CNN Crew Attacked in Lebanon's World of Cannabis

Discussion in 'International Marijuana News' started by Superjoint, Jun 21, 2001.

  1. Beirut, Lebanon - AFP
    Source: Associated Press

    A television crew from news giant CNN found itself Tuesday under a hail of gunfire from drug growers in the heart of Lebanon's marijuana plantations, CNN bureau chief in Beirut Brent Sadler told AFP.
    The British Sadler and his team of German cameraman Christian Streib, Lebanese producer Nada Husseini and their driver were escorted by the owner of a cannabis plantation and his agricultural engineer in the eastern Bekaa valley, the hub of the country's drug trade.

    However, suddenly, they stumbled into an ambush.

    "We were filming in the valley 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) north of Hermel where thousands of hectares (acres) of cannabis crop are cultivated when several warning shots were fired when we were leaving," said Sadler, who has been posted in Lebanon four years.

    "Several minutes later we were ambushed on a remote mountain road by about 10 gunmen in two cars, armed with assault rifles, pistols and I saw a sniper rifle. They pointed the gun at the driver and fired one shot. No one was shot," he said.

    "The other gunmen went running down the slope, firing their guns into the air and at the ground.

    "They forced the CNN crew out of their car at gunpoint and fired dozens of shots at random during the incident," he recalled.

    They confiscated all of CNN's film equipment, including two cameras, but allowed the crew to keep their personal items.

    Sadler said, "They were happy to return in one piece" from this "dangerous lawless part of Lebanon" where "very heavily armed group of men (are) operating in an area of concentrated cannabis crop production."

    Lebanese security services estimate that cannabis in the Bekaa valley is now planted on 35,000 hectares (86,450 acres), which could spread to 50,000 hectares (123,500 acres) by harvest time this year.

    Nonetheless, drug experts say the current drug crop is at one-tenth of the levels reached in 1990, the final year of Lebanon's 15-year civil war.

    The Lebanese government launched a crackdown on the drug trade in 1992 and received foreign aid from the United Nations for a crop substitution programme.

    Unfortunately, Lebanon never attracted the financial aid it hoped for to stamp out the drug trade permanently.

    Sadler estimates Lebanon will make 135 million USD this year from its cannabis trade, adding the crop's "street value ... in Europe is two billion US dollars."

    Complete Title: CNN Crew Attacked by Drug Bandits in Lebanon's Wild World of Cannabis

    Newshawk: Nicholas Thimmesch II
    NORML Media & Communications
    Source: Associated Press
    Published: Wednesday, June 20 2001
    Copyright: 2001 Associated Press
     
  2. Yeah, what a lawless part of the world. :rolleyes:

    Had this been Africa, the men would of had their throats slit, and shot. The women would of been brutally raped until they starved to death, and they probably would of never figured out what happened.

    But a couple of pot growers with automatic weapons took their cameras, and actually let them keep their vehicle/clean water and personal belongings... Sounds like they were pretty nice about it, given the context of the situation.

    But hey, thats not gonna stop CNN from being like "The Lebanese World of Crime, Drugs, and Violence is at a penacle, something needs to be done!"

    Yeah, quit sending fucking Americans to lebanon to take pictures of their illegal crops... O_O

    I mean, what the fuck.
     
  3. being nice had nothing to do with it. they didnt want to attract international interest and get an army knocking on their door.
     
  4. "Bekaa valley is now planted on 35,000 hectares (86,450 acres), which could spread to 50,000 hectares (123,500 acres) by harvest time this year."

    Yeah dude, I bet they were really worried about the UN sending an army out there to get'um. If anything, they didn't kill'em so that the UN wouldn't burn down their weed fields.
     
  5. im sure the individuals weren't worried, but obviously someone ordered a coordinated effort.
    they didn't want attention and troops being dispatched. i didn't at all mean that a huge multi national army would descend and wipe them out. just that they would get their shit disrupted. if their shit wouldn't get disrupted i bet they would have just killed the journalists.
     

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