
This article was written by Dr.Michel Chossudovsky, an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal. Posted here with permission.
- Reflect On:
Originally published at GlobalResearch.ca, this article exposes one of many reasons why war on this planet seems to be continuous. Soldiers don't seem to be fighting for our protection and freedom, but are made to believe they are.
Afghanistan’s opium economy is a multibillion dollar operation which has a direct impact on the surge of heroin addiction in the US.
Despite president Trump’s announced US troop withdrawal, the Afghan opium trade continues to flourish. It is protected by US-NATO occupation forces on behalf of a nexus of powerful financial and criminal interests.
In 2004, the proceeds of the Afghan heroin trade yielded an estimated global revenue of the order of 90 billion dollars. This estimate was based on retail sales corresponding to a total supply of the order of 340,000 kg of pure heroin (corresponding to Afghanistan’s 3400 tons of opium production) (See Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Chapter XVI, Global Research, Montreal 2005)
Today a rough estimate based on US retail prices suggests that the global heroin market is above the 500 billion dollars mark. This multibillion dollar hike is the result of a significant increase in the volume of heroin transacted Worldwide coupled with a moderate increase in retail prices.
Based on the most recent (UNODC) data (2017) opium production in Afghanistan is of the order of 9000 metric tons, which after processing and transformation is equivalent to approximately 900,000 kg. of pure heroin.
With the surge in heroin addiction since 2001, the retail price of heroin has increased. According to DEA intelligence, one gram of pure heroin was selling in December 2016 in the domestic US market for $902 per gram.
The Heroin trade is colossal: one gram of pure heroin selling at $902 is equivalent to almost a million US dollars a kilo ($902,000) (see table below)
Flash back to to 2000-2001.
In 2000, the Taliban government with the support of the United Nations implemented a successful drug eradication program, which was presented to the UN General Assembly on October 12, 2001, barely a week after on the onset of US-NATO invasion. Opium production had collapsed by 94 percent.
In 2001 opium production had collapsed to 185 tons down from 3300 tons in 2000. (see Remarks on behalf of UNODC Executive Director at the UN General Assembly, Oct 2001, excerpt below)
The US-NATO led War against Afghanistan served to Restore the Illicit Heroin trade
The Afghan government’s drug eradication program was repealed. The 2001 war on Afghanistan served to restore as well as boost the multibillion dollar drug trade. It has also contributed to the surge in heroin addiction in the US.
Opium production had declined by more than 90 per cent in 2001 as a result of the Taliban government’s drug eradication program.
Immediately following the invasion (October 7, 2001) and the occupation of Afghanistan by US-NATO troops, the production of opium regained its historical levels.
In fact the surge in opium cultivation production coincided with the onslaught of the US-led military operation and the downfall of the Taliban regime. From October through December 2001, farmers started to replant poppy on an extensive basis.” (see Michel Chossudovsky, op cit.)
Since 2001, according to UNODC, the production of opium has increased 50 times, (compared to 185 ton in 2001) reaching 9000 metric tons in 2017. It has almost tripled in relation to its historical levels. (See Figure 1 below)
Heroin Addiction in the US
Since 2001, the use of heroin in the US has increased more than 20 times. Media reports rarely report how the dramatic increase in the global “supply of heroin” has contributed to “demand” at the retail level.
There were 189,000 heroin users in the US in 2001, before the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. By 2012-13, there were 3.8 million heroin users in the US according to a study by Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Extrapolating the 2012-2013 figures (see graph below), one can reasonably confirm that the number of heroin users today (including addicts and casual users) is well in excess of four million.
In 2001, 1,779 Americans were killed as a result of heroin overdose. By 2016, the number of Americans killed as a result of heroin addiction shot up to 15,446. (see graph below)
“My Administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic” says Donald Trump.
Those lives would have been saved had the US and its NATO allies NOT invaded and occupied Afghanistan in 2001.
The first thing they did was to undermine the drug eradication program, restore the opium economy and the drug trade.
