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Actually this story is about much more than this.

There is a group of Republicans, including Dana Rohrabacher, Louis Gohmert, Michele Bachmann, and Michael Burgess who were going to Kabul to meet with the Afghanistan National Front.

This new political party was recently established (2011) by Ahmad Zia Massoud, Mohammad Mohaqiq and Abdul Rashid Dostum, and is generally an updated version of the Northern Alliance which fought against the Soviets and later the Taliban, but did not get the support that the fundamentalists like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar received from the US during the Afghan/Soviet war.

There are many in Afghanistan that think many of these men should be on trial for horrific crimes, but these members of the House and Senate wants to further arm them and does not agree with current US policy in Afghanistan.

As it turns out, Karzai really did not want Dana to come. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both called him to tell him not to go.

While he stayed home, the rest of the motley crew went to Kabul to meet with Karzi's opposition, while the US Embassy tried hard to distance the US from this meeting.

"It is like (the U.S.) Ambassador going to Moscow and meeting with the opposition first," said NBC News correspondent Jim Maceda, who has reported on Afghanistan for more than 20 years. "It is an example of good intentions paving the way to hell."
The delegation and ANF reported:
The ANF and the congressional delegation "call for a comprehensive intra-Afghan dialogue immediately with the support of [the] international community that would lead to the implementation of a parliamentary form of democracy with decentralization of executive power to the provinces with elected management."

The statement also called Rohrabacher "a great friend of the Afghan people" and condemned the fact he was "not permitted to enter Afghanistan because of his support for constitutional reform."

More below the fold....

Dana Rohrabacher's history in Afghanistan goes back a long way. He first went to Afghanistan back in the 80's before he was in office, claiming to have fought the Soviets alongside the mujahedin.

Dana may have heeded the pleas of the US government to not go to this meeting, but  Louis Gohmert, Michelle Bachmann and Michael Burgess met with Massoud, Dostum etc. in Kabul to voice their support for the National Front, their desire to remove Karzai from office and basically change the entire political system in Afghanistan.

And they have been working on this for awhile now.

One problem is, some members of the ANF are thought of as war criminals by many in and out of Afghanistan. But then again, that has not really been a problem when it come to US policy.......this is from a 2004 paper discussing the Afghan Constitution

U.S. leaders show deep sensitivity toward their allies whose proxy troops control the population of Afghanistan. “Pentagon officials refrain from using the term ‘warlord',” the New York Times informs us. 7 Deputy Secretary of Defence Paul Wolfowitz told the U.S. Senate in 2002: “I think the basic strategy here is first of all to work with those warlords or regional leaders, whatever you prefer to call them, to encourage good behavior.” U.S. Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a staunch Northern Alliance supporter for over a decade, angrily came to the defense of “supposed warlords” who were being criticized at a House Foreign Relations Committee hearing in June 2003:

    “I've heard a lot of negative posturing about...these people who happened to have been the guys who sided with the United States ...Dostam, Atta, Khan...these were the people who defeated the Taliban... Just keep that in mind if you're an American. They came to help us defeat people who slaughtered our own people [September 11, 2001]. And I'm grateful for that. And I'm not about to label them in these pejorative terms [as warlords], especially when the Taliban are still on the border...I would admonish [you] not to go so quickly in getting rid of people who helped us defeat the Taliban.”

Rohrabacher's point enlightens us as to the motives of U.S. officials. Criminals who “sided with the United States ” are to be defended and given power, while those who don't are cast out, persecuted, and recognized as criminals or terrorists.

Charlie Wilson must be happy to see these guys pick up where he left off.

So here we are with a bunch of (primarily) right wing Republicans calling for pretty much changing the entire political system in Afghanistan, reducing the central government, creating a new constitution, having foreign troops staying if the Taliban comes back, and getting rid of Karzai. All the while giving more power to Karzai's opposition in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile the National security advisor, Rangin Dadfar Spanta, and the US ambassador in Kabul, Ryan Crocker, finalized the Afghan-US long term strategic partnership agreement on Sunday. It awaits signatures from both presidents while we wait to hear what it contains. Yup, they have decided to not release the details to anyone.
I'll tell ya, I am at a loss at what the heck we need to do in Afghanistan. While it is obvious that we need to pull out militarily, there is a hell of a lot that is not obvious. There have been so many mistakes in the war in the past decade there are really no good choices in ending it.

Not for us, and certainly not for the Afghans. They will likely end up with either a bunch of highly armed war criminals, or the Taliban running the country for profit and power. Likely they end up fighting each other as they did back in the early 90's for control.

