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Moscow: Shut Down Afghan Dope Flows

June 15, 2010 (EIRNS)—Moscow was host to an International Forum on Drug Production in Afghanistan: A Challenge to the International Community, on June 9 and 10. 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, detailing not only the impact of drug consumption on the population, but the ways in which drug-money finances 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 were published in the June 11 issue of EIR Online, and 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, depend 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 who addressed the Forum were President Dmitri Medvedev, Foreign Minister 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 Hamid Ghodse, chairman of the UN International Narcotics Control Board (INCB). There was no high-level participation from the United States, although Russia continues to urge Washington to cooperate in the fight against the Afghan drug trade.

In a discussion on June 10, LaRouche stressed that the opium coming out of Afghanistan continues to be a major problem in Transcaucasia and Europe, and he denounced President Obama for covering up the trafficking. Instead of fighting a so-called war in Afghanistan, he said, which has become the longest in U.S. history, the U.S. forces go in and destroy the drug production, in cooperation with Russia and Iran, among others.