This week, yet another clue surfaced when Lebanon’s Daily Star reported:
“The Internal Security Forces announced Tuesday that an operation to smuggle 3.5 million Captagon pills into Saudi Arabia has been foiled…”
“Captagon? Never heard of it,” would be your standard answer in the west.
This story is much deeper than most people realize. Captagon is a highly addictive compound, presently produced in places like Lebanon and Syria and currently expanding to other locations across the region. Here’s where it gets interesting: its proceeds inject hundreds of millions of dollars back into Syria’s black-market. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this is one of the main drivers of this war.
This is one item which US officials generally will not comment on, much less try and mitigate. The reason for this is simple: Captagon is a major asset in the US Coalition’s primary directive in Syria: to destabilize the state and overthrow the government of Bashar al Assad in Damascus.
The drug gives Washington’s “rebels” a crucial edge.
“A powerful amphetamine tablet based on the original synthetic drug known as “fenethylline,” Captagon quickly produces a euphoric intensity in users, allowing Syria’s fighters to stay up for days, killing with a numb, reckless abandon.” (Source: Washington Post)
Pills sell for between $5 and $20 per tablet and according to a report filed by The Guardian is popular with western-backed ‘rebels’ and fellow travellers from western Europe who don’t follow, “strict interpretations of Islamic law.”
The ‘moderate rebel’ wonder drug? (Image Source: Menaribo)
The Saudi Connection
Most people will know by now that Saudi Arabia and Qatar are some of the chief financial sponsors of the Syrian Conflict and have a vested interest in seeing its Takfiri terrorist forces succeed. It seems that Saudi is prepared to go to any lengths in making that happen.
This time last year during a drug bust at Beirut’s Rafik Hariri International Airport, Lebanon security services arrested a Saudi prince (identified as Abdel Mohsen Bin Walid Bin Abdulaziz) for attempting to smuggle two tonnes of amphetamines on his private jet.
The Burning Blogger of Bedlam followed-up on this report by adding:
“This recent seizure of amphetamines involving the Saudi prince in Lebanon is simply the latest tell-tale incident. Not very long ago, a reported shipment of around 6 million captagon pills were seized, headed for ISIS/ISIL fighters in Syria, and the accusation was being made from multiple sources that NATO itself began production of the drug in a Bulgarian laboratory in 2011 – the very year of the Libyan and Syrian ‘uprisings’ – and that they are now also producing the drug elsewhere too.By now, I would suggest we have enough evidence to suggest that these drugs have been driving much of the most ultra-violent terrorism since 2011, first in Libya, then Syria and Iraq, and that the drug has been steadily provided by agencies within NATO, Saudi Arabia and possibly other sources, from the very start. Which, if true, would provide a very different context to some of the more inhuman, shocking behaviour of jihadists and extremists; including mass beheadings or, for example, the setting alight of the Jordanian pilot or even the sadistic rape and murder of Gaddafi himself in October 2011.”
Indeed, it was the late Libyan leader Mummar Gaddafi who warned the world (to no avail) how, from the very onset of NATO’s operation to take down Libya, Al-Qaeda leaders and their operatives were supplying young men “free drugs and weapons” and telling them to ‘join the fight’ (read more here).
This video aired on Syrian TV in 2014, which shows one crazed Al Nusra fighter (armed and financed by the US and Saudi Arabia) high on Captagon. What he says is very telling:
As it turns out, this brand of subterfuge is well-thread ground for Washington and the CIA – who have relied on drugs to fuel key aspects of past dirty wars, including in Vietnam, Cambodia, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Colombia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraqand now it seems, in Syria too. Nearly all of these dirty wars have featured death squads, and resulting in a massive outflow of refugees.
Drugs serve various purposes for the US and its allies, including corrupting local populations, undermining state structures by promoting ‘warlordism’ and organized crime syndicates, providing a cheap stimulant for guerrilla fighters, and most importantly – a way to raise dark cash to fund insurgency groups. Menaribo puts this into historical perspective:
“In every war that occurred in the last century there was some kind of stimulant consumed by fighters to give them a physical and mental superiority. During World War II, the Nazi soldiers were first given Pervitin pills (known as Speed today) to boost endurance during the invasions of Poland and France. Post-war, the USA put hand on this Nazi invention but found its soldiers addicted to heroin during the Vietnam War. In the early 70’s a new more social drug appeared, cocaine, not long before it took a major role in conflicts around the world mainly in Africa, Lebanon and Latin America.”
