Let me take you back, way back into early modern British history, a boom time in what is now the scraps of the Royal empire. The British East India company, which received a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I on 31 December 1600 intially making its money moving slaves to America is starting to make a mint shipping the “herbs and spices” known as opium and Heroin into China. It’s time to make this fledgling crown business into a modern industrial machine. But the royal coffers are a little short after the yanks declared their independance and stopped paying taxes into the house of gol gotha.
This story twists and turns and shapes the modern world in almost every way. Financially, economocally and militarily.
After the war of independence (1783), UK bonds weren’t really in favour with the nations savers, so the blue blooded shape shifting lizards needed a new way of raising funds. So they turned to the various corn exchanges of London, using a crazy idea that would surely never work. Allow the sell off the rights to future company profits to a much wider audience, but keep the company in their hands. And so stocks were born, The British East India Company (BEIC) took industrialization to the seas. Conquered India and discovered the vast wild poppy fields off what is now known as Afghanistan.
Up until this point BEIC had been making most of its profits transporting slaves from Africa to the Americas.
This all changed in the winter of 1791, the process of British colonisation of Western Australia began when George Vancouver claimed the Albany region in the name of King George III. Providing a safe landing site for large shipments which could then be taken in smaller quantities to the Chinese mainland.
And so began over 200 years of.
While the BEIC became defunct in 1874, in truth it would appear this was more a “re-nationalisation” of the opium trade.
Despite the “official” losses however, the production and trade of opium and heroin never went away, it just went underground, changing tactics from massive corporation to a strategy of divide and conquer.
It’s worth noting during this period, that while the relative importance of the Opium and the Herion supply chain fell dramatically, with the inevitable shift in power that came with it, the absolute wealth associated with it changed little, and both the British and French still relied heavily on it to feed the financial power of those exempt from the law. Rather, the relative, rapid and all encompassing rise of the importance of crude oil on the geopolitical stage (Both Opium and Crude only function with international trade) empowered and catapulted “new money” onto the world stage.
This may be now coming to a crashing end.
In 2001, a vast new craze sweeps Afghanistan, The Taliban, These guys, among other, less interesting things, like wishing to provide education, albeit religious, have one real hatred. Opium.
According to the UN opium survey, despite decades of Western “attempts” to “crush” the drugs trade, opium production in Afghanistan falls off a cliff, down 90% country wide. Helmand Province, once Afghanistan’s finest, most productive Opium fields has the largest collapse, with not a single notable cultivation.
And so the US and UK “went in” in October 2001. (Using a little black flag implying the Afghans had something to do with 9-11)
In an entirely unrelated story, 14 years later…….
I think, at this point, it’s worth taking a moment to think of the victims of these wars, Russia and China seem deafeningly silent on the matter (for now at least), save a few.
But its seems they are actually fighting – and winning this war now. Syria just so happens to be part of the key land route into their countries, and, imho these “oil tankers”:
->Probably not full of the “oil” that runs cars…
There are 2.5 million drug addicts and more than 5.1 million drug users in Russia, according to the report by the International Narcotics Control Board. These figures have nearly doubled since 2002.
Nearly 90% of all drug addicts in Russia use opiates, and primarily heroin, which is produced entirely in Afghanistan. There are an estimated 1.68 million opiate users in Russia. (Source)
That isn’t a few smugglers sneaking accross the border with condoms full of drugs up their bum.
I think this brings the opium wars to the current day, The US and UK “special relationship” on the one side, Russia, China and the Non-aligned movement on the other.
In my opinion, “we” are, and always have been, on the wrong side.