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Croatian MP Ivan Pernar delivers a warning speech on NATO-sponsored drug trade in Afghanistan

Ivan Pernar

On 23 November 2017, Croatian anti-establishment MP Ivan Pernar delivered a warning speech against role of his country in a deadly mission in Afghanistan which, according to him, serves only those who gain profit from drug and weapon trafficking. Pernar, 32 years old, a first-time MP from the opposition party Human Shield (Živi zid), did not mention geo-strategic importance of Afghanistan, the "crossroads of Asia" between China, Iran, India and Russia, but rather focused on growing poppy cultivation, opium production, and heroin trade, all due to NATO intervention in that country.

This explosion in poppy cultivation since 2001 is a well-established and undeniable fact, but what Pernar did not mention is a bizarre American excuse regarding being "unable to control the poppy cultivation". In 2000, the Taliban regime with its primitive military forces reduced cultivation in only a few months, and NATO as the most powerful military alliance is allegedly unable to do the same during 16 years. Sounds legit.

Another important fact which Pernar forgot to mention is that Croatia has been victim of CIA-sponsored heroin production in Afghanistan since early 1980s. The Balkan Route is a drug-trafficking crossroads between the European drug-consuming market and the heroin-producing countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Approximately 80% of Europe's heroin has historically passed through the former Yugoslavia. In the beginning of 1980s, with the breakthrough of heroin, drug abuse had spread and became fashionable, especially in Split and Zadar. Heroin had had a particularly lethal impact on the epidemic in Split, notoriously called the city of drugs.

Read the full transcript of Pernar's words from Croatian parliament below:

Honorable chairman, here I am speaking, not only in my name, not only in the name of my party, or the voters that I represent, but in the name of common sense, and actually in the name of all the citizens of the world. There is a hidden truth, a very little talked about fact, that the production of heroin, or opium, in Afghanistan has increased from 8,000 hectares in 2001 to 200,000 hectares last year. So that means, that since the NATO invasion in Afghanistan, the production of opium poppy has increased by 25 times.

The logical question that is being asked is: what is the level of security in Afghanistan? There are 400,000 people involved in drug production in Afghanistan, which is more then the number of security forces, the forces that NATO trains, and their forces. It is clear that NATO and its forces are tacitly supporting and protecting the production of opium poppy. As said one thought before, the production of opium poppy has increased 25 times. That is approximately the amount that heroin addicts have increased in the United States.

In 2001, shortly before the invasion of Afghanistan, in the USA there were 189,000 addicts, and in 2016, last year in the USA, there were 4.5 million heroin addicts. That is a growth of 24 times! So if you link an opium production by 25 times in Afghanistan, so in the USA, we have a growth of 24 times of heroin addicts! In Afghanistan the situation is particularly worrisome, there in this moment, this is shocking information, they now have 3 million of heroin addicts. These addicts weren't there until the USA, Croatia, and rest of the NATO countries, interfered with their dirty little fingers.

I will say one more thought. The war that NATO is leading in Afghanistan, so far has killed 111,000 Afghans, and took away 3,400 lives of NATO soldiers. Regarding the security situation, I will tell you one detail about the Afghan refugees in Germany in the year 2000, when the Taliban were at the peak of their power, there were only 5,000 refugees. Last year there were 127,000. That is the growth of 25 times! See how the production of poppy under NATO sponsorship is growing up by 25 times, and how the number of addicts and refugees have in turn grown roughly by 25 times? Here are some more statistics, in the USA in 2000, there was 1,779 deaths from heroin overdoses. Last year there was 10,574, that is 6 times more heroin overdoses in the USA. That increase in deaths is connected to the poppy production.

I will tell you one more detail. Do you know how many in Europe and in Russia, from the time the USA has invaded Afghanistan, do you know how many people have died from a heroin overdose? What do you think ladies and gentlemen? A million people! Half of those overdose deaths took place in Russia. Why is that such a big problem? It is a problem because with the heroin epidemic, we also see increase of HIV; and in Russia at this moment, there are over 100,000 new cases of HIV yearly. Half of those HIV infected people are because of the use of needles to inject heroin.

Unfortunately, if these Croatian policies continue, the policies that are supporting, yes, supporting crime, that is supporting and protecting the drug producers, that contribute that the drug goes worldwide, and takes human lives, we are going to be witnesses to even bigger tragedies. However, I have another thought. Until someone that is close to you, your child, your brother, your sister, your relative, your friend, will be the one of those of horrible statistics, you will say that Pernar is a clown, a fool and that he is talking nonsense.

There is no end to your servility towards American policy, you are willing to do anything they demand from you, although, in the case of meaningless war in Afghanistan, you can see that Afghans are not better off since the Americans showed up. Just try to imagine a country with 3 million addicts, and what kind of life is that for them, and their families? You can see that by the fact that the number of refugees from Afghanistan has increased 25 times since the USA arrived there. Unfortunately all these numbers mean nothing to you.

You should know, regarding terrorist attacks, that there have never been more then now, if that is one detail that you are worried about. But since America's invasion into Afghanistan, there was increase in terrorism, drug production, and criminal activity by 25 times, number of addicts is 3 million, number of refugees has increased by 25 times, and so on. I am asking you, what are the positive aspects of the NATO military presence and what effect does it have on the life of an average Afghani, or on the other side, on the life of average American, Russian, Croatian, and so on?

