2.23.2007

Eavesdropping On Karzai Critic

While I was sitting in the fickle sun, having lunch, a man immediately behind me was being interviewed at length by a journalist about his experiences in Kabul, as a relative of some sort of interior minister under Karzai. I couldn't help but sit very still while he told his story to the journalist.

He said Karzai is using his underlings, and all of the US forces to get rid of anyone with power equal to his. The US forces are simply following his orders, regardless of why they are being given, and without questioning them. The troops stationed there think they are fighting Taliban, when in reality; they are simply being used to enforce the power of one man. This man's close relative (who had pressured him to "make things easy on himself") went as part of a human rights commission to observe operations at Guantanamo and said it was all pleasant and wonderful. It was interesting hearing this one man, very much on his own here and in his own country, talk about what he was up against, trying to change the path his entire family is taking, by taking advantage of the power offered to them by being involved with the current government (multiple wives, huge scored of bodyguards, money, palaces etc...) .

He wants to create a grassroots, student-led movement for true democracy and against corruption. He said there is so much corruption and in-fighting in Afghanistan that the only place he can conceivably start to make changes is within himself, and with his own family, by trying to use their influence in a less selfish way. He's worried that family members and tribal members won't listen to him philosophize because many of them are so used to being motivated primarily by greed and fear, or fear of other's greed.

The journalist asked him what would happen if the US forces were absent, would Karzai be ousted. He said yes, in a very short time. He also said that many families there are vulnerable to being victims of tribal revenge because of the actions of US troops and Karzai's guards who have forced their charges to commit acts of violence against others, who in turn act against the tribe hired to do the violence, and so on...

I don't know very much myself about the situation over there, other than the most basic facts, and that there is not an easy answer to the long lasting struggles started by the CIA decades ago. Contrary to what Fox News reports, there are ordinary people in Afghanistan, not only Taliban, Opium farmers, and supporters of Karzai. I'm only an eavesdropper, not a foreign policy expert, but I’m going to keep listening when it comes to news leaked about the ongoing corruption of Bush's poorly placed puppets all over the world. It seems that Bush's plans have not helped ordinary Afghans who are not surprisingly suspicious of even the idea of democracy or democratic change -- words and phrases taken over by lunatics in high places.

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