Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What we're protecting in Afghanistan

Hamid Karzai, whose illegitimate election last year should have been the last straw for NATO, has thrown a major hissy fit over the very modest pressures that we've been putting on him to behave himself:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday.

Mr. Karzai made the unusual statement at a closed-door meeting on Saturday with selected lawmakers – just days after kicking up a diplomatic controversy with remarks alleging foreigners were behind fraud in last year's disputed elections.

From the Globe. So let's get this straight. We're propping up an illegitimate leader, risking our own troops' lives, killing civilians, and turning over prisoners to authorities who torture them, and now this arsehole threatens to join the Taliban?? And we're doing this for what exactly? To uphold democracy? See Karzai's election above. To protect the rights of women? A laudable goal, but maybe we should be working on this at home first. The pipeline? Probably a major reason. To save face? Probably another major reason. But even if we accept these last two goals as legitimate, we can only save face, or build the pipeline, if we can win the war. My opinion? We can't. The USSR was a huge country, with a lot fewer supply line problems than NATO (thanks to being right next door to them), and yet they lost. We will too, mark my words.

ETA: The coup in Kyrgyzstan (h/t Blaque) may help to speed things along, by depriving NATO of the use of a crucial air base.

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