Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Karzai Mafia strikes again

If anyone needed proof that the Karzai government functions more like a mafia organization than a valid, popularly supported government one need only visit the following URL:

This New York Times story reads more like a novel. A young man calmly doing his homework with his sister is shot multiple times, allegedly by a family member. This would not have attracted much attention—how many gun-shot deaths occur daily in Afghanistan—except for the fact that the family in question is from the village of Karz. It's the First Family of Karz known as Karzai. Yes, it's President Karzai's family that is directly involved. It's a story of honor killings, revenge killings, and involvement in the country's principal export, drugs.

For all the patina of civilization we coat over that country, it remains a primitive, tribal-based autocracy. Personally, I wouldn't care a fig for that country were it not for the fact its Taliban terrorists provide safe havens for al-Qaeda killers and absorbs hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars that we could use here at home. Oh, yes, another reason—we have our men and women over there putting their lives on the line on a daily basis. Yeah, that's good reason for giving a fig.


Friday, December 18, 2009

There's corruption and then there's CORRUPTION

It has been brought to my attention that I have failed to distinguish between corruption and CORRUPTION. I have little concern over 'corruption' as I've seen it throughout the Third World. Civil servants, from the cop on the beat to the little guy who works in the post office, hardly ever see their full salary and, in many cases, see no salary at all. These folks live on the small "tips" they receive from those whom they serve. In Kinshasa, I regularly tipped a mail clerk the equivalent of $3.00 per month to ensure my mail didn't "get lost." I paid a telephone technician the equivalent of $1.00 per month to ensure my telephone service did not become "disconnected." This is what I mean by lower case corruption.

CORRUPTION, all in caps, is the corruption I cannot stand; it's the corruption none of us should tolerate. This is the corruption that totally rots the body politic and condemns all citizenry to a life of misery. In the case of the Karzai regime, CORRUPTION is responsible for much of the capital going without 24/7 water and electricity. CORRUPTION is responsible for a lack of security in the country as a whole since a percentage of the police and military actively serve in the Taliban in order to feed and clothe their families. This is the CORRUPTION whereof I speak; it's the cancer in the Afghan body politic and, until it's excised before it metasticizes further, our blood and treasure will be squandered.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How corrupt can the Karzai government become?

Heck it worked in Iraq, why shouldn’t it work in Afghanistan? If you can’t beat them, then buy them. Less than half of the Taliban fighters are dedicated Jihadis; most of them are toting AKs for the money. Yes, the Taliban leadership pays regular salaries to its soldiers. And that’s more than the Afghan government does for its military and police.

Back to the original theme. I read a most telling Washington Post article a couple of days ago. It seems that a Taliban soldier had heard that if he put down his weapon, the Afghan government would provide him a job and a home. What a deal. So, this chap duly lay down his weapon and applied for the benefits. The government response: “Sorry, we have nothing for you. We have no money to provide these benefits.”

No money? After all those hundreds of millions of U.S.taxpayer dollars we’ve doled out to the Afghan government for this and countless other programs and now, when the program is just beginning to work, the Karzai gang claims they have no money? Well, the poor aforementioned chap is trying to explain to his family why, now that he’s stopped fighting, the quality of his life has not improved.

So, our guys are fighting and dying to support a regime that is so corrupt, so bereft of even a smidgen of morality it merits being effaced. Will Washington please wake up and smell the noxious vapors arising from Karzai's palace?