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Change for Karzai

In only three says of his presidency BHO has ordered the shutting of Gitmo, has declared that the US will no longer torture, has overturned Bush’s banning of money going to international groups that use abortion as part of their work and has come out with a strong speech on Gaza and Israel. And it looks like the changes will continue.

The Independent is reporting that the support for the president of Afghanistan is on the wane. The government in Afghanistan is thought to be corrupt and part of the reason that the unstable conditions still exist. 

Barack Obama’s arrival in the White House and the wind of change sweeping through Washington could lead to the ousting from power of Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, The Independent has learnt.

International support for Mr Karzai, who was once the darling of the West, has waned spectacularly, amid worsening violence, endemic corruption and weak leadership. But until very recently, diplomats insisted there were no viable alternatives even as fighting has intensified and the Taliban insurgency in the south has grown. But four key figures believed to be challenging Mr Karzai have arrived in Washington for meetings with Obama administration officials this week. There is now talk of a “dream ticket” that would see the main challengers run together to unite the country’s various ethnic groups and wrest control away from Mr Karzai.

If BHO keeps going like this, the reputation of the US in the eyes of the world could be restored after it was destroyed by the Bush administration. 

And it does seem that Obama is intent of removing the reasons for problems around the world instead of attacking the symptoms.


19 Responses

  1. Joni, Mr Obama has said he will probably transfer the most dangerous prisoners from Gitmo to the federal prison system. The most dangerous would probably be held in isolation so why would Mr Obama perpetuate the torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners on USA soil?


    “THE U.S. criminal justice system is… grossly inhumane and riddled with racism.”

    “The expanded use of these units has led Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and the World Organization Against Torture/USA to cite the U.S. with their concerns. The use of isolation units breaks the United Nations Covenant Against Torture and the United Nations Covenant for the Treatment of Prisoner, both of which the United States has signed.”

    The UN no less: now there’s a powerful body that enjoys unalloyed support at Blogocrats. Will Mr Obama release into the general prison population those prisoners who are being subjected to isolation for 23 hours a day? By not doing so isn’t he supporting torture, which he says he’s against?

    And as for Mr Karzai having to face the disturbing prospect of unemployment I thought you said that BHO was not about superficiality. Maybe it’s not Mr Karzai who is corrupt but merely a handful of his lieutenants. Wouldn’t a root and branch reform carried out by a committed BHO and Mr Karzai underscore BHO’s reputation as a person who “is intent of removing the reasons for problems around the world instead of attacking the symptoms?”

    The examination of the Monday quarterback starts now.

  2. I thought you always started at the top to root out corruption?

    And on the torture thread I stated that I will keep up the pressure on the US on torture until it is clear that they do not torture. And if moving the prisoners into the US system means that they will still be subject to torture then I will still blog about it.

  3. Emblematic, here is the deliberate misstatement;

    “The UN no less: now there’s a powerful body that enjoys unalloyed support at Blogocrats.”

    Can you provide concrete examples of where Blogocrats has given the UN “unalloyed” support?

    I’ve seen it given conditional support, measured support and criticism, but unalloyed support?

    Stephen, do you know how Karzai won the presidency in a “democratic” election and just how much money the US poured into supporting his campaign whilst suppressing his opponents?

    His lieutenants, and Karzai is supposedly totally blind to the deep corruption going on throughout his (democratic) government? Please that really is stretching reality in seeking an exculpation for what is just another failure for the Bush administration that will go down in history in a long list of abject failures.

    This is a very similar thing that happened with Saddam Hussein when the US was fully supporting him and is happing right now with the dictator Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Unreserved US monetary, diplomatic and military support for access to the country’s strategic locational advantage and/or raw assets sees the leader of that country take this as the green light to do what they please, oppress who they want and indulge in endemic corruption to skim off as much as possible of all that US money pouring in. The US normally turns a blind eye as long as the asset(s) continue and/or the leader they support doesn’t become too uppity by trying to flog off their advantage to another party.

  4. Adrian, joni told us that the American brand was circling the bowl and BHO would be its savior. His first move was to close Gitmo and put an end to torture at that facility. He is against torture at Gitmo but not against torture in the American prison system. Mr Obama is off to a bad start because he has branded himself a whited sepulcher. However, joni has promised to maintain the rage regarding torture so look out Mr Obama.

    Then joni tells us that Mr Karzai is rotten. So we have the quaint situation where the Gitmo detainees, at the insistence of various groups, be given a trial to establish their guilt or innocence yet we have an ex-cathedra announcement from Mr Obama that Karzai is to be given the punt. What about that all-important process? Parenthetically, that same accusation of corruption fits the American brand of politics (on both sides to be sure). Isn’t it a bit cheeky to be suggesting that Karzai heads up a bunch of shakedown gangsters yet the same exists in America? It might be time that we had 400 or so observers from African countries placed at various locations during the next USA elections to make sure the elections are free of corruption.

    The examination of the Monday quarterback starts now.


