...But according to official US figures that cannot be concealed, the area under poppy cultivation went from 150,000 acres in 2003 to 510,000 acres in 2004. The UN, the hate-object of the Cheney-Bush administration, reported that "opium poppies are now grown in all 34 Afghan provinces, up from 18 provinces in 1999 and just eight provinces in 1994." [Afghanistan created two new provinces in 2004.] The fact is that since the US invasion of the country its most lucrative illegal industry has expanded more than any other economic activity. The Voice of America (hardly a subversive organization) reported on March 6 that "According to the United Nations, Afghanistan still remains the largest cultivator of illicit opium poppy in the world, accounting for approximately eighty-seven percent."...
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