This war that is going on, is not a war against terrorism, the goal of this war is to protect and insure the production of opium. Profit is the purpose of this war. The only ones that are gaining a profit from this war are evidently the ones that are producing and trafficking the drugs, evidently the ones that are producing and trafficking weapons, and evidently the ones that are supporting this kind of policy. Unfortunately, in the Croatian parliament, we from the Human Shield (Živi zid), are the only political party that condemns this policy. This policy that is leading to the ruin and the collapse of people's lives.

You are supporting the NATO military mission not because you saw data that show you positive results. No, on the contrary, you now know that all of the results are negative. You are supporting it only because you decided to serve so-called "The Great Satan", as Imam Khomeini called it. You decided to serve the evil, the evil in the form of Uncle Sam, how Americans call him. Uncle Sam that wants you and your souls. The puppet says "I want you", and he gets you on his side.

The thing I want to know is what did you get in return for supporting this policy which leads to perdition? Not only Afghans, but citizens worldwide. Unfortunately, to you this is funny or not serious, and that is because you don't see what your own eyes how people are using drugs and injecting them, haven't seen people overdosing with your own eyes, and so on. You are laughing on behalf of my occupation, as a nurse, and that is funny to you ladies and gentlemen. But as a nurse I had the opportunity to see heroin addicts, I had a chance to see people who are coming to get substitution of heroin, which is Methadone therapy. I had a chance to see how their lives look like, and that kind of life I do not wish for anyone's child.

But ladies and gentlemen, if this mission continues it is evident that the drug production will continue, it is evident that the crime will continue, as well as rise of criminal activity, and growth of terrorism. Actually in the end there is going to be a huge number of death cases all around America, Europe, and Asia. The war in Afghanistan brought only the destruction, only destruction and nothing good for the good people, for common people, for those who do not rub their hands when they kill people. However, there are people in this world, like one song "American dream" says, people who rub their hands when they kill, and yes, those kind of people do exist among us, and they are on power in the USA.

Unfortunately, I can see that they are in majority, in power in my own country Croatia. I can see that to you the profit and interest of the USA is in front the interest of common sense, in front of well-being for the people generally, and that in your selfishness, blindness, deafness, and self-deception, you are convincing yourself that you are doing good although if you look at the result, it is obvious that what you're doing is evil.

I will repeat once again, that since American, or you can say NATO invasion that Croatia is participating in, the growth of 25 times of surface that opium fields, from 8,000 to 200,000 hectares. In the USA heroin addicts from 189,000 in 2001 to 4,500,000 in 2016. Dear ladies and gentlemen, only in Germany the number of growth of refugees is from 5,000 in 2000 to 127,000 in last year, a growth of 25 times also. Ladies and gentlemen, what else do you want hear from me? What would you ask?

I remember one Bible comparison, it was about arrogant rich man and poor Lazarus. While Lazarus after his death ended up in heaven, the arrogant rich man ended up in hell, so Lazarus is coming to the so called Abraham's side, he is going to heaven. Meanwhile the rich man, after seeing how he ended up, he said: "Father Abraham, please do warn my brothers who live on the Earth like I did, so that they don't end up in hell like I did". And then Abraham said: "They have Moses and prophets, let them read the holy scriptures, and everything will be clear to them". The arrogant rich man then said: "They don't want to believe to Moses and prophets", and Abraham responded: "If they don't believe to Moses and prophets, they won't believe even if someone rises from death".

In the same way, you are claiming that if you would know the truth, you would stand on its side, but I told you the truth, you have heard it, and seen it, but like arrogant relatives of the rich man from comparison with poor Lazarus, you and your relatives are refusing to accept this obvious truth, better say to take its side, and you do not want to stop supporting this criminal policy that has brought us only death, human misery and human suffering, growth of the number of refugees, and in the end human tragedies, which have spilled from Afghanistan, even worse, it spread worldwide as well. That is your policy ladies and gentlemen from HDZ, SDP, MOST, HNS and other political parties that have accepted to be puppet parties, to be in service of foreign occupier who occupies our country as well.

The only difference between NATO mission in Afghanistan is that you occupy with weapons there and you are supporting the government that has no legitimacy, and our country Croatia is occupied with loans, via financial instruments, in a way that we are being made dependent on a foreign capital, because in 1994 you have turned Croatian central bank into currency board. Because the hand that is giving is always above the hand that is taking, and that we are the hand that is taking while foreign creditors the hand that is giving, so it is clear that in our country foreign creditors have the upper hand, and that the will of our citizens is irrelevant.

Just as it is in this case of sending our soldiers in this failed mission, actually not failed but a successful mission, but for who? It is successful mission for those who are in business of production and drug sale, who are trafficking with drugs, for those who are trafficking and selling weapons, and in the end those who are paid to make sure that this circus goes on endlessly, as 16 years is not enough, or how would your former party president and ex-detainee say: "We are going further". And for how long? 16, 30, 100 years? Only God knows. Thank you.

Marko Knežević

Marko Knežević is a historian and freelance journalist from Bar, Montenegro. He is a frequent traveller to the Middle East and East Asia.