On one level, it is an excellent example of
Marijuana has evolved into the mutant plant that we know today (some of us more than others). Initially, its hallucinogenic properties were an adaptation to ward of "predators". Any herbivores that ate it were confused and either became easy prey, or forgot where they found the plant. When apex predators (that would be us) came along, the plant's unique adaptation were put to different uses. It was then selectively selected for higher yield, much like wheat and barley were.
The “war on drugs” created another evolutionary pressure. With the extensive use of defoliants and other crop removal techniques, there was an increasing need for uniquely resistant plants that grew higher and ever faster. This created a wide variety of “strains”, some which are a far cry from their humble ancestor. As a result, the crop continues growing...
Tobacco is another interesting example; its active ingredients are poisonous to most insects. A few species of insects have evolved to feed on the plant; they can be immune to the toxic substances, or can avoid them while feeding, or can store them to become poisonous themselves. Much like humans, who inconvenience and kill many of their brethren with toxic fumes of second hand smoke.
On another note, it highlights the failures of Western policies. The best example is the "war against the Taliban" in
The real funding for war in
As long as the West does not address those issues,
As politicians focus on short term policies, and ill-equip their forces, much valour goes wasted.
A similar effect is at play in
As far as direct support, Iranian Oil is the first element that comes to mind, contributing more than 500 Million US$/year
The Indirect support is less obvious. Drugs were always important in the context of the Lebanese Civil War. In 1980-1981, Syrians and their allies fought unites of the "Lebanese Forces" in the battle of Zahleh; at stake was a road that would connect directly to the town, and bypass Syrian-controlled drug export routes.
Towards the end of the Lebanese Civil War, the West has aggressively sponsored drug eradication in Lebanon, with some success. The Beqaa valley does not produce as much drugs as before, and farmers tried to revert to substitutes. With little success.
However, with the country’s woeful infrastructure, and with a farming policy that largely favours
They cannot compete with the merchant classes of the cities who find it more profitable to import Syrian produce. They also had to compete with farming goods coming from as far as
For many, drugs were the only cash crop. With that option gone, they have little choice but poverty. And they fall into the clutches of whoever has the cash, or whoever can protect them and keep government forces at bay. During their occupation,
In the increasingly fragmented Lebanon of today, Hezb is more than able and willing to fill that gap. To some, bombs may be more "glamorous" than beans, but you need a combination of both to "win".
Hezb understands this. Give and take, and a few hypocritical tears do not hurt...