I do not want to see Afghanistan in another civil war. I do not want to see women there lose the rights they have managed to get in the last decade. But I also see no way keeping foreign troops there fighting what is likely to be a never-ending counterinsurgency as a way to have peace for the Afghans. And it is certainly not helping us here in the US either.

My hope today is that we find a way to fund efforts there that will give the Afghans a chance while pulling out. I certainly do not trust Louis Gohmert, Dana Rohrabacher etc. to have the right ideas.

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Comment Preferences

  •  We Can't Do Jack Shit. nt (4+ / 0-)

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 06:59:08 PM PDT

  •  free-range wingnut "diplunacy" (14+ / 0-)

    Let's hope the State Dept. lets it be known this is not the official line.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson

    by Karl Rover on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:03:09 PM PDT

  •  Thank you kimoconnor for (8+ / 0-)

    adding a little light to a confusing situation.

    Fascism will come to the United States wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. --Sinclair Lewis

    by maggiejean on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:12:31 PM PDT

  •  seeing as karzai's government (4+ / 0-)

    is the one recognized by our government, would the action of rohrbacher, bachmann, et. al. fall into the category of "giving aid and comfort to our enemies"?

    hope springs eternal and DAMN is she getting tired!

    by alguien on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:16:50 PM PDT

    •  not really (5+ / 0-)

      This is not so much about the Obama administration being against the ANF as much as they believe they have to accept the current president, even if they do not always do his bidding.

      This administration has not done anything to keep these guys out of power in Afghanistan.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:24:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  alguien... (0+ / 0-)

      The National Front is a political party, not an alternative government.  The United States recognizes the national government in Kabul...right now led by Hamid Karzai.  Nobody has asked the United States to recognize any other government.

      These "enemies" you refer to are the people who fought the Taliban for many years before our intervention, and toppled their government at our behest and with our air support in 2001.  The real "enemies" in Afghanistan are the Taliban, not the National Front.

      Terror has no religion.

      by downsouth on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 09:41:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where's Obama on this? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mimi, Aunt Pat

    What the fuck? Why is somebody not making a statement of the irresponsible actions of these members of congress? Can you imagine what the Republicans would say if Democrats did this during Bush's term?

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:43:59 PM PDT

  •  Also, I am surprised Ismail Khan is not part of (0+ / 0-)

    this. I wonder what he is up to.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 07:47:44 PM PDT

  •  Dostam. Ye gods. Thanks, Kim, for ... (8+ / 0-)

    ...this diary, as bad and predictable as the news you've brought us is.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:04:29 PM PDT

    •  The incident at Mazar-i-Sharif (6+ / 0-)

      and the  $500,000 cash transaction double-cross comes to mind.

      As per Jane Mayer in "The Dark Side" at the time General Dostum "was the CIA's man".

      Also , from Mayer's book

      The lead CIA officer had flown in with three cardboard boxes weighing about 45 pounds between his legs, containing $ 3 million in hundred-dollar bills - all used, and in non-sequential order - to buy tribal support.

      “Humankind can not bear very much reality.” - T.S. Eliot

      by truong son traveler on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:35:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kim, (4+ / 0-)

    as-salaamu alaikum.  I have much respect for you and for the great work you've done in Afghanistan.  You are a true friend to the Afghan people, and your efforts and sacrifices do not go unnoticed...even here in the United States.

    I do, however, only partially agree with this diary.  Specifically, I agree that any meeting with opposition must only be held after meeting with the national government.  Diplomacy has protocols, and that is a very basic one.  It is an insult to the people of Afghanistan to meet with the opposition in Kabul without first meeting with the government.

    That said, your argument here seems very pro-Karzai, which surprises me because Hamid Karzai blatantly stole the last election and didn't even bother to hide it.  Our support of him and his government is no different than our support of Saddam Hussein in the '80's (or for that matter our support of Nouri al-Maliki now).

    Ahmad Zia Massoud is the brother of an Afghan hero and martyr, Ahmad Shah Massoud.  Under his brothers leadership, he joined the Northern Alliance and fought the puppet communist government in Kabul, then the Soviets, then the Taliban.  Hamid Karzai made him an ambassador and later his Vice President.  In the last election though they had a falling out and Karzai chose Marshal Fahim as his Vice President instead.

    As for Dostum...the charges against him of abusing Taliban detainees have never been proved.  He fought against the mujahideen for Najibullah and then against the Taliban.  He is not trusted because of his connection to the Najibullah regime and the Soviets, but he is now working side by side with his former enemy, Zia Massoud, to make Afghanistan a better place for all Afghans...not just the Pashtuns.

