While increasingly well known, the Taliban had destroyed the Afghan poppy crop years ago. Their drug war was an immediate success because normally, in a war, enemy soldiers are not given lawyers and endless hearings to decide if they are, in fact, enemies. Taliban areas of Afghanistan before 9/11 had precisely zero poppy production.
The US State Department acknowledged in 2000 that Taliban law banned poppy production and introduced harsh penalties for its cultivation. That link (www.state.gov/www/regions/sa/facts_taliban_drugs.html) has been removed and replaced by a report saying the total opposite. That’s because the above link was published prior to 9/11.
In April of 2001, the Guardian said the same. “In a development that has gone unnoticed and unrewarded by the international community, Afghanistan’s fundamentalist Taliban rulers have dramatically ended the country’s massive opium trade, The Observer can reveal – a move that has also plunged Hadda’s farmers into despondency and debt.”
After 9/11, stories like this were buried, removed, deleted and denied. Afghanistan in 2001 and years before was one of the world’s poorest countries, unstable and still reeling from decades of war. The Taliban were imposing a strict regimen of moral reform for those brutalized by war, sometimes since birth. Somehow, this rag-tag band was associated with the events of 9/11 though no evidence of any connection has been presented.
The Guardian continued that “The trade last year produced 75 per cent of the world’s heroin. It has now vanished. The distinctive plants that grew by the roadside have disappeared. They have been replaced by fields of lush but worthless wheat. ‘I used to have one-and-a-half acres planted with poppy. Now we have nothing,’ farmer Hussain Gul complained. . . Farmer Khan Afzal added: ‘I blame the Americans because they promised they would help us. But they didn’t. They have given us no assistance.”
In March of 2014, The American Free Press, through the work of Victor Thorn, showed what we all knew but could not prove: that the US revived this trade and profited from it. Thorn stated, “One of the big questions asked by naïve media talking heads is: Where does all of this heroin come from? The answer is the same as it was a decade ago following a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)-led invasion of Afghanistan: 75%-80% of the world’s heroin is exported from Afghanistan. In spite of the fact that the U.S. military controls a great deal of that mountainous country, production levels hit record highs last year.”