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Even Hamid Karzai Has a 5-Year Plan

Don’t you love how these guys pull "5 years" out of their asses, when in fact the future of the rest of his fraudulently-acquired term – let alone Afghanistan itself – is less assured than Aerosmith’s tour dates?

‘"We will decrease the role of international forces," Mr. Karzai said at a midday ceremony held at the presidential palace in Kabul. "We want our security within five years to be entirely within the hands of the Afghan government and led by Afghans."’

Wouldn’t we all. The thing is, for almost a decade, people have been making money off of this war, and the war in Iraq. Big, huge money, and they hope to continue making money: if not from the weapons themselves, or the private military ‘contractors’, or even the massive heroin profits, then from "rebuilding", and investment in the country’s ‘future’.

Mere cynicism? In fact, the reason Afghanistan has been a killing field for any troops unfortunate enough to be deployed there, whether by Britain or Russia or the U.S. and it’s ‘allies’, is because it is the perfect spot for endless war. The borders of Afghanistan, like Pakistan, were created on paper maps, rather than by a realistic understanding of tribal loyalties which run far deeper than any sense of "national identity" as it is thought of elsewhere.

‘ »We welcome those who are not affiliated with any terrorist organisations and whose hands are not red with Afghans’ blood, » [Karzai] said.’  Ya think he means us?

Farcically, desperately, "Dignitaries from more than 40 countries, including the Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, the US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and the British foreign secretary, David Miliband, attended the ceremony in Kabul."

Meanwhile, ‘ »It’s more of the same, » Abdullah [Abdullah, Karzai’s main rival] said. « He has spoken in these terms – in terms of bringing changes and reform, and fighting corruption, and bringing security and reconciliation – for the last eight years, and the situation has worsened. »’

‘Basher Dost, a candidate who came in third in the first round of the presidential election, has said Mr. Karzai’s lifelong orientation is toward his tribe and family, and those loyalties render him unable to make the deep changes needed in his government. "He believes his power is his warlords, it’s the chiefs of tribes," he said recently. "It’s not important what is true; what is important is the interest of your family. It’s why he cannot fight the warlords and cannot fight the corruption," Mr. Dost said.’

So it was with Saddam Hussein, so it is with the Taliban, and so it will continue to be with the Karzai regime, until one of two things happen: foreign troops really do just leave, lock, stock and smoking barrels, allowing the country to sink back into the 15th century while doing "business" through the usual channels of corruption and mafias, or Western leaders and forces will get honest about why they are in these areas to begin with – to control their oil – and try an approach whereby the billions of dollars sent to aid the civilian population and rebuild infrastructure and a viable, international business marketplace for legal goods and services, actually accomplish these goals with visible, convincing results.

Don’t hold your breath. « People should know that only the votes of the people can legitimise the government, » Karzai said. « I am the servant of all the people of Afghanistan, from every ethnicity, every tribe, from every place, from every province from every age, whether they are small children whether they are old people, women, I invite all the presidential candidates to come and help in serving this nation. »

Emptier words have seldom been spoken; but when they were, it’s likely it happened in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Pakistan of the 21st century.
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Originally posted to the poliskeptic on Thu Nov 19, 2009 at 09:33 AM PST.

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