    Which brings up my other problem with this diary: Like the Taliban, Hamid Karzai represents the Pashtun majority (though neither was elected to do so in a free and fair election).  The National Front represents all major ethnic groups, which make it truly "National".  Yes, I admit that Karzai has included other ethnicities in the government...Marhsal Fahim for one, who is Tajik.  An illegitimate government, however, can never truly be representative of the people.

    My question to you is this: why dismiss the National Front out of hand?  Why not let the Afghan people vote in a referendum on the National Front's proposals, side by side with any counter-proposals that Karzai wishes to make?

    Again, much respect to you personally.  May Allah (swt) watch over and protect you.

    Allahu 'alam

    Terror has no religion.

    by downsouth on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 08:24:52 PM PDT

    •  The National Front represents all major (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kimoconnor, JVolvo

      ethnic groups?

      Seems to me it is the Northern Alliance in political form. Uzbeks, Tajiks, and Hazaras. All three of the leaders mentioned in this diary were members of the Northern Alliance.

      You can't possibly represent all Afghans without including Pashtuns.

      When Karzai first became president, he did bring a message of inclusion. He insisted that all ethnic groups were represented in government. I know, I helped form an Afghan National Army Kandak, and it's ethnic make up was exactly that of the country--even Nuristanis.

      I get that Karzai's government has since devolved into a corrupt "get what you can while you can" government, but I think the US has to assume some of the blame for that.

      Not that I support Karzai's government, especially in its most recent form, but it doesn't seem to me that turning over control to the Northern Alliance warlords is a good idea either.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:51:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The National Front's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        proposals would include Pashtuns in the political process in a fair and equitable way.  What it wouldn't do is give the Pashtuns hegemony over Afghan affairs under a strongman Pashtun President, the way the current system does.

        The disparate ethnic groups in Afghanistan make it virtually impossible for a centralized government under a Federal system to effectively rule much more than Kabul.  The nature of Afghanistan makes parliamentary democracy, as proposed by the National Front, the better system for inclusion of all Afghans in the political process.  This, coupled with direct election of governors and provincial councils, represents the best hope for a peaceful and prosperous future for all Afghans.

        The Northern Alliance toppled the Taliban, at our behest and with our air support, in 2001.  Before that, under the martyr Ahmad Shah Massod, they fought the Taliban from the very beginning of that regime.  They earned a seat at the table for any negotiations with the Taliban...a seat denied them (so far) by the United States.  I bring this up as an example of the current US policy in Afghanistan, which is to hold our nose and support Karzai, both as President and in his effort to re-integrate the Taliban into Afghan society, while trying to suppress the very group who were our allies prior to the occupation, who espouse a moderate form of Islam, and who have always supported democracy in Afghanistan.  The United States has a sad recent history of supporting strongmen over the forces of democracy (Bahrain...), and it is time for that to change.

        On a personal note: thank you for your service. Building a competent ANA is a very important step in securing a peaceful and prosperous future for Afghanistan.

        Terror has no religion.

        by downsouth on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 09:10:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think it is exactly as you state (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          downsouth, Lawrence

          The US has most certainly supported this group, but they also have to deal with the current president, even if he got in on false elections.

          Of course all the players have a right to a seat at the table, but these members of the US congress (right wing nuts) should not be meeting with political players and ignoring US policy.

          How has the Obama administration trying to suppress the ANF?

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:32:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Couldn't agree more. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Of course all the players have a right to a seat at the table, but these members of the US congress (right wing nuts) should not be meeting with political players and ignoring US policy.
            No Congressional delegation should be circumventing US policy or ignoring diplomatic protocol when on an official trip.  Considering the ideology of some of these people, what they did could even be looked at, by a cynic like myself, as actively attempting to undermine US policy.  I am in no way defending the US politicians involved here, from either side of the aisle.

            As for suppression, a distinct lack of inclusion of the Northern Alliance in secret talks with the Taliban and the appeasement policy adopted by Hamid Karzai in 2010 and backed by the US, which is directly against all that the Northern Alliance fought for.  Add to that the continuing coddling of the Pakistani regime, despite the Airlift of Evil, and despite the harboring of Bin Laden in Abbottabad, and despite Pakistan's poorly hidden continued support of the Taliban and al-Qaeda up to the present day.  What you have is an attempt to suppress the Northern Alliance both militarily, by demanding that they disarm, and politically, by exclusion and appeasement of the enemy.

            Terror has no religion.

            by downsouth on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 04:34:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I just am not educated enough on (0+ / 0-)

              the specific policies of the administration towards the ANF, so I cannot intelligently respond.

              That said, I do not see these guys as an answer, I think it is more likely that they will engage in civil war yet again.

              Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

              by kimoconnor on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 09:31:49 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I am not dismissing them nor supporting Karzai (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downsouth, ranger995, JVolvo

      I tried to present this info as it is. My work in Afghanistan has been intentionally non-political, though I understand the huge problems with the last election and the conflicting attitudes towards these men.

      I am on the side of the powerless there, as they are the people who need our help.

      I agree that the lack of proper diplomacy is an issue here, but I also am very concerned with this particular bunch going anywhere as representatives of the US and aligning themselves with one political group or the other.

      Frankly we have done enough damage with US support for both the warlords as well as Karzai, I think our aid would be better spent training lawyers and judges vs. our government inserting itself in Afghan politics. We have been a huge failure there.

      Thank you for your compliments, I am a most unlikely person to have gotten involved in this country. Doing so has also changed my life, my attitude, and made me more determined to work for those who need it most.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:23:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you for your reply. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JVolvo, kimoconnor, Lawrence

        I would agree that the US needs to stay out of Afghan politics whenever possible, having messed things up quite enough already.  However, we do have a responsibility to the Afghan people, in light of our occupation, to leave them with a workable and , hopefully, better political system than that which they had under the Taliban.  It is my view that Karzai does not represent that ideal, and is far too interested in negotiating with the Taliban, even at the expense of the hard-won rights of the Afghan people.

        I do understand the reservations about Dostum, particularly, but I urge everyone to look closely at the Berlin Statement and think hard about whether such a proposal should be dismissed based solely on distrust of its authors.  In my view, it is a solid idea with the potential of truly inclusive representation for all of Afghanistans ethnic groups...including the Pashtun.  While I agree that the US should not support one Afghan political party over another, I believe we should support the right of the Afghan people to choose their own political system.  Putting this to a referendum would accomplish that goal.

        I, too, am on the side of the powerless.  That is why I support a proportional representation system for Afghanistan, which would directly empower the powerless in ways that the centralized Federal system currently in place cannot...and will

        Terror has no religion.

        by downsouth on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 08:06:34 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not dismissing anything (0+ / 0-)

          Nor am I taking political sides in this fight. I do wish we had done things differently in the past, as I think we have helped assure more problems for the Afghans with our policies there.

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 01:26:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with some of your post; not all yet am (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      downsouth, kimoconnor

      reccing solely for your very respectful words and tone.  We can disagree/have differing viewpoints and have reasonable discourse.

      Shukran شكرا

      To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt 1918

      by JVolvo on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 08:38:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Would anyone care to explain (5+ / 0-)

    the legitimacy of the Karzai government. Yes, I'm aware of the fraudulent elections but who was it that nominated Karzai and who was it that controlled who could participate in the nomination process at Bonn.

    It was not the people of Afghanistan. This must have something to do with the view of many of the people there that the current government is not a legitimate one.

    Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, Republican chairman of the House foreign affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigation, has been an outspoken opponent of Karzai. Rohrabacher has engaged with other Afghan leaders about a more decentralised form of government for Afghanistan and called for a US investigation into alleged government corruption.

    Rohrabacher has  

    ... been a vocal critic of government corruption and "the US's failed strategy of foisting a western-style democracy from a central government in Kabul.

    The Guardian

    Perhaps proper protocol is in question but Rohrbacher has raised some valid points.

    “Humankind can not bear very much reality.” - T.S. Eliot

    by truong son traveler on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:09:48 PM PDT

    •  It is perfectly understandable to question (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler, JVolvo

      Karzai's government, but openly supporting these warlords is a bad idea.

      There was a point in the 90s when all of these guys were slaughtering one another's people. It was so bad, that the people were happy when the Taliban took over.

      They blasted Kabul to pieces, but no one could take over and alliances kept shifting back and forth. That was probably the worst time in Afghan history, and all of these guys took part.

      It would be a big mistake to start looking at empowering these guys in a decentralized form of government. That would surely lead back to civil war.

      Part of the reason why US policy has been so fucked up is that they have always been fighting over whether to empower the federal government or the regional leaders. Initially, they favored the regional model, because the warlords had the infrastructure----it was a quick and easy solution. The US chose not to throw weight behind a strong federal government---even though many people were begging for it.

      Karzai's message was initially well received, but I think he has given up and become cynical and corrupt like all of the other Afghan officials.

      "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

      by ranger995 on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 09:24:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If we were truly concerned (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranger995, downsouth

        about stability on behalf of the people of Afghanistan we should have left them alone. They could have sorted out their own differences better than we have done and with less cost in blood and money.

        Traditionally, at least among the Pashtuns, matters are settled locally, not by a central government. It's arrogant of us to believe we can change a thousand years of culture in a few decades to make them think and behave like us.

        But hey, we went there to get bin Laden and to deny Afghanistan as an al-Qaeda haven for those remaining 50 to 100 who remained behind, or so the politicians would have us believe.  

        I think the time we come when people will realize that we are there for our own long term interests. Primarily unfettered access.

        As long as we can achieve that I think our policy makers don't give a rat's arse about what happens to the people there.

        “Humankind can not bear very much reality.” - T.S. Eliot

        by truong son traveler on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 05:30:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  of course we are there for our interests (3+ / 0-)

          we certainly did not go there to help the women who were suffering.

          But ranger995 is right about the civil war there in the early 90's, it was in many ways worse than the Afghan/Soviet war for the people there.

          Women in Afghanistan and groups like RAWA in particular are desperate to expose the crimes of these men yet that does not mean they support Karzai either.

          Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

          by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:34:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for this comment! (0+ / 0-)

      I think Rohrbacher and his fellow lunatics are relatively right and the US government is relatively wrong. The Northern Alliance, of the various people with guns (the only people who matter in Afghanistan), may well be the most reasonable.  Democracy is not possible in Afghanistan without an extraordinarily violent and totalitarian uprooting of the factors and people who are standing in the way, and since the US plainly won't do that we should take the (distant) next-best alternative and that's the Northern Alliance rather than Karzai.  (Or, of course, just leave and let the chips fall where they may, which would be a Taliban victory in less time than it took them after the Soviets left.)

      But nobody's buying flowers from the flower lady.

      by Rich in PA on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 03:41:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think both are bad for the Afghans (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I think most Afghans would like to think they have better options than between corruption and more corruption.

        The notion that people like Rohrbacher, Gohmert, and Bachmann have the right answers is scary and ridiculous. Though I suppose even a broken clock will tell the right time every so often.

        Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

        by kimoconnor on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 07:37:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Where are the three stooges, Lieberman, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kimoconnor, JVolvo

    McCain, and Lindsay on this issue?

    H'mm. I'm not terribly into this, anymore.

    by Knarfc on Mon Apr 23, 2012 at 10:12:51 PM PDT

  •  Obama will pull out of Afghanistan during (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    his second term.

    If he had true moral courage, he'd do that RIGHT NOW.

    Obama, even with a second term, is going to go down in history as a very bad president for his failure of moral courage over issues of war and national security.

    But I guess it doesn't matter...because the bad guys have already taken over the power of the United States. It's not a democracy any more, just a cleverly disguised fascist dictatorship.

    I'm an educated lawyer in my late 50s, and I say that quite seriously.

  •  The idea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that GOP members of the US Congress would go to another country to give advice about governance is laughable on the surface, all the other horrendous aspects of war criminality and back stabbing aside.

    These are people who can't even pass a budget in their own country.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Apr 24, 2012 at 11:15:52 AM PDT

  •  Louis Gohmert has got to be one of the worst (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Congress critters ever and some of the former Northern Alliance characters are unsavory.

    That being said, even broken clocks are right once a day and a system of proportional representation that more accurately represent all Afghan ethnic groups is probably better for Afghanistan than the current system where basically only a Pashtun can become President and dominate Afghanistan.

    The current strong-man President type of govt. in Afghanistan was basically established by the inept Bush/Cheney Regime and has been an open invitation to corruption and abuse of power in Afghanistan.  Reforms in governance are desperately needed, and those reforms need to be more inclusive of non-Pashtun Afghans.

    Pashtuns only represent about 40% of the Afghan population, after all, so a civil war should come as no surprise if the views of Afghanistan's other ethnic groups(who mostly fought against the Taliban), are continually ignored while an olive branch is handed to Taliban extremists merely because there is a Pashtun President in charge(because of a severely flawed election) and because the international community wants to get the hell out of Afghanistan.

    If Karzai does a power grab and tries to have an unconstitutional 3rd term, then a civil war would virtually be guaranteed, imo.  A parliamentary system coupled with provincial elections for governors would go a long way in preventing that kind of thing, imo.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 02:11:21 AM PDT

    •  I don't think Karzai will do that (0+ / 0-)

      I think he knows damn well all hell would break loose if he goes for another term. Hell, his family has likely already lined their pockets full of cash.

      I wonder how reforms would even happen there. Look at how hard it is to get money out of politics here, where Congress refuses to pass legislation that might threaten their re-election.

      My concern is there will be another civil war even if Karzai steps down when his term ends.

      Where ignorance is our master, there is no possibility of real peace. - Dalai Lama

      by kimoconnor on Wed Apr 25, 2012 at 09:36:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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