Friday, August 27, 2010

A sure sign Karzai is in trouble


By GARY BAUMGARTEN
Paltalk News Network
Afghan President Hamid Karzai says the announced timetable for U.S. withdrawal is, in essence,strengthening the Taliban. A sure sign that he is worrying about the mortality of his government.
His words translate into this:
What will I do when the Americans leave? If not for the American presence I'd not be in power today. When they go I'm done.
What he should be doing now is looking for an exit strategy. I.e. a country that will take him in when this is all over. Because if he remains in Afghanistan after U.S. troops depart, he is done. Literally.
If I were Karzai I'd take all that money collected through government corruption and send it offshore. In fact, if he hasn't done that already, I'd be really surprised.
If Karzai is right - that when the U.S. leaves the Taliban will move in to fill the void - then one has to ask, what the hell are we doing in Afghanistan?
Like President George W. Bush - who went into Iraq to find WMDs and then when he couldn't he changed the mission and stayed - President Obama has changed the mission in Afghanistan.
The war he inherited - but the one he said was just because its mission was to get those responsible for the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, has nothing to do with Osama bin Laden and his cronies. Not anymore and perhaps not ever.
As with George W. Bush's war, the mission of Obama's has changed.
The United States is "nation building." Propping up one corrupt government as a better alternative for another more repressive regime waiting in the wings. But is this a good use of the U.S. military?
Surely not, if the mission fails. And Karzai is signaling that when the troops withdraw - the mission will - in fact - be an official failure. Because, more than likely, his government will collapse. The few gains in human rights for women and children will be erased.
If this analysis is correct (and I acknowledge not everyone will agree with it) then what is, as George H.W. Bush might say, the prudent thing to do? Remaining in Afghanistan - staving off the inevitable while losing more American lives - doesn't sound too prudent to me.
And where is the anti-war movement, so vocal when W. was in office?
Largely silent - because - of course - a Democrat is commander-in-chief. And we wouldn't want to do or say anything too damaging to Obama, would we? That might weaken him and lead to a loss of the White House in 2012.
Which, in the view of the Democratic Party faithful, would be a far greater failure than the loss of Kabul to the Taliban.

U.S. Army photo
Gary Baumgarten
Host - News Talk Online
Director of News and Programming Paltalk News Network
Join the News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network at 5 PM NY time weekdays
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