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This article appears in the July 18, 2008 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

Combatting Britain's New Opium War

by Jeffrey Steinberg

[PDF version of this article]

The stunning July 2, 2008 rescue of Ingrid Betancourt and three American hostages from FARC narcoterrorists in Colombia, was far more than a victory against that nation's longstanding narco-insurgency. The combined efforts of Colombia, the United States, and France delivered a serious blow to the British oligarchy's "New Opium War" program, a geopolitical scheme to spread chaos throughout the planet, inflict drug addiction on potentially billions of people, and generate trillions of dollars in black market revenue, laundered through Anglo-Dutch offshore hot-money havens like the Cayman Islands, the Dutch Antilles, and the British isles of Man and Jersey. This New Opium War is at the very heart of what Lyndon LaRouche has labeled the Anglo-Dutch Liberal system, which is now unraveling, as the entire post-Bretton Woods system of globalization, unbridled free trade, rampant speculation, and unregulated black market trafficking in drugs, weapons, and slaves, comes to a crashing end.

The Colombia hostage-rescue, which was conducted as a coordinated effort by at least three sovereign nation-states, working in concert, precisely fit the perspective spelled out by LaRouche in his March 1985 proposal for a Western Hemispheric war on drugs (see p. 12). LaRouche called for a coordinated effort by sovereign governments of the Western Hemisphere, against an international narcotics and narcoterrorist cartel that posed a threat to all of the nations of North, Central, and South America. LaRouche's proposal called for the United States to provide technical support—satellite intelligence, other high-tech surveillance, and resources, as well as advanced training—to military and police forces of targeted nations, to enable them to take down the drug cartels, while retaining full sovereignty over their territories and peoples.

The Colombia operation was the fruit of years of intelligence coordination, training of Colombian special forces units, and tracking of the FARC units; it was described by one well-informed U.S. intelligence official as a "picture perfect" operation. He freely acknowledged that the ultimate target of the Colombia action, dubbed "Operation Checkmate," was the City of London and the British oligarchy, which has backed Ibero-American narco-insurgencies by providing safe-haven on British soil, facilitating fundraising and other support activies throughout Europe, and demonizing governments that refused to negotiate away their sovereignty to the narco-gangs.

The success in Colombia also involved French intelligence, which, according to U.S. sources, also played an invaluable intelligence support role in securing the freedom of Betancourt (a French-Colombian dual citizen and a former Colombian Presidential candidate) and the three Americans, who had been held by the FARC for more than half a decade. According to one U.S. source, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and the French institutions, made a dramatic policy shift in recent months, abandoning a longstanding policy of providing support and comfort to the Ibero-American narco-insurgents, competing with London for control over this vast destabilization capability, and promoting Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez as the "honest mediator" between the FARC and the Colombian government. The French policy shift, the U.S. source emphasized, played an important part in the success of the operation, and portends future Franco-American efforts to counter Britain's global opium insurgency.

Targeting British 'Managed Chaos'

The Colombia rescue operation, which delivered a near-death blow to the longstanding FARC narco-insurgency, following an earlier successful raid on a FARC camp across the border in Ecuador, came simultaneously with a number of other international initiatives, all vectored against the British oligarchy's policy of global "managed chaos." As former British prime minister Tony Blair announced in a speech in Chicago, in the Spring of 1999, the British oligarchy is peddling the lie that the world has entered a "post-Westphalia" era, in which the nation-state system is finished, and will be replaced by London-dominated new global institutions, to control a vastly reduced world population. The British oligarchy's policy is to orchestrate failed states, ethnic, tribal, and religious wars, and narco-insurgencies, to proactively destroy the nation-state system, including, above all, the United States. The vast expansion of narcotics trafficking and narco-insurgencies is an integral part of this global scheme, and the British have counted on the idea that most major governments and intelligence services will fail to see the Anglo-Dutch guiding hand, and will be impotent to defeat it. All told, London's Dope, Inc. global drug cartels generate over a trillion dollars a year in black market retail sales revenue. Those funds are laundered through Anglo-Dutch offshore financial havens, and form one arm of the global speculative system.