The 2017 Afghanistan Opium Survey (released in May 2018) by UNODC confirms that the farm areas allocated to opium are of the order of 328,000 hectares with opium production in excess of 9,000 tons.
War is good for business. It contributed to spearheading heroin use. The Afghan opium economy feeds into a lucrative trade in narcotics and money laundering.
It is worth noting that in 2010 UNODC modified the concepts and figures on opium sales and heroin production, as outlined by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
“UNODC estimates that a large proportion of the Afghan opium harvest is not processed into heroin or morphine” (UNODC, 2010a). …EU drug markets report: a strategic analysis, EMCDDA, Lisbon, January 2013 emphasis added.
What this new methodology has done is to obfuscate the size and criminal nature of the Afghan drug trade, intimating –without evidence– that up to 20% of Afghan opium is no longer channeled towards the illegal heroin market.
More than Half a Trillion Dollars
The profits are largely reaped at the level of the international wholesale and retail markets of heroin as well as in the process of money laundering in Western banking institutions, an issue which is not addressed by the Vienna based UNODC.
The global monetary value of the heroin market (which is protected by powerful groups) is colossal.
The retail price of heroin (sold by the gram) can vary dramatically from one country to another, it also depends on the percentage of pure heroin. This does not facilitate the process of estimating the monetary value of the global trade in heroin.
Recorded retail street prices for heroin with a low level of purity must be converted to a dollar value which corresponds to pure heroin.
What is sold at the street level usually has a low percentage of pure heroin. The process of estimation requires transforming the street level prices into what the DEA calls heroin price per gram pure (PPG)
From one ton of opium you can produce 100 kilos of pure heroin. The US retail prices for heroin (with a low level of purity) was, according to UNODC (2012) of the order of $172 a gram (namely $17,200 per kilo)
The estimated price per gram of pure heroin, however, is substantially higher.
In December 2016, the heroin price per gram pure (PPG) was of the order of $902 in the US, according to DEA intelligence ie. $902,000 a kilo.
Heroin Prices in the UK
In the UK which is the entry point of Afghan heroin into the EU market, the recorded retail price (according to a 2015 estimate quoted by the Guardian) is consistent with that estimated for the US market by the DEA:
“An imported kilo [of heroin] cut at 25% street purity provides enough raw material for 16,000 individual deals at £10 a hit – pushing the takings to £160,000 [a kilo] (The Guardian, December 20, 2015)
GBP160,000 (25% purity) converts into GBP 640,000 per kilo for pure heroin, ie. approximately US$960,000 per kilo (December 2015 GBP USD exchange rate).
Rough Estimate of the Monetary Value of Afghanistan’s Global Heroin Market
According to the UNODC, 7600-7900 tons of opium were available for heroin production and export (out of a total of 9000-9300 metric tons). According to the UNODC, approximately half of the opium is processed into heroin within Afghanistan.
The global monetary value for heroin can be roughly estimated using the US price equivalent PPG measurement for pure heroin of US 902,000 a kg. (December 2016, DEA) and the (lower) production figure of 790,000 kg of pure heroin (estimated by the UNODC).
Using the US retail price equivalent of pure heroin (DEA), the global monetary value generated by the Afghan heroin trade (2017) is of the order of $712,580,000,000 (712.58 billion dollars), an amount equivalent to the US defense budget.
This is a conservative estimate based on adopting the “lower figure” of 7900 metric tons (2017) (recommended by the UNODC methodology which is arbitrary and questionable, see above).
If we had based the calculation on the total production of opium which is in excess of 9ooo metric tons (2017), the global monetary value of the heroin market would have been in excess of $800 billion. It should also be mentioned that this estimate relies solely on the the US price for pure heroin (DEA).
Back in August 2018, President Trump signed the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act “which authorizes a top-line [defense] budget of $717 billion”, just a few million dollars in excess of the estimated global monetary value of the Afghan heroin market.
The global monetary value of the heroin market is of the same order of magnitude as the defense budget of the USA.
