As Obama orders the withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan, the country is left with larger problems than before. The opium trade in Afghanistan, which quickly rose after the removal of the Taliban in November of 2001, has now grown to be the largest in the world.1 It’s impossible to deny that this is the direct effect of imperialism, since under the Taliban, opium production was almost completely destroyed.2 Until the Taliban made opium production illegal, Afghanistan was the largest producer of opium in the world, and now it is once again the largest producer of opium, surpassing Myanmar Burma early last year.
The effects of imperialism on occupied countries is all-encompassing. While we see the obvious effect of war on civilian casualties, we can also see that imperialism ruins economies, splits families, and now destroys lives through the exploitation of the drug trade. Warlords in charge of the trade are forcing farmers to sell their daughters into slavery,3 organized crime is on the rise, and violence on behalf of the opium gangsters is said to be worse than violence of the Taliban.
Speaking to farmers, we find that their turn to the opium trade is due to the fact that they cannot afford to feed themselves by raising conventional crops. Each crop of opium brings a farmer $1000, enough to feed the family. 4 They turn to this crop despite the danger of dealing with warlords, NATO, and harsh working conditions because they are pursuing austerity in the simplest form.
The turn to these awful conditions is the direct result of underdevelopment from the First World on the Third. Opium production in the Third World supports opium consumption in the First. Opium addiction in the Third World funds sex slavery for the First World consumers. The drug trade is the direct result of imperialism from the First World against the Third World. It is the result of the First World declaring war on the Third World. Fight imperialism, fight the First World, Fight with the Third World.