Meanwhile, back at the front

To hell with the bailouts, spread some of that drug money around

God bless America, for making the heroin trade respectable again. Let’s be frank: Fundamentalism in all its variant forms sucks, and the Taliban royally screwed up the lives of street junkies everywhere with their crazy little U.N.-sponsored opium poppy ban back in 2000. Whoever heard of a government-sponsored drug-eradication program that worked? The Taliban, which cut Afghan opium poppy production by more than 90 percent the first year the ban was put in place.

Oh, yeah. That year was 2001.

In a sense, that makes Osama bin Laden something of a patriot, being that his fundamentalist zombies managed to take out the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, giving the United States the perfect excuse to restore Afghanistan’s opium production to its natural economic equilibrium, along with leveling the countryside and its inhabitants.

Tasks which, of course, the United States performed admirably. The first full year after demolishing Afghanistan and deposing the Taliban, the retail Afghan heroin production rose exponentially, from 185 tons to 3,300 tons, worth an estimated $80 billion on the streets, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. There’s your tax dollars at work! Only petroleum and military arms are more lucrative than the $500 billion drug trade, and the government has thoughtfully invested our money in all three markets!

Top that, CalPERS.

I know what you’re thinking. Fundamentalists. Junkies. Zombies. Why not just lock them all up in some abandoned megamall in North Highlands and let them have at it with aluminum baseball bats and billiard balls?

You can’t. Not that it would necessarily be illegal—it’d probably become a hit on YouTube. The problem is, the economic mess we’re currently mired in is more intertwined than a bowl of vermicelli. There’s no way to separate the real money from the graft. No doubt even a vaunted “progressive” pension fund such as CalPERS has inadvertently laundered Afghan drug money. Not to mention Southeast Asian and Colombian drug money.

• • •

Don’t be a hater; ask for your share of the loot. Imagine what the repeal of the 1914 Harrison Narcotics Act would do for commerce! It’s time to redistribute the drug-money wealth. And make no mistake, there’s plenty of drug money to spread around in Afghanistan, now that we’ve liberated the poppy fields.

Before the CIA began aiding the mujahedeen (including Osama bin Laden as well as the Taliban) in the fight against the Soviets, there was no discernable heroin trade in Afghanistan. It’s was left up to the CIA’s main man in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, to cultivate the industry during the 1980s.

That’s the same Hamid Karzai who’s today the president of Afghanistan. The same Hamid Karzai whose brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, is suspected by U.S. officials of being deeply involved in the country’s heroin trade, according to a report in The New York Times last month.

The Times, of course, has a difficult time wrapping its head around U.S. support for the drug-dealing Karzai brothers, because as we all know, the United States doesn’t consort with terrorists or drug dealers.

Unless they’re on our side.

• • •

Does the Times still really think the late Gary Webb made up all of that stuff about the Contras trafficking cocaine for the CIA? Almost everything Webb wrote on the topic for the San Jose Mercury News was later vindicated by a congressional investigation. That didn’t stop the Times and every mainstream newspaper in the country, including Webb’s own employer, from savaging his work in public.

Webb spent his last days working at SN&R, broken by the mainstream media, our corrupt government and their drug-cartel cronies, so despondent he eventually committed suicide.

That’s how tight-fisted these bastards are with their drug money. The so-called war on drugs is a sham. The government doesn’t give a damn about the addicts rotting away in our prisons, the violence teeming in our streets. You could decriminalize drugs today, and most of those problems would go away tomorrow.

But that would rub certain folks the wrong way. Whether it’s to fund unauthorized covert military operations or line a bureaucrat’s pockets, the only thing that really matters is keeping the drug money flowing.

That’s the truth Gary Webb touched upon, and it quite probably killed him, slowly but surely. Powerful people have invested billions in the drug trade, and they can’t have reporters messing with the status quo. They might actually have to share the loot.