Needless to say, the Pentagon not to mention the CIA which launched the opium economy in Afghanistan in the late 1970s are intent upon protecting this multibillion dollar industry. The proceeds of the Afghan drug trade were initially used to finance the recruitment of Al Qaeda Mujahideen mercenaries to fight in the Soviet-Afghan war.
Is There Collusion Between Facebook & DC Think Tanks in Censoring Alternative Media Voices?
- The Facts:
Neocon Jamie Fly has taken partial credit for the purge of alternative media sites on Facebook and Twitter. They still claim the reason for this is their spreading of fake news from Russia and China. They allege that more deletions are coming.
- Reflect On:
Are we still believe this Russian interference narrative from the mainstream? Is this not just a modern book burning? By not questioning mainstream narratives, is our voluntary unconsciousness creating an undesirable world?
After the recent social media purge of independent media voices, Jamie Fly, an employee of a leading Washington DC think tank has allegedly taken credit for being involved in the colluded efforts by Facebook and Twitter, stating this was necessary in order to fight against ‘fake news’ from Russia and China.
To be clear, I, a Canadian operating an independent media outlet (Collective Evolution) am friends with some of the admins of these pages who were deleted this October. The people running and owning these pages are American and have absolutely no ties to Russia and China nor get their narratives from Russia or China.
Yet, this is still the narrative being put forth, and it clearly has no backing.
“Russia, China, and other foreign states take advantage of our open political system,” Jamie Fly said.
Jamie Fly is no quiet voices when it comes to non-peaceful tactics. He has advocated for military assault on Iran, a regime change war on Syria, and hiking military spending to unprecedented levels. He is the what many people would consider is a pure neoconservative.
Fly began showing up in the news as an expert on social media and ‘Russian disinformation’ speaking on the narrative that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election in the US. Which there is still has no credible evidence to support.
“They can invent stories that get repeated and spread through different sites. So we are just starting to push back. Just this last week Facebook began starting to take down sites. So this is just the beginning.” Fly continued.
According to Jeb Sprague, a visiting faculty member in sociology at the University of California-Santa Barbara, recalls various claims Jamie Fly made to him with regards to Facebook and Twitter censorship. According to Sprague, Fly also stated that he was working with the Atlantic Council in the campaign to purge alternative media from social media platforms like Facebook.
If you recall, we wrote an entire piece on the Atlantic Council who has been working with Facebook to determine who to delete. The Atlantic Council has ties to many prominent deep state figures and is funded by them as well.
Having the chance to speak recently with a major neo-con official in the German Marshal Fund,I felt compelled to write here& expose the collusion taking place between Facebook & leading DC think tanks in censoring alternative media voices.See article,co-authored w/@MaxBlumenthalhttps://t.co/zIDumxs2pc
— Jeb Sprague (@JebSprague) October 23, 2018
Again here we’re seeing more pieces to the puzzle show up in this effort against independent media voices. Note, this is not about silencing hateful voices or extreme voices, it’s simply anyone who dissents from the mainstream narrative. This is The United States creating George Orwell’s 1984, and it’s those who don’t question mainstream narratives who are unknowingly supporting these actions.
What does our unconsciousness and unwillingness to ask questions about mainstream narratives truly causing?
At CE we have lost 80% of our funding since two years ago due to censorship of our voice. If you feel our work is important and want to ensure we keep independent media going, please consider joining our CETV platform.
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Tulsi Gabbard Files Lawsuit Against Hillary Clinton Over Defamatory Statements
- The Facts:
Tulsi Gabbard, a United States Congresswoman, Army National Guard Major, and 2020 presidential candidate, filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Rodham Clinton for her defamatory remarks.
- Reflect On:
Is the political system broken? Can we keep voting and using the same system hoping for change? Does politics, and voting, take power out of our own hands and put it in the hands of a small group of people?
