Thursday, June 10, 2010

Russian Conference on Afghanistan Drug Production Opens | LaRouchePAC

Russian Conference on Afghanistan Drug Production Opens LaRouchePAC

June 10, 2010 (LPAC) — The two-day International Forum on Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge to the International Community, opened in Moscow on Wednesday. As chairman of the Organizing Committee and one of the keynote speakers, Federal Narcotics Control Service chief Victor Ivanov brought out the strategic dimension of the Afghanistan drug boom, recounting not only the impact of drug consumption on the population, but the drug-money financing of terrorism worldwide. Russia's North Caucasus and the Uighur-populated regions of China are especially affected areas, Ivanov said.

U.S. economist Lyndon LaRouche's greeting and memorandum to the conference was published in the June 11 issue of EIR Online last night, and has now been released in Russian translation, as well, for circulation among conference participants. In the memo, LaRouche explained that an end to the Afghanistan drug plague, and the British perpetual imperial war strategy of which it is a part, depends on nations making a decisive break with thousands of years of imperial monetarist practice, and the past 250 years of British imperial domination, in particular.
Indeed, Russian patriotic forces who have rallied to the fight against the heroin onslaught, which is killing 30,000 Russians annually, are impelled towards being anti-British, but crucial aspects of Russian policy remain trapped in City of London schemes.
Besides Ivanov, other high-ranking Russian officials to address the Forum were President Dmitri Medvedev, Foreign Ministry Sergei Lavrov, and Russian Ambassador to NATO Dmitri Rogozin. Medvedev called the "globalization of criminal flows" of drugs a danger to the whole world, also citing its role as a funding source for terrorism. Lavrov presented the Russian policy he laid out in testimony before the State Duma several weeks ago, saying that Afghan narcotics should be declared a threat to international peace and security. "We consider it absolutely necessary," Lavrov added, "to include in the mandate of the international security forces in Afghanistan, the duty to fight the drug business more effectively, including by destroying opium poppy plantings and heroin laboratories."
Among the international speakers were Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), and Chairman of the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) Hamid Ghodse. Former UNODC head Pino Arlacchi, a renowned expert on organized crime and drug trafficking, told RIA Novosti that Russia and Europe are suffering the most from Afghan heroin and should cooperate on a "plan aimed at halting opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan, including not only crop eradication, but also creating a special program, giving Afghan people living sources, different from producing narcotics." Arlacchi said he agreed with Victor Ivanov on this, adding that "Russia is not only a vital power in maintaining world stability and international dialogue, but it can play a leading role together with Europe in implementing change in Afghanistan.... Such a shift should have been done 10 years ago, specifically, halting drug production in the country."
Alexander Rahr of the German Council on Foreign Relations, which hosted Ivanov at a conference in Potsdam and Berlin earlier this week, is another participant from Europe. According to on-the-scene reports, the highest ranking American at the Forum is an acting deputy director for supply reduction from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Russian press played up a Novosti interview with U.S. Ambassador John Beyrle, who once again tried to justify not destroying the opium crops. Rogozin attacked this position during his speech, saying it made an "illogical" contrast with successful U.S. eradication efforts in Colombia.
RIA Novosti, host of the event, issued an overview wire about the first day, saying that participants were in agreement that "NATO's refusal to destroy opium poppy plantings in Afghanistan ... is blocking the process of combating the threat from Afghan narcotics, which are killing hundreds of thousands of people and helping to finance world terrorism."

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