Country Reflex - A Poem for America

Friday, 8 January 2010


The song 'Country Reflex' (in the video above) was written a few years ago, shortly after 9/11 and our knee jerk response to this tragedy with yet another - the invasion of Afghanistan.
While the legality of this military action was and still is highly questionable, the tragedy is that we bombed one of the poorest and most war-ravaged countries on earth back into the dark ages, while at the same time creating the impetus for a backlash of violence from those most deeply affected. I should make absolutely clear that I am not an 'apologist' for violence of any kind but if the 'west' cannot understand the problem with invading foreign soil, displacing thousands of people and killing many more in what amounts to nothing more than revenge, then we are truly stuffed.
However, this grossly simplifies the situation and politics that surround our invasion of Afghanistan and the true reasons behind it.
Just ask yourself this: if, following an IRA bombing on the UK mainland during the 1980's, would the UN and NATO have sanctioned a full scale invasion of the Republic of Ireland by NATO forces? The answer is of course 'no' - enough said.
I am not even going to start describing these reasons because that is not the point of this blog. I'll leave the conspiracy theories (and facts) for others to cover - and there's certainly no shortage of them!
No, the point of this blog is to look forwards, not back.
We've made a total fucking mess of Afghanistan and our action has helped finish off the 30+ year rape of an already fragile environment while cementing Afghanistan's role as the worlds primary producer of opium. There will be much more to come on that topic in this blog.
The 'war on drugs' is a literal concept - we fight for control and ownership of resources all over the planet, and drug production is central to the global economy, black/white or, as is more often the case, gray.
I'm not for one minute suggesting that the allied invasion of Afghanistan meant to create this situation, or even to make the existing situation worse.
But the fact is that it has.
Prior to 2000, Afghanistan was producing opium in only a handful of provinces but by 2004, 28 out of 32 provinces were under opium poppy cultivation. Illegal drugs are best produced in war zones - lawlessness and conflict are a prerequisite for illicit drug production from Colombia to Laos.
In 2004 - while working for small Glasgow-based NGO - I did a considerable amount of research on the subject. This work was partly motivated by an increasingly grim heroin problem in Scotland, but mostly it was driven by a situation in Afghanistan that is enough to make even the most cold hearted bastard cry like a baby. But don't take my word for it - go and read the proposal for yourself.
It is located here:

A related article written for the BBC can be read here:

Anyway, this'll do for the time being . . .
Peace Y'awl ;)

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