poppies of wrath
Paul Sheehan, I thought, as I scanned through his nutty defence of
Mike Jefferys view that Australia fought a just war in Vietnam.
Paul is John Howards most dogged spin doctor. Nowadays he is
too busy covering the PM's arse to spend time filling the Sydney
Morning Herald with unsolicited testimonials for private schools
or chocolate biscuits or mineral water with magical properties.
Paul has a serious problem: defending the Governor-General designates
loopy view that the Vietnam War was a noble and necessary thing. Our
forthcoming head of state thinks it was justifiable as a ruthless
campaign of attrition against godless communist peasants.
does this historical revisionist crusade end? Presumably Jeffrey thinks
it was right for the Yanks to fund and equip the French Army from
1945 until 1954 while it made a bloody attempt to reconquer Frances
presumably also thinks it was a jolly jape for the Yanks to thwart
the plebiscite which would have reunified Vietnam in 1956 and approves
of President Johnsons use of the phony Gulf of Tonkin
Incident as a reason for escalating US intervention. Presumably
he approves of the massive bombing and defoliation campaigns that
laid waste to Vietnam and Cambodia.
was musing on these things when the doorbell rang.
turned out to be a courier with a fat parcel. I took it upstairs and
carefully opened the plastic courier wallet.
there were three battered old manilla document files labelled in what
I took to be Pashtun and Arabic. The top one contained some grainy
photos of Bruce Possum and an old cassette tape with no label.
shiver of excitement ran down my tail. These were the Taliban files
on my long-lost business partner.
I had been promised them in Kabul by the Brixton Mullah, a Taliban
interrogation specialist, the day before the men in turbans pulled
out of the city and took to the hills.
popped the tape in my Cassette recorder. It was old and distorted
but it appeared to be a bootleg recording of a Cat Stevens concert,
sometime in the sixties of last century.
was also a laser-printed letter in English with no senders address.
trust you got out of Kabul without personal injury and that this
communication finds you in good health and prosperity (if Allah
hope you enjoyed my CDs of Cat Stevens as much as I did, before,
Praise be Allah, I gave up such worldly pleasures and took up the
work of spreading Allahs blessings. I particularly enjoyed
Morning has Broken and here together with the file on
your colleague, Mr Bruce Possum, you will find one more tape I found.
have sent you the whole of my Bruce Possum file in the hope that,
although we are temporarily out of power, you will use it to bring
him to justice for his heroin trading, which he has taken up again
with great profit since the American puppet government of Hamid
Karzais took over in Kabul.
months ago I visited the village of Singesar which is in the desert
half an hour from Kandahar. It is where Mullah Omar (may Allah bless
and protect him) lived. His house there is just two rooms of mud
brick but it is empty now, and all around there are great fields
course in my present circumstances I cannot pursue Bruce Possum.
squared with my intelligence, which is that the land under poppies
in Afghanistan increased from less than 2000 hectares in the last
year the Taliban held power to over 30,000 hectares last year. The
indications are that next year it will rise again.
opium poppy flourishes in the soil of war, poverty, and free market
economic disorganisation. It became the scourge that it is thanks
to the Vietnam War and the Wests long proxy war against the
Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
what you like about the mad mullahs, they kept their part of their
bargain with the US and ruthlessly stamped out opium production. Under
the rule of the feudal warlords it is flourishing again. Little wonder.
In a country ruined by decades of war, opium is the only high value
cash crop Afghan farmers can grow.
are harvesting the poppies right now, and soon the opium resin from
which heroin is made will begin flowing by a thousand routes across
the countrys borders and into the West. Ninety percent of it
will end up in Europe, pushing down the price. The rival south-east
Asian producers will redouble their efforts to get heroin into Australia
and we will see the scourge return to the streets.
will create work for private dicks, of course, but it is not the sort
I like. Pathetic distraught parents will make their way to my door,
looking for runaway kiddies who are prostituting themselves on street
corners for their next hit.
Download the Bruce Possum story, Rumours of Bruce.