There are a few Great quotes that instantly come to mind everytime the thought of politics enters my head, one of them comes from Edward Bernays, “the father of public relations” from his book, Propaganda, 1928. If you’ve read some of my articles you have probably come across it before,
The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.
To me, this is what modern day politics, for the most part, represents. It’s a game where, whoever is elected, or rather selected as some would argue, seems to insult and expose their competition in as many ways as possible, while simultaneously making moves and making statements that accumulate more loyal followers, and voters. It is the complete opposite of doing what our leaders should be doing, working together while at the same time being completely transparent. Furthermore, the upper echelon of the political game only seems to feature powerful people, with close ties and connections to people above them who have accumulated even more wealth and power. Many presidents over the years only seem to follow the will of their masters, who are comprised of the corporate and financial elite.
Another great quote that comes to mind I like to use often,
Political parties exist to secure responsible government and to execute the will of the people. From these great staffs, both of the old parties have ganged aside. Instead of instruments to promote the general welfare they have become the tools of corrupt interests which use them in martialling [sic] to serve their selfish purposes. Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day. – Theodore Roosevelt (source)
This ‘invisible’ government has been referred to by many over the years. In the modern day, some called it “the deep state” and believe it’s made up of mainstream media, and many other corporations and institutions that greatly influence US elections, foreign policy as well as the decisions that are supposedly made by the president of the United States. This is why we see people connected to great power always take the presidency. It’s no secret that politics is full of corruption, not to mention entrapment, blackmail, pedophilia (as exposed more within the mainstream with regards to the Jeffrey Epstein case), and much more.
But every now and then, a pure soul seems to emerge garnering the attention of many. And when they do, ‘the establishment’ completely ignores them, belittles them, and falsely accuses them in an attempt to shift the perception of the character in question within the minds of the masses. It’s as if, from the very beginning, they have no chance to win because it’s so unfair, and so much is pitted against them.
This is exactly why veteran and presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is experiencing this type of thing. Gabbard first caught my attention when she introduced the Stop Arming Terrorists Act (H.R.608) which would have stopped, or attempted to stop the U.S. government from using taxpayer dollars to directly or indirectly support groups who are allied with and supporting terrorist groups like ISIS and al Qaeda in their war to overthrow the Syrian government. The legislation is based on congressional action during the Iran-Contra affair to stop the CIA’s illegal arming of rebels in Nicaragua. It is endorsed by Progressive Democrats of America, the U.S. Peace Council, and Veterans For Peace.
She has long been creating awareness on issues of how this ‘establishment works.’ Here’s one of her latest re-tweets.
She spoke and speaks a lot of truth, she is a supporter of people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, and an advocate for peace and has the desire to end corrupt wars, and much more. Clearly, she’s a big threat to the establishment that seems to control and has controlled the presidency for a long time.
Related CE Articles: Tulsi Gabbard: “DNC and Corporate Media Are Rigging The Election Again”
This is why her persona has been ‘bashed’ by establishment owned mainstream media, and the powerful Hillary Clinton, who has labelled Gabbard as a Russian asset, among many other things, which in Turn is why Gabbard has filed a lawsuit against Clinton for defamation of character.
They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far. And that’s assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she’s also a Russian asset. Yeah, she’s a Russian asset (Tulsi), I mean, totally. – Clinton (source)
According to he NY Post:
She filed her $50 million defamation lawsuit against Hillary Clinton to hold the former secretary of state “accountable” for her alleged smears.
Washington, DC – Tulsi Gabbard, a United States Congresswoman, Army National Guard Major, and 2020 presidential candidate, today filed a defamation lawsuit against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Gabbard, a U.S. Representative for Hawaii’s 2nd congressional district, asserts in her complaint that Clinton deliberately and maliciously made false statements in an attempt to derail Rep. Gabbard’s campaign, by alleging that Gabbard is a “Russian asset.” The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by Brian Dunne and Dan Terzian, Rep. Gabbard’s legal counsel and partners at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP.
