Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"John Wick didn't kill all those people because they broke his toaster." -MickAK

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Hail President Thieu Karzai!

Afghanistan’s last presidential challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, dropped out of the race on Sunday, accusing the government of profound corruption and electoral fraud even as the Obama administration rallied around President Hamid Karzai.
Where have we seen this before? Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to 1971:
In 1971, [President Nguyễn Văn] Thiệu [of South Vietnam] ran for re-election, but his reputation for corruption made his political opponents believe the race would be fixed, and they declined to run. As the only candidate, Thiệu was thus easily re-elected, receiving a suspiciously high 94% of the vote on an 87% turn-out.
The Karzai government is wholly corrupt and from what I have read, nobody, other than maybe Karzai himself, contests that point.

In trying to deal with Afghanistan, our government, going back decades, has chosen to work with the religious zealots, the thuggish and the corrupt. We have backed brutal warlords and heroin traffickers. And now we are saddled with an illegitimate government in Afghanistan, a point that the enemy will emphasize time and time and time again.

It did not have to be this way. The Taliban were hugely unpopular, they brutalized the population and executed people at a rate that would make even a Texas governor blush.[1] The Afghan people largely celebrated the fact that the Taliban were kicked out in 2001. We had a chance to replace them with a government that could have delivered an improvement in the lives of Afghanis.

But we failed. Republicans were in control and they famously disdained nation-building. The Administration of George W. Bush, just like that of his father, let Afghanistan to its own devices, providing token aid and minimal security assistance while they focused on their next clusterfuck of a war. Bush used 9-11 as an excuse to foist a lot of the responsibility off onto NATO, an organization that was designed only to repel a Soviet invasion of western Europe and which had no real experience in out-of-theater operations. NATO had neither the troops (many nations sent only Fobbits) nor the funding to do it right.

We could have. But we didn't and, to my mind, the window of opportunity to do it right for a reasonable expenditure of blood and treasure passed by 2005.

And now we are stuck in another quagmire of a war.

[1]OK, that may not be fair to the Taliban. The present and the former governors of that state would have been creaming their suits if they could have executed 3,000 people a year.


One Fly said...

when it comes to this stuff we never do it right.

BadTux said...

As I've been repeatedly saying for the past four years, "How do you spell 'Thieu' in Pashtun? K-A-R-Z-A-I."

Karzai is little more than the mayor of Kabul right now, and even there his hold on power is tenuous, with regular suicide bombings and attacks. At least Thieu's very effective secret police managed to secure the cities -- sad, that our puppet in Afghanistan isn't even as competent as our puppet in Vietnam was. And this is supposed to turn out well? Yeah, ask the Soviet Union about that. Oh wait, you can't, because Afghanistan destroyed them :}.

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin