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CK

Given the incentive the Bush Regime uses to keep prices artificially high for opium and its derivatives, yes I would say that the current state of Afghanistan is an unqualified success.
Remember if you will that the Taliban had succeeded in cutting the production of opium over 90% before the Bush Regime decided that Afghanistan should be the downpayment on the Twin Towers.
No one produces things, for long, that there is no profitable market for. The profits in the opium and opium derivatives trade only exists because the market price for opium and its derivatives is kept artificially high. Without the, also, successful war to keep drug prices high domestically, the price of opium would be that of any other easily grown agricultural commodity.
And as with all agricultural commodities, the flow of commodity in one direction is facilitated by the flow of cash and cash equivalents in the other. Capital increases at every station in the drug creation distribution and consumption process are banked with and flow through the major portals of the current finanacial community.
As long as Afghanistan is supplying more opium and opium derivatives, the war is an ongoing victory not a defeat.
In the 1960's and 70's it was the flow from the golden triangle, controlled by the remnants of the kuomintang, through laos aided and abetted by Air America ( the airline ) that supplied the drugs to the various markets and classes. With the eviction of the US military from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, the supply chain moved to afghanistan for investment purposes. When the taliban threatened that supply point and given the miserliness of the Myanmaar regimes, the Bush regime really had no choice but to remake the agricultural policies of Afghanistan to continue the money influx.
Everything else is just tomfoolery designed to distract the rubes.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Yes, the US wars that enable drugs to pour into Europe and America make money at both ends: the US prison system which involves destroying the Constitution and the European system which makes money funneling these drugs to the US. They NEVER come direct.

Jim B

Thanks to GK, on Feb 12, for his referral to the website on the 29-part series on The Secret Rulers. Just watched Number 4 on The Vatican, with a mention of Wash DC and The City (in London). Quite illuminating,

Suusi M-B

Or as is better said, "Those who can not remember the past are doomed to repeat it".

and, "The real lesson from history is that no one ever learns from history"

Still that is religious maniacs for you. Thank you very much Mr Blair and Mr Bush.

JSmith

"Eventually, the Europeans will see the futility of the war and leave. And that will be the end of NATO."

And then what? Time goes on, conditions change, and institutions outlive their usefulness.

NATO is something of a cold war anachronism: designed to stop The March of Communism after WW II, what, exactly, is its mission now that there are no commies to stop?

Tactically, the US military's command, control, and communiction structure is technologically advanced to the point that Our Allies have trouble keeping up; strategically, the EU wants to do its own thing anyway (e.g., the European Rapid Reaction Force, pronounced "errf".)

So maybe it's time for the end of NATO.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Communism is now marching all over our faces, Smith. So we might as well save a few bucks and can NATO and our imperial pretensions.

JSmith

The point remains: what's the point of a transatlantic military alliance in the early 21st century?

Before 2001, when did NATO swing into action? The Balkans (Serbia, Kosovo, etc.) come to mind, but that was a European issue, not a NATO issue: the EU lacked sufficient resolve to do anything about the situation without being prodded by NATO.

Thus... if NATO's main mission in the 21st century is to get Europe to do the right thing, perhaps it's time to say goodbye to it.

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