In this morning’s New York Times, reporter Tim Golden cites U.S. officials who warn of an impending flood of heroin from Afghanistan (“U.S. Fears a Glut of Heroin From a Volatile Afghanistan,” April 1).
It may very well be true that a bumper crop of Afghan opium is about to saturate world markets with cheap and potent heroin. Or it could be that some newspapers will publish anything the drug warriors hand them—and then publish it again and again. Graze, if you will, these headlines culled from a Nexis search of the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times dating back to 1988.
“U.S. Takes Aim At Afghan Opium; Worries Grow About Bumper Crop”—Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2002”Drug Trade Resurgent in Afghanistan; Opium and Heroin Flood Into Pakistan, Complicating Efforts Against Taliban”—Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2001”Afghanistan Opium Record Raises U.N. Fears”—New York Times, Sept. 11, 1999”Drug Business Flourishes in Afghanistan; Taliban Denies Involvement but Is Said to Reap Profit From Taxes, Transport”—Washington Post, Oct. 5, 1998 “Opium Surge Threatens U.N. Aid to Afghans, Official Warns”—New York Times, July 17, 1998”Despite Taliban Vow, Afghan Opium Production Is Up, U.N. Says”—New York Times, Sept. 11, 1997”International Opium Production Up 8% Last Year; Despite U.S. Efforts Against Poppy Crop, Concern Grows About Expanding Heroin Market”—Washington Post, March 1, 1992”New Drug Crisis Feared as Purity Of Heroin Rises”—Washington Post, Aug. 2, 1989”Opium, Cocaine Crops Rose Sharply in 1988; Baker: Antidrug War ‘Clearly Not Being Won’ “—Washington Post, March 2, 1989”Western Officials Look to Afghanistan and See a New Problem—Heroin”—Los Angeles Times, Jan. 1, 1989”U.S. Sees Increase In Afghan Opium”—New York Times, Sept. 7, 1988”Refugees to Resort to Growing Opium, Officials Fear; Afghan Accord May Boost Heroin Trade”—Los Angeles Times, July 16, 1988”Afghan Opium Yield Up As Pakistan Curbs Crop”—New York Times, April 14, 1988“Afghan Rebel’s Victory Garden: Opium”—New York Times, June 18, 1986”Afghanistan’s Other Front: A World Of Drugs”—New York Times, Nov. 2, 1985