• >To get things rolling what did you think about Karzai's innauguration (19th Nov)? Do you think it's right that international leaders like Gordon Brown and Barrack Obama are publically behind his victory? And what do you think Karzai could do to give people confidence in his regime?

  • >Elections in Afghanistan were just a puppet sort of elections because Mr. Karzai in his term did nothing but making Afghanistan more corrupt, and making a lot of money by awarding the most high budget contracts to one of his brothers and now all of his brothers have big big companies over there in Afghanistan and Karzai is one of their biggest partners because he awards all of those contracts first to his brothers and then they sell it to others…. I have seen these things because I have been working in a Construction Company in Kabul. In a recent profile of Mahmoud Karzai, "The New York Times" described the 54-year-old brother of Kabul's preeminent politician as "one of Afghanistan's most prosperous businessmen." If you do some research you will come to know that Mr. Karzais brothers had almost no money before Precedent karzai's selection… Coming to the Point the United States especially and to an extent UK as well do support Mr. Karzai because they want to see a puppet Governor in Afghanistan so that they can achieve their motives ..and as far as Doctor Abdullah is concerned he is more educated than karzai, he has better and newer ideas about Afghanistan; to Eradicate Corruption from Afghanistan and all that. Also to me a person who has been living in Afghanistan can understand more about the people of Afghanistan, not a person like Karzai who was working in a hotel in USA and then after the Taliban's collapse just jumped to Afghanistan to make some money (as may other Afghans who have either got the citizenships of Canada or US or UK).

  • >Good points. But don't you think you're a little overly synical about the West? I agree there is a desire to have someone in government that will agree with western leaders. But might they not also be motivated by a desire to avoid further bloodshed by trying to create some legitimacy for him? After all it is unlikely that a new election could be called, so perhaps they think that we need to accept Karzai and push for him to reform the system so that the next election will not be such a farce, and corruption like that you talk about could start getting tackled.

  • >I will be extremely thankful if the West is really looking forward to solve all those problems that they created in Afghanistan and Pakistan and some other countries like Iraq and what they are doing with Iran. I think you know better then me that the Taliban were first supported by Pakistan and espacially the United States….you may not agree with me but one of the commanders working with the Taliban was my relative and they used to pay him in dollars and their aim was just to occupy the whole Afghanistan….and do you think there is any Ossama Bin Laden…? Now almost everybody knows about the drama of 911 and all that to create war around the world…and the baseless attack on Iraq esecially. I am actually not an extremist. I love the system of Europe and Canada but ……their problem is they live and dont let to live….. I am sorry if have overcrossed the subject a little…

  • >Not at all. I share some of your cyncism, especially with the way in which Bush labelled his foreign policy a 'War on Terror' and then subsequently went out of his way to undermine the United Nations, wreak havoc accross the Middle East, further anti-western sentiments and in many people's eyes lend weight to Sammuel Huntington's argument that we are encountering a 'Clash of Civilisations'. But I believe in Obama and I do believe that he wants to do the right thing, even if he is stepping a bit lightly. My worry is that Obama will go about things in a similar way to his predecessors, holding the military elements over and above the social, economic, politcal etc parts that should hold more importance in defeating the Taliban. Any historian will tell you that in order to win a war you need to win over the people. Take Vietnam for example. My hope is that although it will take some time the US will continue to invest in Afghanistan over the next 25 years (though I am talking in financial terms, I don't think the military should remain that long) as they did in Japan. The problem is that the US had more incentive to invest in Japan as it was a Cold War defence policy to do so and the public was largely in favour. Unfortunately terrorism is nothing like what western leaders think. It is not some multinational group of people aiming to bring down the west. It is a tactic utilised by groups that gain support from present poor conditions the west is currently failing to combat, and a frustration with authorities that have been made into scapegoat figures. In fact although I feel the armed forces in Afghanistan are on the whole doing a good job they are also contributing to the problems. Military figures say that civilian casualties are expected in war. That may be. But people need to see accountability, whoever is responsible! And the families of those who die need to be supported. At present we are fighting the result of the problems i.e. Taliban strongholds, when we should be cutting off their support base.The Taliban gets almost all of its money from drugs and as we cannot remove either the demand or the supply, I believe it is necessary to compete with the supply. Encouraging legalised drug production and usage in controlled areas within Afghanistan would remove the economic pillars that the Taliban rely upon, while maintaining the poppy trade, which is a (perhaps the) fundamental asset of the Afghan economy. By introducing legalised production only in controlled areas the dosage and purity could be controlled, the police could gain control over crime (illegal production and useage) and we would know exactly where the exports go. In return for this policy (this is not charity for it would dramatically reduce the amount of illegal drugs on the market in the UK and other countries around the world) the UK, and possibly other countries too should they agree, could offer the Afghanistan Government an economic stimulus package that would not have to be repaid. This money could be used to help build Afghanistan’s economy and allow people to see that our intervention was for the right reasons all along. It would not be easy, and nor would it solve everything but it would deal a potential killing blow to the Taliban, give Afghanistan the support it needs to grow and save Western countries' money.

  • >Just thought people would like to have an update on Afghanistan. Karzai is today picking his 25 member cabinet. He is in a perilous situation. He could reward the warlords and others who helped him in his fight for power and who will most likely continue to do so if he does so. Indeed he has already made promises that would indicate this will be the case. Or he could respond to the West's plea that he fights corruption and seeks not to strengthen his stance but the stance of Afghanistan in the future.At first glance it seems that Karzai might be tempted to look after his supporters. But there are many important factors in making this decision. Western financial support may hinge on his decision for one thing, which may be the deciding factor. But in addition, and I guess slightly saying the obvious, Karzai is in a very weak position. He has practically no mandate to rule and were it to come to a straight election no one is sure who would win: Abdullah Abdullah, Karzai, Burhanuddin Rabbani (former Afghan President) or even the Taliban. This has led people to guess that Karzai might put some opposition figures in the cabinet to broaden support and split the opposition (Rabbani's son is one prospect).What should Karzai do? I think his situation requires that he move boldly, hiring on merit, and acquiring more support not only within the opposition but more importantly bypassing them and going direct to the people. Of course this is not what Karzai will do. I think it is likely that Karzai will try to make too great a compromise, hiring someone that may split the opposition, keeping American choices that are already in cabinet, and giving a couple of posts to his supporters to ensure he maintains their support. Think this will solve the problems? Unlikely.

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