Recent breakthroughs in the global war on drugs suggest that the "invisible" hand of the British oligarchy may no longer be so invisible.

Simultaneously with the Colombia operation, a number of other actions have been taken, signaling a more coordinated international push-back against Britain's New Opium War.

On May 30, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which has recently created a special national security division targeting narco-terrorism worldwide, announced that the separatist/terrorist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) has been placed on the U.S. government's list of Drug Kingpins.

In a keynote address to an International Drug Enforcement Conference in Istanbul, on July 8, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson, highlighted the significance of the action. "The PKK funds itself through extortion and trafficking in arms, human beings, and drugs.... Given the PKK's significant involvement in international drug trafficking, President Bush recently designated it a Drug Kingpin. DEA worked closely with Turkish law enforcement in order to nominate the PKK for this designation. It will allow us to strengthen our joint efforts against PKK narcoterrorists through focussed targeting of the assets of individuals and businesses associated with it," the ambassador said.

For the past hundred years, the British have manipulated the "Kurdish separatist card" against the governments of the region, beginning from the time of the Ottoman Empire, and extending into the creation of modern Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, which all have Kurdish minorities, and which are all targeted by the PKK and such spinoff organizations as PJAK. U.S. intelligence sources have informed EIR that the British are now running a major destabilization of Turkey, using the PKK, among other assets. Thus, the targeting of the PKK has important strategic implications, and represents a direct U.S.-Turkish hit against a leading British surrogate.

Indeed, the action against the PKK not only targets one of the major narcoterrorist organizations, destabilizing Southwest Asia, especially Turkey and Iran. It is also part of a renewed effort against the Taliban and al-Qaeda, which are part of the massive heroin-growing and -smuggling operations, centered in Afghanistan and the North West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. This combined Afghanistan/Pakistan area is responsible for an estimated 75-90% of all the world's heroin. The Taliban alone garners 10% of all the revenue of the Afghan opium lords, and these narco-revenues finance that ongoing insurgency, which targets China, Central Asia, Russia, and Iran. London has virtually created a narco-state, under the Taliban and allied tribal control in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. As long as the region generates hundreds of billions of dollars in heroin sales, the insurgency will grow, and the region will remain in a state of permanent war and chaos—just what the British intend. Early this year, the Karzai government in Kabul expelled two British "diplomats" from the country, after they were caught arming and bankrolling Taliban units that were taking control over whole regions of Afghanistan. (See article.)

The PKK's designation as a Drug Kingpin is directly tied to the Afghan heroin trail. PKK has become one of the major smuggling organizations for Afghan heroin, coming into Europe.

Other Targets, Other Breakthroughs

At the same Istanbul conference of anti-drug officials, Michele Leonhart, the Acting Administrator of the DEA, delivered another major presentation, in which she spelled out a number of recent breakthroughs in the global war on drugs. She confirmed the links between the PKK and Taliban drug-smuggling operations, citing "Operation Containment," a program involving 18 governments, all working to halt the flow of Afghan heroin into Western Europe.

Leonhart also cited the arrests of Mansur al-Kassar and Victor Bout, two leading figures involved in arms trafficking to the FARC. Al-Kassar was arrested in June 2007 in Spain, and was recently extradited to the United States. He was caught in a sting operation, involving arms sales to the FARC. Bout, a Russian "mafiya" boss and leading illegal arms dealer, was also captured in a sting operation, involving arms sales to the FARC. He was captured in March 2008 in Thailand.

A number of these recent international anti-narcoterrorist operational successes have flown in the face of policies—made in London—that have been associated with the Bush-Cheney White House, over the past seven years. New Yorker magazine investigative journalist Seymour Hersh recently described the Bush Administration's covert backing to the PKK and PJAK organizations, which have been carrying out cross-border sabotage and terror actions inside Iranian territory. While there is no evidence that the Administration has changed its stripes, sources in and around the U.S. intelligence and military establishment say that they themselves are using their institutional authority to carry out these operations, regardless of the political fallout in Washington and in London.

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