Clinton was the 2016 Democratic Party nominee for President of the United States, United States Secretary of State from 2009 until 2013, a United States Senator for the State of New York from 2001 to 2009, and the First Lady of the United States from 1993 to 2001. On October 17, 2019, she publicly stated in an interview that “somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary … [is a] favorite of the Russians… Yeah, she’s a Russian asset.” The press extensively republished and disseminated these statements, which were interpreted widely as Clinton asserting that Gabbard is a Russian asset.
The complaint seeks compensatory damages and an injunction prohibiting the further publication of Clinton’s defamatory statements.
The case is Tulsi Gabbard and Tulsi Now, Inc. v. Hillary Rodham Clinton. A copy of the full complaint is available here.
I often wonder why humanity keeps playing with a system that’s completely corrupt and broken. Our ‘leaders’ don’t seem to have humanity and planet Earth in mind when it comes to making their decisions. Today, the system is a representation of greed, fear, ego, profit, and much more, but one thing is for sure, it’s far from serving the people and other beings that reside on our planet. We need leaders that truly care about our environment, the people, preservation, life, and abundance for all. What we really need is a complete collapse of the current system we are playing with, and to implement something far greater that is more in line with the current level of human consciousness, and something that is more representative of our collective human potential. And most of all, we need to stop pointing fingers and blaming political figures for our problem because at the end of the day, on the deepest of levels, we are simply allowing it to happen. Politics doesn’t help as it makes us feel the power to change things is out of our hands, in in ‘theirs.’
You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete – Buckminister Fuller (L. Steven Sieden, A Fuller View – Buckminster Fuller´s Vision of Hope and Abundance for all“, p. 358), Divine Arts Media (2011)
One thing seems to be quite clear, people are tired of politics and it is no longer serving humanity. It’s useless and pointless, and is counterintuitive. It’s no longer serving the collective, and it’s quite questionable whether it ever has.
Snakes In Suits: Are Psychopaths Running The World?
- The Facts:
By comparing traits of psychopaths, as determined by experts, to those of people in corporate or political positions of power, we can see a clear link.
- Reflect On:
Psychopaths feel no remorse, guilt or empathy for their actions. When we look at the many inhumane acts that are currently taking place on our planet, it begs the following question with judgement aside: Are psychopaths running our world?
Editors Note: We felt this was important to discuss, not from a place of judgement and fear but one of observation so we can ask important questions as to whether or not we want to keep supporting the world we are co-creating at this time.
Often when we think of the word psychopath, we think of deranged serial killers that are hopefully locked up in prison for life. While there are many psychopaths who kill for reasons that are unfathomable to most of us and who are indeed in prison, there is an even greater number roaming free in our society and often using their condition to their advantage in any way possible. In fact, it is very likely that you know some–they might even be your colleagues.
Most of us do not know or work with any serial killers, at least not that we are aware of. So, what exactly is a psychopath and how can we define them? The dictionary definition is as follows:
“A person suffering from a chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior.”
As you can probably tell, a lot more than just serial killers will fit into this broad definition. In fact, according to Canadian psychologist Dr. Robert Hare, a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, an estimated 1% of the Earth’s population is psychopathic and around 25% of the population of male inmates at federal correctional facilities are psychopathic.
It is important to note that, in contrast with the popular image of the ‘deranged psycho,’ psychopaths tend to be very well composed, take good care of their appearance and are very charming (think of Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho). Because of this you may have a difficult time spotting them out, as they are masters of deception and are able to fake a lot of the qualities that define regular people. Some other psychopathic traits, according to Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist, are as follows:
- Glib and superficial charm
- Grandiose estimation of self
- Need for stimulation
- Manipulative and cunning
- Complete lack of remorse or guilt
- Pathological lying
- Have a parasitic lifestyle, often latching onto and taking from others
- Have a history of early behavioral problems
- Overly impulsive
- Are very irresponsible
- Unable to accept responsibility for actions
- Unable to commit to long-term relationships
- History of juvenile delinquency
- Display criminal versatility
- Experienced a “revocation of conditional release”
- Lacks realistic long term goals
- History of promiscuous sexual behavior
- Have poor behavioral controls
- Are callous and lack empathy
- Have a “shallow affect” (psychopaths show a lack of emotion when an emotional reaction is appropriate.)
