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The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade

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The Politics of Heroin | Chicago Review Press

Battalion. While his friends and enemies fled in disorder, General Ouane's troops scooped up the sixteen tons of raw opium and delivered it to the victorious general, presumably free of charge. Almost two hundred people, mainly Shans and Chinese, died in the fighting. As a result of General Ouane's victory, the KMT lost many of i s profitable prerogatives to the general. They had nevertheless crushed Chan Shee-fu's bid for supremacy, even though they had not completely destroyed him. After the battle General Ouane emerged as one of the most, important heroin manufacturers in the Golden Triangle, since his share of the Burmese opium trade increased considerably. Although it was a relatively minor military action compared to the battles raging elsewhere in Indochina, the 1967 Opium War captured the imagination of the American press. However, all of the accounts studiously avoided any serious discussion of the Golden Triangle opium trade, and emphasized the sensational. Using a cliche-studded prose usually reserved for the sports page or travel section, the media rambled on about wild animals, primitive tribes, desperadoes of every description, and the mysterious ways of the Orient. But despite its seductively exotic aspects, the 1967 Opium War remains the most revealing episode in the recent history of the Golden Triangle opium trade. After the abolition of government opium monopolies in the 1940s and 1950s, the Golden Triangle's drug trade disappeared behind the velvet curtain of government secrecy and it became increasingly difficult to verify official involvement or the extent of the traffic. Suddenly the curtain was snatched back, and there were eighteen hundred of the distinguished General Ouane's best troops battling fourteen hundred well-armed Nationalist Chinese soldiers (supposedly evacuated to Taiwan six years before) for sixteen tons of opium. But an appreciation of the subtler aspects of this sensational battle requires some background on the economic activities of the KMT units based in Thailand, the Shan rebels in Burma, and in particular, the long history of CIA operations in the Golden Triangle area.
The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia

harvest, but a shortage of male workers and the necessity of hiding in the forest during the past winter had made it difficult for households to clear new fields. As a result, many farmers were planting their poppies in exhausted soil, and they only expected to harvest half as much opium as the year before. However, as the war mounted in intensity through 1971 and early 1972, Long Pot District's opium harvest was drastically reduced and eventually destroyed. USAID officials reported that about forty-six hundred hill tribesmen had left the district in January and February 1971 and moved to the Tin Bong refugee area to the south, where there was a shortage of land. (158) Some of the villages that remained, such as the three Lao Theung villages near Long Pot village, were producing no opium at all. Even Long Pot village had lost eight of its households during the early months of 1971. Finally, on January 4, 1972, Allied fighter aircraft attacked Long Pot District. In an apparent attempt to slow the pace of a Pathet Lao offensive in the district, the fighters napalmed the district's remaining villages, destroying Long Pot village and the three nearby Lao Theung villages. (159)
The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia

The Politics of Heroin - Google Books

The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade
Alfred W. McCoy
No preview available - 1991

The Politics of Heroin | The Last Bastille

To Americans living in cities and suburbs cursed with the heroin plague, it may seem controversial, even shocking, that any U.S. government agency would condone any facet of the international drug traffic. But when viewed from the perspective of historical precedent and the demands of mountain warfare in northern Laos, Air America's involvement and the U.S. Embassy's tolerant attitude seem almost inevitable. Rather than sending U.S. combat troops into Laos, four successive American Presidents and their foreign policy advisers worked through the CIA to build the Meo into the only effective army in Laos. The fundamental reason for American complicity in the Laotian opium traffic lies in these policy decisions, and they can only be understood in the context of the secret war in Laos.
The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia

Despite the destructive infighting of the various Corsican airlines, they proved to be reliable opium suppliers, and the Laos-Saigon opium commerce flourished. Guaranteed reliable access to international markets, Laos's opium production climbed steadily during the ten-year period that the Corsicans controlled its opium economy; in 1953 Laos's annual harvest was estimated at 50 tons of raw opium, but in 1968 it had expanded to 100-150 tons. (49) Moreover, these syndicates, most notably Francisci's and Levet's, made regular morphine base shipments from Southeast Asia to heroin laboratories in Italy, Germany, and Marseille. Although Southeast Asian morphine still accounted for a relatively small proportion of European heroin production in the late 1950s and early 1960s, these shipments established the first links of what was to be a veritable pipeline between the Golden Triangle's poppy fields and Marseille's heroin laboratories-links that would take on added importance as Turkey's opium production ebbed toward abolition in the late 1960s. Although they were forced out of business in 1965 when Laotian Gen. Ouane Rattikone decided to monopolize the trade, these syndicates later served as the link between Laotian heroin laboratories and American distributors when Golden Triangle laboratories began producing no. 4 heroin in the early 1970s.
The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia