Thursday, February 04, 2016

Hizbullah, drugs and potatoes

"In his presentation, Farah argued that the Party of God’s involvement in the drug trade was facilitated by the following alleged factoid: when it comes to drug shipments, “Venezuela’s geographic proximity to West Africa make [sic] it an ideal launching pad.” Who ever said six thousand kilometers was far?"
The CNN article offers its own trivia on Hezbollah’s global footprint, noting that the organization “has a long history of attacks, including one at the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1983 that killed 241 Americans [and] has also been linked to terrorist plots against Israelis in Bulgaria in 2012 and Peru in 2014.”

Forget the fact that 1983 was two years before Hezbollah’s official existence, or that the Peruvian “terrorist plot” centers around a man who claims he was coerced into a confession by police. As it turns out, the U.S. and Israel have their own lengthy histories of terror-inducing attacks with much bloodier fallout than, say, something that didn’t happen in Peru.

As for the DEA’s fearmongering about drug trafficking and money laundering as a “revenue and weapons stream” for international terror, it’s worth revisiting a certain lesson from Cocaine, Death Squads, and the War on Terror. In this book, scholars Oliver Villar and Drew Cottle note that, while the U.S. has consistently “contended it was at war with drugs and terrorists in Colombia,” the decade of the 1980s “saw the consolidation of the Colombian drug trade as a source of profit for U.S. capital via banks that were established to launder and invest drug money in legitimate U.S. corporations.”

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