The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection$
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 BlogviewEric Margolis Archive
Afghanistan: Where's the Cash?
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • B
Show CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Afghanistan’s US-run government was the world’s largest producer and exporter of opium, morphine, and the end-product, heroin.

As it did after first seizing power in the mid-1990’s, Taliban, the Islamic anti-drug and anti-communist movement, is shutting down the Afghan drug trade. Billions worth of heroin, opium and morphine that had been flowing into Central Asia, Russia, Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Southeast Asia will be sharply reduced. Afghanistan’s drug-based economy is now in dire jeopardy.

But you would not know this if you follow the biased western press, notably the big US TV networks, social media and the BBC which thinks it’s Britain’s old colonial office. Western media has focused almost exclusively on the supposed plight of well-off westernized Afghan women in Kabul. That’s all you see on TV.

That these pampered ladies can’t easily get their nails done is not Afghanistan’s biggest problem. Nor is the closing of dance studios or fashion boutiques.

What really matters is that Afghan wedding parties and villages are no longer being savaged by US warplanes or B-1 and B-52 heavy bombers, or that wide scale torture by the Communist-run secret police, whose head, Amrullah Saleh, was a key US ally and the nation’s real strongmen, has been ended by Taliban.

Meanwhile, western media simply ignores the plight of women in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia. I well recall being twice arrested in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia by religious police for walking with an attractive lady (an Estee Lauder beauty consultant).

I was arrested in Kuwait under similar suspicion. I was whipped by Saudi airport security police. And yet all we hear about or see are films of wicked Taliban soldiers maltreating Afghan women.

What I really want to know is what happened to all the billions in drug money reaped by the US-backed regime in Kabul and its allied warlords? Where are the pallets of fresh US $100 bills flown in from Washington to finance the Kabul regime? We saw the same phenomena in US-occupied Iraq. These mountains of cash just went ‘walkabout,’ as the Aussies say. Americans and US Arab allies grabbed the majority of these missing funds.

Iraq and Afghanistan account for one of the biggest thefts of money in modern history. Much of this sordid story has been documented by the US government’s own anti-corruption agency, SIGAR, which has waged a valiant battle to combat crime in Afghanistan during the $2 trillion, two-decade war.

Many of the drug-dealing criminals have already bailed out of Afghanistan via a US/British/French airlift. Others, Taliban opponents, mostly Tajik and Uzbek gang bosses, have managed to gain refuge in neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The most formidable opposition to Taliban came from the Tajik Northern Alliance in the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul. This US-allied group dominated the drug trade until run out of business by Taliban. Now it’s trying to rally with secret backing from France, India and the US.


China is playing a cautious game in Afghanistan. I was invited by Chinese military intelligence to Beijing in 1981 to ask me if Beijing should begin supplying arms to the Afghan Islamic anti-Soviet resistance, aka ‘mujahidin.’ This was the most momentous act in the growing China-Soviet split. No one in Washington seemed to see or understand it.

Forty years later, China is still wrestling with this problem. Beijing wants good relations with Taliban but is seriously scared by the notion of Islamic wild men who support freedom and independence for the Chinese-ruled Uighur Muslims of Xinjiang (Eastern Turkestan).

Meanwhile, the great American-Afghan money machine has ground to a halt as its produce is secreted away in US real estate and Swiss banks.

Hide 6 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Notsofast says:

    missing billions of shrink wrapped, crispy $100 bills? “fog of war” works every time, it just disappears into the fog. missing trillions of unaccounted pentagon money? a cruise missile into the office of the investigators makes that disappear as well (you may want to collapse wtc7 to disappear any remaining evidence).

  2. Canuck37 says:

    Money laundering for construction and the Liberal Party (real estate, insurances) in the case of Canada’s SNC Lavallin.

  3. Excellent article, covering forbidden topics:

  4. Iraq and Afghanistan account for one of the biggest thefts of money in modern history.

    There was very little in Afghanistan worth stealing.

    Much of this sordid story has been documented by the US government’s own anti-corruption agency, SIGAR, which has waged a valiant battle to combat crime in Afghanistan during the $2 trillion, two-decade war.

    As you admit yourself, the theft was actually from the American taxpayer. Much of the money ended up in the hands of corrupt military contractors, lesser amounts went to American and Afghan politicos.
    Yet you spend most of the article worrying about the alleged billions generated by the Afghan drugs trade. It’s pocket money compared to the bigger issue. Get a grip, man.

  5. Alistair says:

    The street of Jeddah is certainly not “ la Promenade des Anglais” in Nice !

    We got to admit that’s funny but certainly not surprising; being whipped by the Saudi security police for walking in Jeddah with an “Attractive Beauty Consultant” — this remind me of the treatment that Oprah Winfrey received at a Hermes Boutique in Paris; when she was shut out, not admitted inside after closing hour, simply because she was a “Black Woman”.

    But of all the places in the world, visualizing a white American man walking with an attractive beauty consultant in the streets of Jeddah; we got to admit that’s quite something else.

  6. Alistair says:

    There was never any money in Afghanistan, but a “Golden Opportunity for an Open Ended War”.

    The September 11, was a staged attack to get the US Congress to approve massive deficit spending for the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the benefits of the Special Interests Groups; i.e. The Military Industrial Complex, The Oil industry, and International Zionists with respect to Iraq.

    Afghanistan and Iraq were just a pretext to give a second life to the US Military Industrial Complex in their waning years in the post Cold war, they provided a golden opportunity to increase military deficit spending for the “Open Ended Military Adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan”.

    Since 1990, all US Governments have been cutting military spending, because the Cold War with the Soviets was over, then China was not a serious threat yet, there were really no serious enemies to challenge the supremacy of the almighty US military power on the global scene. but the September 11, provided the opportunity for increased military spending.

    There never was any money to grab in the desolate mountains of Afghanistan, but a “Golden Opportunity to redirect the US Government Funds to an Open Ended Military Spending”, while helping the Oil Companies to boost the price of their Crude from depressing $25 / barrel in early 2001, to $149 in early 2008. And as to the Zionists; the US wars in the Middle East has virtually eliminated all the major enemies of Israel; Iraq, Syria, Libya are no longer a threat, while Saudis, UAE, Egypt and Morocco have ceased direct hostility against Israel, at least for now.

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Comments on articles more than two weeks old will be judged much more strictly on quality and tone

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Commenting Disabled While in Translation Mode
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Eric Margolis Comments via RSS
Personal Classics
“America’s strategic and economic interests in the Mideast and Muslim world are being threatened by the agony in...
Bin Laden is dead, but his strategy still bleeds the United States.
Egyptians revolted against American rule as well as Mubarak’s.
A menace grows from Bush’s Korean blind spot.
Far from being a model for a “liberated” Iraq, Afghanistan shows how the U.S. can get bogged down Soviet-style.