Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Time to leave Afghanistan

A week or so ago the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan presidential election went relatively peacefully. The Taliban had threatened to attack those who voted. The threat stills hangs over the heads of voters and their ink-stained fingers. When an occupying army stands around while the locals vote, something is just not right.

A word of civility came from leading contenders for the crown saying they will not incite street protests if one of them should lose (but did they ever call each other names). President Hamid Karzai is expected to win re-election. This is just the manner of the beast. Incumbents have more power enabling them to stay in power. Karzai's record is thin as far as doing much good for the country. He dresses well in his flowing robes and perky Karakul hat.

Hamid Karzai is an ethnic Pashtun who supported the Mujahideen, (as did the United State did with millions of dollars), in their fight against the Soviet Red Army invasion of 1979.

After the Soviets left Afghanistan, Karzai worked with the emerging Taliban-inspired government. While in exile in Pakistan, his father Zahir Shan, the king of Afghanistan, was assassinated. He swore revenge against the Taliban.

As Darrell Royal, former UT football coach, would say, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Karzai was chosen by Western governments to lead a transitional government in the capital of Kabul. (Note: Western governments set him in this position.) Many still call him mayor of Kabul rather than leader of the country. His influence is limited mostly to his own tribesmen and officials of the Bush and Obama administrations.

There were others in Afghanistan who felt they could be the president and threw their hats into the ring. They are not as well-known outside the country, but as the humorist Jonathan Winters said, "If your ship doesn't come in, swim out to it." And a number of guys (no women, please) ran for the office.

So the politician with two first names (or last names), Abdullah Abdullah, entered the race for president and now both claim to have won.

Since Al Quida is not in Afghanistan or Pakistan, why are we there in such force? Fighting the Taliban, who retreat into Pakistan for R and R. Taliban solders are Afghanistan peasants, but not allowed to vote. The Taliban has never invaded another country and has no intention to do so. They only want their country back, even if they would make it a hell on earth for women and children.

Taliban is not a threat to the Americas. Get the war hawks out of the White House and congress and the munitions makers and bring our soldiers home.

President Obama needs to do that as soon as possible. It is a lie like the one during Vietnam War. It does not concern us. So we didn't get bin Laden. He is nothing anymore. Bring the men and women home as George Will suggested. And bring home the contractors back too. I hear there are more contractors than American soldiers there now. Mercenaries.

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