Friday, November 20, 2009

Hillary and warlord Dostum party together

OK, perhaps I'm being a bit flippant in putting it this way, but the fact of the matter is that many citizens of Afghanistan are going to be repulsed by the fact that the Secretary of State of the USA is a guest at a (post-Karzai-inauguration) "gala" where another of the guests is Abdul Rashid Dostum, whom this McClatchy report describes as
the Afghan warlord who's become a symbol of cronyism and government corruption" and who "was stripped of his top military post after he was accused of war crimes and investigated for enacting vigilante justice on the streets of Kabul."
Not a problem for Hillary though.  As today's AfPak report from Foreign Policy notes:
when asked whether the U.S. would support a Karzai administration with warlords, she said, "Well, there are warlords and there are warlords."

Meanwhile, after weeks of hammering "re-elected" President Karzai on corruption and poor leadership, the US now seems to be trying a new approach = making nice with him, including getting Richard Holbrooke out of his face and replacing him with Hillary herself as chief contact. (See today's WaPo and NY Times for related stories.)

So here we are, snuggling up even tighter with warlords and crooks in Kabul, even as we encourage the arming of local tribal militias in the Afghan countryside - many of whose members will have no love lost for either the warlords or the crooks.

Again, channeling General Petraeus: "Tell me how this ends."

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