Arthur Kent

Foreign “Friends” Toast Only New Year’s Scorn From Karzai

21.01.2011 - 11:36

As the U.S.-led coalition’s political and military brass mark their tenth Gregorian New Year in Afghanistan, their glasses will be raised more in commemoration than celebration. The occasion is burdened by grief over a mission squandered and lives and resources sacrificed in vain.

 

Worse, there can be little doubt that tomorrow’s hangover will drag on past Nawroz, the Afghan New Year in March, and indefinitely into the future.

This is the internationals’ penalty for losing control of events in Southwest Asia: the war continues to be good business for all the wrong people.

Contrast that gloom with the triumphalism of the syndicate currently in control of the Presidential Palace in Kabul, otherwise known as Karzai & Company.

“The president and the mafia that surrounds him are joking about the way the Americans and the other embassies have backed down,” one experienced Afghan parliamentarian tells Skyreporter.

The MP isn’t talking about Afghanistan’s roiling constitutional crisis, the parliamentary purgatory created by last September’s election. It’s that other, more pervasive curse that he refers to:  the looting of the country’s various economies, legitimate, black and all shades of grey in between.

“Only a few months ago, there seemed to be hope. But the bandits are laughing now, as though they have made the foreigners believe that fighting corruption is more dangerous than corruption itself.”

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