    FEC Issues Record Fines In Democrats’ Scandals
    By Thomas B. Edsall and Edward Walsh
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Saturday, September 21, 2002; Page A05

    The Federal Election Commission disclosed yesterday it has imposed a record-setting $719,000 in fines against participants in the 1996 Democratic Party fundraising scandals involving contributions from China, Korea and other foreign sources.

    The FEC documents describe Democratic fundraisers who set specific prices for foreign nationals to make illegal campaign contributions in return for meetings with then-President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore. A Democratic finance vice chair, for example, said organizers would have to contribute $100,000 in return for Gore’s appearance at a Buddhist temple in Los Angeles.
    September 21, 2002


    WASHINGTON, Sept. 20 — The Democratic National Committee has agreed to pay civil fines and turn over to the Treasury a total of $243,000 to settle accusations that it took more than $1 million in illegal foreign contributions in 1995 and 1996, according to Federal Election Commission records released today.

    The documents also state that the election commission’s general counsel found in 1999 that there was “reason to believe” that the People’s Republic of China “knowingly and willfully” violated federal election law. But the heavily redacted documents also state that the commission voted unanimously to “take no action at this time” on the general counsel’s recommendation.

    The documents detail efforts by the Democratic Party and the Clinton-Gore campaign to build their war chest with help from wealthy Asian donors before the 1996 election. In all, the election commission disclosed $719,500 in fines today.

    As for unalloyed support for the UN….well it said that Israel should be put on trial for war crimes and joni put her hand up hoping to be picked as one of the judges.

  5. But Stephan aren’t many prisons in the US state institutions? And as such Obama has no control over these, only the federal and (am guessing) the military prisons.

  6. Stephan, I think that you might mean, joni put HIS hand up..

  7. Don’t worry min. I don’t mind.

    And Stephen, Stephan, gee, stories from 2002?

    And if you read what I actually posted about the torture in GITMO you will see that I did NOT give unqualified support.

    And I did not say that BHO would be the saviour, only that it seems that he is going for the intent on removing the causes instead of looking at the symptoms.

    But that’s OK, I will keep writing what I want and saying what I want.

  8. I just thought that I would throw in a mention about you being a bloke. Of course I cannot guarantee this for certain but yep I would say, most definitely a bloke and a not too bad looking one I might add.

  9. Stephan. Karzai was put into power by one US administration under a corrupt process, so now he can be removed by another US administration to put to right that corrupt process undertaken by the previous administration.

    But the whole corrupted Afghanistan process illustrates the long term consequences of America’s continuing clandestine and/or open interference into the political affairs of other countries.

  10. Min, and you get that from a South Park avatar?

  11. I think that it’s the hat Adrian.

  12. Yes looking at it that way joni is almost as handsome as me, that is the me 18 years ago not the me now, though when looking in the mirror first thing still says what a good looking devil you are, but that is through blurred vision, hair hanging over eyes and a steamed mirror.

  13. I do hope that joni is going to enjoy above viz debate about how good looking he is 😉

  14. First off, my apologies to joni. I had it in my mind that it was a contraction of Joan or Joanne perhaps. My apologies. And joni, if you keep writing and saying what you want it means that democracy is alive and flourishing in Oz.

    “If BHO keeps going like this, the reputation of the US in the eyes of the world could be restored after it was destroyed by the Bush administration.

    And it does seem that Obama is intent of removing the reasons for problems around the world instead of attacking the symptoms.”

    Sure sounds like the start of a panegyric to me.

    Min, the USA has a mixture of federal and state run prisons. Nothing prevents Gitmo detainees from being housed in federal prisons (with a bit of torture tossed in for good measure). Don’t tell Mr Obama.

  15. Indeed it is praise Stephan, but one that is dependent on his future actions. If he continues to look at the cause of problems rather than the symptoms then I will be a very happy puppy.

    And don’t worry, the tag joni is deliberately non-gender specific, no offence taken… and my spelling of your name was a cheap shot on my park. So – let’s discuss the issues and not the person. Which I must admit sir which is what you do. I tips me ‘at.

  16. I see that a thread about Karzai has been ‘hi-jacked’. For my two shekels’ worth I do have concerns about the removal of a man who has become increasingly critical of a military solution to Afghanistan’s problems, not least because an -ends-justify-the-means approach has been killing Afghanistan civilians in their hundreds and thousands, precisely when NATO is looking to surge on in its intensification of the hunt-to-kill programme of innominate Afghanistanis, even at the level of handing out weapons to the locals so they can kill each other. Throw in the fact that the democratically elected President has been forging regional alliances with near neighbours like Iran, and has been currying favour with India for a crackdown on everyone’s especial friend in the War on Terror and home of the ISI, err Al Qaeda, err Taliban, troublemakers, Pakistan, and I’m sure he has to ‘go’ to improve America’s external ‘reputation’.

  17. If only the US had remained focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan instead of diverting to Iraq there may have been some chance. Hence, the reason I believe that Iraq will go down as the worst strategic military blunder in history.

  18. John McPhilbin, on January 25th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    Say things like that, John, and you will be removed; face-saving demands it. 😉

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