You can actually rate yourself to find out if you are psychopath. On each criterion, the subject is ranked on a 3-point scale: (0 = item does not apply, 1 = item applies somewhat, 2 = item definitely applies). The scores are summed to create a rank of zero to 40. Anyone who scores 30 and above is most likely a psychopath. Hare has used this test and checklist to detect which inmates are psychopaths.
Snakes In Suits
What many of us may not realize is that psychopaths actually thrive in the corporate world. Hare has actually co-authored a book with Dr. Paul Babiak on this topic entitled, Snakes In Suits: Understanding and Surviving the Psychopaths in Your Office. Psychopaths manipulate others to accrue power, sometimes pitting them against each other in an attempt to divide and conquer. They are often attracted to bigger, dynamic corporations with very little structure or supervision. They generally don’t work well in teams because they don’t like to share information or skills and it brings them joy to watch others fail. They are addicted to power, status and money. Sound familiar?
The corporate world is set up to favor psychopathic traits such as fearlessness, dominant behavior and immunity to stress. Because of this, psychopaths often find themselves in these types of positions, and then have an easier time climbing the corporate ladder and obtaining positions of great power. This is where they can do real damage to society as we see it today.
Are Psychopaths Running The World?
Not only as corporate heads do psychopaths find success in our modern-day society, but also within our governments and political system — often as front-line politicians. This may come as a shock to you, but when you really look at some of the atrocities that are taking place on our planet, and if you’ve ever wondered how things that are so inhumane could actually be happening, well, therein lies part of your answer.
When you consider the war, genocide, senseless murder of civilians, treatment of the indigenous cultures of the world, chemicals in our food, air and water supply, acts of “terrorism”, war crimes and so many other unjust and cruel actions which are often instigated by our political leaders, it becomes easy to see how psychopaths actually fit the requirements for these types of roles quite well. As mentioned before they are masters of deception, pathological liars and often quite charming.
Many soldiers go to war and because they are conditioned to believe that they are fighting an enemy in the name of peace. They do as they are told and commit these heinous acts against other human beings. The reason why so many soldiers suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder is because it is not within human nature to murder other humans, and especially innocent civilians.
We already know how many politicians are crooked, but perhaps its time to start looking at them with the psychopath checklist in mind so that we can be better equipped to protect not only ourselves but our society from their malicious acts.
But Can’t We Help Them?
It is natural for anyone who is involved in spiritual work to have compassion for these individuals and feel compelled to help them overcome their psychopathic behavior. However, most research has pointed towards the understanding that psychopaths are born, not made and therefore cannot be cured. This is one of the main differences that separates sociopaths from psychopaths. Another is that sociopaths have a conscience, albeit a weak one, and will often justify something they know to be wrong. By contrast, psychopaths will believe that their actions are justified and feel no remorse for any harm done. Sociopaths are made, and have a higher likelihood of overcoming their current condition. However, many of those with sociopathic behavior will find themselves in similar corporate positions.
Hare’s research discovered that by attempting to heal or help a psychopath, you might actually be strengthening their cunning abilities, as they will find a way to manipulate you into believing that they are remorseful and understand how their actions were wrong.
Editors Note: As we begin to ask difficult but necessary questions about people in positions of power, including world leaders, that we agree to put there and support, we turn readers towards the CE Protocol in exploring the purpose of this more deeply, and what to do about it. Click here to check out the protocol.
This Psychiatrist’s Take On Alcohol May Make You Never Want To Drink Again
A psychiatrist gives his insight on just how toxic alcohol is for our mind, body, and soul.
Retired American Bishop Believes The Church Invented Hell & Is In The “Control Business”
Religion is a controversial topic, and I’d like to preface this article by saying that it is not my aim...