Organized crime was wiped out in Italy by Mussolini, but the Allied invasion returned the Sicilian Mafia to power. Vito Genovese was appointed an officer in American army headquarters. Luck Luciano invented the idea of getting prostitutes addicted to heroin to make them dependent on his brothels in NYC. When the French controlled Indo-China, opium was a government monopoly and it accounted for 15% to 54% of the government's income. The book traces the history of opium in each southeast Asian country. When the government did not monopolize it or officially regulate it, it took bribes from those who did. The KMT ("free: China) army controls the opium in northern Burma. Warlords in southeast Asia get most of their money by collecting opium taxes from the peasants. Ky in South Vietnam flew opium in USAF planes. The Golden Triangle is a major source of heroin, but the US narcotics agencies were slow to recognize this fact. The communists are anti-opium.
The only criticism I have of this book, besides the fact that it is repetitive, is that it says nothing about the motivation, organization, or history of the anti-imperialist forces in southeast Asia.
Year Read: 1985
Libertarian Essays by Roy Halliday
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