‘Twas Brillig in Bananastan

Who’s the bigger fraud: Hamid Karzai, or the phalanx of Western toads who are hailing him as the "legitimate" president of Afghanistan?

To review the bidding: Karzai appointed a gang of crooks as election officials who threw the original election to his corner. UN election monitors tossed out a million or so votes, so Karzai didn’t have a majority, and a runoff election was required. Karzai at first refused to face a runoff, but John Kerry supposedly talked him into accepting one.

Karzai’s main opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, demanded a change in electoral officials, saying that with the same people in charge, the runoff would be as crooked as the original election. Karzai refused to change the officials. Abdullah refused to participate in the runoff election. Karzai’s handpicked officials canceled the runoff election.

Now Karzai is the "legitimate" president of Afghanistan.

Now you know why I use the term "Bananastan" to describe Afghanistan and Pakistan. They’re the Central Asian versions of a Banana Republic.

Our inexcusable Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said the runoff would be legitimate even if Abdullah boycotted it. Now it’s legitimate even though it won’t take place. Hillary is enough to make you pine for Condi Rice. Heck, she’s enough to make you pine for John Bolton. Hillary is to diplomacy what jackhammers are to music.

Karzai runs one of the most corrupt governments on the planet. But that’s going to change, now that he’s legitimate, so they say. President Obama wants a "new chapter" in the Karzai regime. Obama says he’s looking for "a sense on the part of President Karzai that, after some difficult years in which there has been some drift, that in fact he’s going to move boldly and forcefully forward and take advantage of the international community’s interest in his country to initiate reforms internally."

What a hanky load. Obama just let Karzai get away with stealing an election, and he expects the guy to reform? Obama’s from Chicago; he knows better than that.

We’re on the wrong side of the Afghanistan equation. Not one American kid should be put in harm’s way to prop up the Karzai government. Muhammad Omar and his Taliban are more legitimate than Karzai.

Nick Horne, who recently resigned from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), says we have failed to "tackle the fundamental political issues underlying the insurgency."

"The insurgency is winning not so much because the Taliban’s ideology and platform have popular appeal," Horne writes, "but because the Afghan government is seen as corrupt, unrepresentative, and ineffective."

Peter Galbraith, who was sacked as deputy head of the UN mission in Afghanistan for blowing the whistle on the election fraud, says the corruption "is beyond blatant. This is in your face. It has become clear that Karzai has no intention of instituting reforms."

Senior Foreign Service officer Matthew Hoh, who quit his Afghanistan post, noted in his resignation letter that "our backing of the Afghan government in its current form continues to distance the government from the people." Hoh made particular note of the Karzai government’s "glaring corruption and unabashed graft" and described Karzai as a "president whose confidants and chief advisers comprise drug lords and war crimes villains, who mock our own rule of law and counternarcotics efforts."

We have arrived at another nexus in the narrative of the insane American empire. Just as the Praetorian Guard caused the fall of Rome by taking control of emperors and the senate, our military and its supporters are fomenting the end times of our republic.

The Long War mafia has pitched its camp in Afghanistan. It has nowhere else to go. It will stay in Iraq as long as it can – I’m convinced it will finagle a way to keep tens of thousands of troops in that country well beyond the December 2011 deadline called for in the status of forces agreement – but that’s not enough overseas commitment to justify the growth of the Army, which is the only real strategic objective of our military these days.

The international bum’s rush to declare Karzai a legitimate president comes on the heels of the revelation that his drug-runner brother Ahmed Wali has been on the CIA payroll to provide security. We’ve been shacking up with a lot of slithy toves in that part of the world. Col. Matiullah Khan, who heads a private army of 2,000 Afghans, makes over $4 million a year for getting two convoys from Kandahar to Tarin Kowt safely each month. Nice work if you can get it.

Our counterinsurgency doctrine is a pile of horse plop. It’s about nation-building: building the kinds of nations that look like Al Capone’s Chicago. It’s about the David Petraeus method: hand out a lot of guns and bribes, make it look like you’re making progress, and let your successor clean up the mess you left behind (or better yet, take the fall for your failures).

That our top generals and flag officers support a plan to send more kids-in-cammies to Afghanistan to prop up Karzai is shameful. Every one of those four-star bastards should be busted down to buck private and forced to retire. These men are supposed to have some sense of stewardship of the people who serve under them. They are, instead, so morally adrift there’s no recognizing a seed of humanity in them. They’re no different from Karzai.

Lamentably, it appears the mad brass hatters are going to get their escalation of the tea party in Afghanistan.

Author: Jeff Huber

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (retired), was a naval flight officer who commanded an aircraft squadron and was operations officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the carrier that fought the Kosovo War. Jeff earned a master of arts degree in post-modern imperialism at the U.S. Naval War College. His weekly satires on U.S. foreign policy high jinks are archived at his blog, Pen and Sword. Jeff's critically applauded novel Bathtub Admirals, a lampoon of America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now. Jeff lives with dogs in a house by the beach on Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, and in the summer he has a nice tan.