In 2001, Executive Intelligence Review described the phenomenon as follows:
“In general, the official justification for support for such groups, is that a particular group, even if devoted to criminal activities, “must” be supported, on behalf of some higher necessity, often “national security.” This was the justification for the support by British and U.S. agencies to the Afghan mujahideen after the 1979 Soviet invasion of that country; as for that given to the Nicaraguan Contras. Both groups financed themselves, and a much bigger structure, with a huge traffic in cocaine, in the case of the Contras, and opium/heroin in the case of the Afghanistan “freedom fighters.” This was tolerated, or even aided, by Western agencies.
“In Afghanistan, the production of opium under the present Taliban regime has continued to expand, and, as we shall see, presently the main axis controlling more than 80% of the heroin market in Europe (plus a growing slice of the heroin market in other areas, including the United States) is the Afghanistan-Kosovo axis. Or better, a Taliban-Kosovo Liberation Army axis.
“One of the targets of the Taliban machine in Asia is the Russian province of Chechnya. Here, a fundamentalist “freedom fighter” organization, heavily financed and armed, has been trying to repeat the Afghan enterprise of the 1980s. The model is the same: “Western” support; terrorism, use of organized crime and drug trafficking, forced recruitment; and violent imposition of feudal loyalty on the population on behalf of a cult-like fundamentalism.”
Aside from consumption by militants, Captagon is also a popular ‘street drug’ in the Gulf states like Saudi Arabia, as young people search for stimulants to try and transcend the boredom and monotony of life in their heavily controlled, theocratic societies (a thesis clearly alluded to in the US gov’t-approved Voice of America article).
User effects of Captagon are significant, especially when put into context with reports we’ve heard from Syria about ISIS and other militants displaying ‘superhuman’ attributes in combat. Here are a series of quotes by users in Syria and Lebanon, collated by Peter Holley of the Washington Post:
“You can’t sleep or even close your eyes, forget about it,” said a Lebanese user, one of three who appeared on camera without their names for a BBC Arabic documentary that aired in September.“And whatever you take to stop it, nothing can stop it.”
“I felt like I own the world high.”
“Like I have power nobody has. A really nice feeling.”
“There was no fear anymore after I took Captagon.”
For an insurgent fighter, this takes on a whole new dimension, according to another Syrian rebel who admitted to the BBC. He stated:
“So the brigade leader came and told us, ‘this pill gives you energy, try it,’ ” he said. “So we took it the first time. We felt physically fit. And if there were 10 people in front of you, you could catch them and kill them. You’re awake all the time. You don’t have any problems, you don’t even think about sleeping, you don’t think to leave the checkpoint. It gives you great courage and power. If the leader told you to go break into a military barracks, I will break in with a brave heart and without any feeling of fear at all — you’re not even tired.”
Deception may also be at play too: “Another ex-fighter told the BBC that his 350-person brigade took the pill without knowing if it was a drug or medicine for energy.”
As 21WIRE reported last month, this potent amphetamine-based drug is one the secrets to the ISIS and Al Nusra terrorist success in Syria and Iraq.
If you haven’t seen this documentary film yet, it offers a good inside look into Syria’s invisible war drug. In this short film, you’ll see an undercover reporter look inside production of the Captagon, and how this is a key part of driving the black market in Syria – including the financing of ‘rebel’ groups there. This might explain one of the factors fuelling the unspeakable violence being perpetrated on civilians and captured Syrian Army Soldiers by young ISIS, Al Nusra, and the infamous US-backed “moderates”, Nour al-din al-Zinki militants, who have been openly supported by the US Coalition and its Gulf monarch partnersa. Watch this film:
The truth of this issue is truly horrifying: the deliberate strategic dispensing of potent narcotics in a paramilitary, insurgency theater – is a common technique employed by US intelligence agencies.
Still, western media operatives will hardly admit, much less pursue this dark storyline, but the conclusion is clear as day: more often than not, these drugs are the X-factor which fuels the extreme violence we see, and it’s used to terrorize local populations and produces more extreme graphic imagery for western media consumption.
The result: it aids in the generation of western fear, and public calls for Washington & Co to “step-up” its military activity in the region – in order to “keep us safe” in cozy America. A vicious cycle.
Isn’t this what we’ve seen in Syria so far?
Time to wake up.
21st Century Wire
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