A blog by Patrick Crozier

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June 25, 2003

War on drugs kills 6 Brits

Some interesting lines from the Telegraph's report on the killing of 6 British soldiers in Iraq:

The willingness of the Shi'ites to embrace the British occupation masks Amarah's role as one of the main centres for the smuggling of heroin from Afghanistan...

...Yesterday's incidents began with an attack on a police post, suggesting that they were related to crime rather than to activity by Ba'athist loyalists, who have few supporters in the area...

...No Iraqi policemen were killed, indicating possible collusion...

...British troops have been mounting anti-drugs patrols along the Huwaizah marshes east of Amarah on the border with Iran and the Iraqi police have been ordered to crack down on crime...

By whom, I wonder?
There has been a growing problem with tribesmen who have refused to hand over their weapons. The Royal Military Police have been at the forefront of the drive to cut crime and round up weapons.

Oh yeah.

So let's get this right. We deprive them of their main means of self-defence and then we deprive them of their livelihoods. And we wonder why they start shooting at us.



But do you really expec the British Army, through inaction, to effectively collude in the international drugs trade? Imagine the uproar once the press had cottoned on that they were sitting on their hands whilst a known major drug- supply route ran right past them.

In any case, depriving criminals of their livelihood and means of "self-defence" (ie, enforcement and murder) hardly amounts to the arrogance and insensitivity you infer.

Posted by Guessedworker on June 25, 2003

I think it makes the job of the occupying forces very hard. That's the trouble with the war on drugs. It turns people into criminals who don't need to be turned into criminals, and perverts police and military forces by making them do things that should not be their jobs. It weakens the rule of law and reduces people's civil liberties, even in places like a freshly conquered Iraq.

Posted by Michael Jennings on June 26, 2003

Well, I think that the provinces of Wissit and Missan are very vulnerable to any sort of trafficing. I think the towns which are exposed the most are Ali al Gharbi and Kumayt.

Drug smuggeling from an geographic point of view makes sense in that a new southern route (Afghanistan-> Iran->Iraq->Syria->Lebanon) avoiding Turkey for Heroin from Afghanistan might be established. The normal route is mainly controlled by the Kurds of Northern Iraq who have also their agents (refugees and migrants) in near to every European country. Indictive of the wealth generated by Kurdish smuggelers is that the kurdish Territories are awash with Mercedes and BMWs.

But on the other hand there might also be Iranian security agents and Badr bridgades involved in exploting the sparsely controlled border between the Mehran and Hovezeh border crossings. We all know that the Iran is currently actively engaged in building up an underground infrastructure for the Shi'ites of southern Iraq.

Posted by Christian A. Hehn on June 27, 2003