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Registered: 07/26/04
Posts: 13,985
Loc: Flag
Iraqi drug lords are targeting British troops
    #4590496 - 08/28/05 11:54 AM (12 years, 6 months ago)

Iraqi drug lords are targeting vulnerable British troops
August 28, 2005 - people.co.uk

Evil Iraqi drug lords are targeting vulnerable British troops with super-strong cannabis.

Dozens of susceptible squaddies are becoming hooked on the drug as they try to cope with the appalling stress of a conflict that has already killed 92 of Our Boys.

The troops are constantly looking over their shoulders for bloodthirsty terrorists or suicide bombers, while living in 40C temperatures thousands of miles from their loved ones back in Britain.

Unable to relax for a moment, many fall back on the cheap but brain-crunchingly potent weed as a means of temporary respite.

And in an exclusive interview with The People, one 20-year-old squaddie said there was no shortage of unscrupulous Iraqis looking to exploit the young men and women for their own wicked gain.

Private Lee Gates said: "It is easier to score in the middle of the desert in Iraq than it is to get drugs in a nightclub in the UK."

And confirming the problem, a former Regimental Sergeant Major with the British in Iraq said: "In such a volatile environment and under the Army's strict regime there are few outlets of release. But Iraq drug dealers know of our guys weaknesses and have moved in to exploit the position."

Fresh-faced Private Gates admitted being one of those who squandered his pay on hash while based in Basra last year.

Gates, who was in the Royal Logistics Corps, said troops called the cannabis squidgy because it is so easy to roll.And he said they bought it in bulk - paying around ?28 for enough to make at least 15 powerful joints.

But when under particular stress, Gates himself would smoke up to SEVEN spliffs in a single day while on duty.

He said an Iraqi coach driver used to sell the hash when he arrived at the soldiers' barracks. "We had to be sneaky when we went to buy the stuff but it was always available," said the private.

"We would smoke all night and nobody seemed to notice.

"I would worry sometimes I was too high to get behind the wheel of a vehicle the following morning but I always seemed to cope.

"But it is quite unbelievable that we were out in one of the most dangerous places in the world yet we were too busy getting stoned to realise it."

Despite that, Gates looked the perfect Army role model when photographed proudly holding his SA80 rifle while standing beside a tank.

The truth, however, is that shortly before the picture was taken, he had already smoked a spliff - and felt he could only get through the day by scoring yet more weed and getting completely stoned.

He said: "I started smoking before I joined the Army, but thought joining up would be the one thing that would help me quit the drug.

"But when we were posted to Iraq I was told within days by others in the regiment where I could score. I couldn't quite believe it was so easy.

"There were loads of others doing it and it was a way to relax from all the pressures.

"It helped me sleep at night. It might seem strange we did it, but when you're working in difficult conditions it happens."

Gates joined the Army in 2002 and just a year later was part of the team sent to help rebuild Iraq after the fall of Saddam. He worked as a driver stationed in Shaibah camp in Basra delivering ammunition and food supplies to other barracks.

He returned again in October 2004 for six months and that was when he was shown how to score drugs on camp.

"I was told the cannabis was smuggled in from Kuwait and that civilian Iraqis then travelled to British barracks to flog it to soldiers," he said.After buying his stash, Gates would hide it in his pocket or in a bag. Nobody ever caught him.

"The drugs were cheaper and a lot stronger over there than the gear back home," he added.

"I would smoke up to seven spliffs a day and sometimes because of the heat it would really hit you.

"But if I had to go out in the wagon to make a food delivery I still did it. It was a bit tricky driving the lorry when you were so spaced out."

It is the first time a British soldier has revealed details of cannabis misuse in Iraq.

But hash is known to be a widespread problem among Allied troops there, despite a drugs and booze ban by military chiefs.

In the past 14 months 55 US soldiers from one brigade alone have been court martialed after random testing uncovered drink and cannabis use.

Military defence lawyer Capt Christopher Krafchek told a court: "Some of these young soldiers just can't handle the stress."

In Britain, one former Regimental Sergeant Major who served in Iraq told The People: "After the fall of Saddam the stresses of policing the streets and keeping law and order have became intense among the lads.

"For many of them, mainly the younger personnel, smoking cannabis is seen as a way to forget about the pressure for a short while.

"Many American troops who worked alongside us have been court martialed for smoking weed already.

"Each and every soldier knows full well the consequences of being caught with either drugs or alcohol.

"But for many they need some form of release or they would crack up."

In April this year, Private Gates returned to his base in Germany after his second, six-month tour of duty in Basra.

But two months ago he went absent without leave from the Royal Princess Barracks in Guetersloh and is now in hiding in Liverpool.

He said: "I had to leave the Army because I was getting ill smoking too much. I started having panic attacks. I didn't get on with the Army. If they find out where I am I will be arrested and sent back to Germany."

Last night the MoD played down the drugs issue, saying: "We are not aware on any problems with cannabis among servicemen in Iraq."

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Registered: 06/17/03
Posts: 13,227
Loc: Pongyang, North Korea
Re: Iraqi drug lords are targeting British troops [Re: veggie]
    #4591112 - 08/28/05 04:00 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

"Unable to relax for a moment, many fall back on the cheap but brain-crunchingly potent weed as a means of temporary respite. "



"in times of widespread chaos and confusion, it has been the duty of more advanced human beings - artists, scientists, clowns, and philosophers - to create order. In such times as ours however, when there is too much order, too much m management, too much programming and control, it becomes the duty of superior men and women and women to fling their favorite monkey wrenches into the machinery. To relieve the repression of the human spirit, they must sow doubt and disruption"

"People do it every day, they talk to themselves ... they see themselves as they'd like to be, they don't have the courage you have, to just run with it."

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Doctor ofShroomology
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Registered: 01/31/04
Posts: 4,132
Loc: florida
Last seen: 4 months, 7 days
Re: Iraqi drug lords are targeting British troops [Re: ZippoZ]
    #4591137 - 08/28/05 04:08 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
did that come from the onion?

We got Nothing!
we're no longer selling jars.  :laugh:

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Sun-Beams out of Cucumbers
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Registered: 03/06/03
Posts: 21,286
Loc: The Ocean of Notions
Last seen: 7 months, 6 days
Re: Iraqi drug lords are targeting British troops [Re: veggie]
    #4591185 - 08/28/05 04:20 PM (12 years, 6 months ago)

:tongue2: :tongue2:

I like the headline on the linked page better



After one comes, through contact with it's administrators, no longer to cherish greatly the law as a remedy in abuses, then the bottle becomes a sovereign means of direct action.  If you cannot throw it at least you can always drink out of it.  - Ernest Hemingway

If it is life that you feel you are missing I can tell you where to find it.  In the law courts, in business, in government.  There is nothing occurring in the streets. Nothing but a dumbshow composed of the helpless and the impotent.    -Cormac MacCarthy

He who learns must suffer. And even in our sleep pain that cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, and in our own despair, against our will, comes wisdom to us by the awful grace of God.  - Aeschylus

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