For those of you, dear readers, who thought that 2famous.TV was all about beauty and no brains, like Paris Hilton, you were wrong-ish my friends.
That’s why I’ve taken the burden upon my shoulders to educate you a tad on the Lebanese agricultural history – and the way this is related to the U.S. of A.
A whole fuck tons of time ago, when the Phoenicians were ruling the Mediterranean from Lebanon, the Bekaa Valley was called “The Whole World’s Food Chamber”, a nickname that changed to “The Sun Valley” when the Romans took over a few centuries before that imaginary point in history that marks the beginning of our calendar – year zero.
The Phoenicians are famous for having been the first people to produce wine for export, and a substantial part of the wheat production for the eastern region of the Roman Empire came from this glorious valley. So did the drugs: the Bacchus temple that was built to worship the God of Wine is still standing well preserved in the heart of this valley. On its massive gates we can see wine leaves and opium plants carved into the stone.
And every spring the snow that covers the mountains surrounding this valley melts and floods the rich soil with fresh water. This, in combination with the perfect temperature, altitude, and sunlight, makes it literally possible to make any seed shoot out its potential fruits in no time.
But then war came and the local currency collapsed in the mid 80′s which led to crazy inflation. Seeds, fertilizers, and chemicals, increased in price while farmers’ incomes remained “stable”. So, if you can’t afford to buy poop to put in the soil for your tomatoes to grow, you can always return to the good ol’ hashish. Because unlike most other crops, the hashish needs little water and no fertilizers to grow. As soon as you finger a seed into the soil a dusty green bud is born, rising to your eye level in no time to say “Hello Daddy!” Then you smash those green little children of yours against the wall. The dust it leaves, ladies and gentlemen, is what financed the Lebanese civil war.
And that’s because we love to smoke up in the West. Even our presidents do it. But we are so ashamed of it that we would never dare to produce it ourselves. At its peak in the mid 80′s Lebanon produced and exported about 100,000 tons of hashish every year.
So when Lebanon was wrapping up its shit after the war, the U.S. of A. was slightly concerned by the fact that the Bekaa Valley was flooding its “dangerous” fruits into the American market. Lebanon was classified as a “major drug producing country”, which meant that they
were had a serious problem. Action needed to be taken.
The United Nations Develop Programme (UNDP) estimated that it would cost three hundred million dollars to modernize Lebanon’s agricultural system, and a massive financial aid package was promised. At the thought of having more money to pocket, the already overly corrupt Lebanese politicians ejaculated in unison. They passed a law that would allow zero tolerance for the possession of soft drugs, a law which came with great pleasure to violence-loving cops who enforce order on the streets when the army is busy doing army stuff.
But, alas, the American dream went up in smoke like confiscated pot when the U.S. of A. decided that Lebanon was not so dangerous after all, and degraded them from being a “major drug producing country” to a “moderate drug producing country”. The promise of greener grass was finally suspended in 2001 and earmarked aid was spent on bullets instead of bullshit for the Israelis to shoot babies with. I mean, the cash was already in the hood…
America’s “war on drugs”
Most wars start when someone says “let’s make a war”. That “someone” tends to be the U.S. of A. — or its close allies. By now we
should have learnt that by starting a war we’re always heading for – yet another – epic failure. The “War on Drugs”, or “Operation Dessert Haze… or something” that Nixton initiated in 1971 is no exception, and by using heavy weapons to fight drug lords we have turned them into warlords. Fight crime with violence and you’ll get more violence in return, seems to be the golden rule here.
Lebanon was dragged into this failed philosophy by pressure from America, and the hashish farmers ended up protecting their crops from the cops with bullets.
So what happens now that the U.S. of A. is slowly changing its policy by not only legalizing marihuana for medial or personal use, but by also becoming a “drug producing country” themselves? Nothing! of course. The Lebanese farmers were always the losers in this game, and it’s going to stay like that. And I would not be surprised if the people that were funding the war on drugs in the first place will also be the ones exporting their own “medical” THC products to Lebanon in the future. Then a new game would be on, which would, of course, be impossible for the Lebanese farmers to win.
So, if you feel like an advocate for Lebanese culture by helping the agricultural tradition rolling, you run the risk of being stuffed into an inhumane cell guarded by a bunch of stoners whose jobs it is to “protect this country” from… well… whatever America once said. Get wasted and beat up your wife instead. It’s legal, and much safer.
Here is a nostalgic video of Lebanese hash farming at its peak. We actually brought this video on a laptop to show it to these farmers up in the mountains. They loved it, and welcomed us into the warmth:
And here is a one hour long documentary about how the global war on drugs have been an epic failure. It’s an excellent piece of documentary where we get to hear the presidents and the ex presidents of several American countries talking about the real problem, and how the U.S. of A. is addressing it wrongly.