FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Karzai’s Rude Awakening

by JACK RANDOM

Is there anyone who still believes in the independence of the American media? After the spectacle of embedded journalism, the evisceration of Dan Rather, the sordid saga of Judith Miller and the New York Times, and the emasculation of Newsweek Magazine, if you require further proof, look to the recent visit of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

By all appearances, President Karzai is an honest and sincere leader even though his presidency was made possible by the blessings and support of the White House warlords. At the initiation of the war in Iraq, Karzai wisely appealed to the United States Congress not to forget his nation, a nation already conquered and occupied by American led forces. Moved by his compassion, our congressional leaders posed for the cameras to give praise and a solemn promise: We will not forget.

Three years later, the forgotten occupation still seethes with civil unrest. Thousands have taken to the streets in protest. Afghani citizens still fall to American bombs, missiles and renewed military offensives. Tribal warlords still rule most of the country and protect the opium fields upon which Afghanistan still depends for survival.

Against this backdrop, it should not have been surprising that President Karzai had some harsh criticism for his American sponsors. It was time, he argued, for the Afghan government to gain control of military operations. It was not, he observed, the article in Newsweek concerning the desecration of the Koran that led to mass demonstrations across Afghanistan in which dozens of protesters were shot down for exercising their democratic rights; it was the conditions of occupation, a desperate economy, and a lack of progress under virtual military rule.

What was the administration response? The Department of Defense issued stern rebuke of President Karzai and his government for failing to control the opium trade.

What was the story in American media? The failure of the Afghan government to control the opium trade.

It is somehow assumed that the president of Afghanistan is misinformed or not familiar enough with his own people to rewrite a story that has already gone forth as an example of media malfeasance. After all, Newsweek has already accepted the blame. Newsweek has already taken the blood of the innocent on the hands of its reporters. Who is the president of Afghanistan to reassign culpability?

Now that Newsweek (a publication that might have been considered liberal a decade ago) has joined CBS in being humbled before the eyes of the meta-media world, President Karzai must also be bent to his knees by accepting blame for the Afghan opium trade.

Has it occurred to anyone in America’s free press that without control of the military there is absolutely nothing Karzai can do about the opium trade? Has it occurred to any mainstream journalist that without the opium trade there is no Afghan economy?

Where is Christianne Amanpour when we need her? Would CNN even allow her to file a report?

Where are those congressional leaders who vowed never to forget? Does it occur to none that the welfare of Afghanistan is now America’s burden? Under the circumstances, it was imperative for Karzai to submit the solemn truth: They do not need covert operations on the Pakistani border. They do not need military prisons filled with uncharged suspects. They need basic security and the rule of law. They need a well-supplied Afghan army and the disarmament of the warlords. Most critically, in the absence of the opium trade, they need massive economic assistance.

What Karzai foresaw three years ago, he must now accept in despair: That assistance, along with the dream of a free and peaceful Afghanistan, is not forthcoming.

Before he was muzzled and escorted from Washington, Karzai spoke the truth: The bare minimum a sovereign democratic government can expect is control over military operations within its own borders. If it is denied that minimal authority, it is nothing more than a figurehead for the occupying forces.

It is a rude awakening for a proud man who sincerely cares about the future of his people. The lesson he has learned is familiar to many throughout the world: America may be a partner but it is not a friend.

JACK RANDOM is the author of the Jazzman Chronicles, the War Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press). He can be reached through his website: www.jackrandom.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jack Random is the author of Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press.)

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 23, 2017
John Wight
Trump’s Inauguration: Hail Caesar!
Mark Schuller
So What am I Doing Here? Reflections on the Inauguration Day Protests
Patrick Cockburn
The Rise of Trump and Isis Have More in Common Than You Might Think
Binoy Kampmark
Ignored Ironies: Women, Protest and Donald Trump
Gregory Barrett
Flag, Cap and Screen: Hollywood’s Propaganda Machine
Gareth Porter
US Intervention in Syria? Not Under Trump
L. Ali Khan
Trump’s Holy War against Islam
Gary Leupp
An Al-Qaeda Attack in Mali:  Just Another Ripple of the Endless, Bogus “War on Terror”
Norman Pollack
America: Banana Republic? Far Worse
Bob Fitrakis - Harvey Wasserman
We Mourn, But We March!
Kim Nicolini
Trump Dump: One Woman March and Personal Shit as Political
William Hawes
We Are on Our Own Now
Martin Billheimer
Last Tango in Moscow
Colin Todhunter
Development and India: Why GM Mustard Really Matters
Mel Gurtov
Trump’s America—and Ours
David Mattson
Fog of Science II: Apples, Oranges and Grizzly Bear Numbers
Clancy Sigal
Who’s Up for This Long War?
Weekend Edition
January 20, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Divide and Rule: Class, Hate, and the 2016 Election
Andrew Levine
When Was America Great?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: This Ain’t a Dream No More, It’s the Real Thing
Yoav Litvin
Making Israel Greater Again: Justice for Palestinians in the Age of Trump
Linda Pentz Gunter
Nuclear Fiddling While the Planet Burns
Ruth Fowler
Standing With Standing Rock: Of Pipelines and Protests
David Green
Why Trump Won: the 50 Percenters Have Spoken
Dave Lindorff
Imagining a Sanders Presidency Beginning on Jan. 20
Pete Dolack
Eight People Own as Much as Half the World
Roger Harris
Too Many People in the World: Names Named
Steve Horn
Under Tillerson, Exxon Maintained Ties with Saudi Arabia, Despite Dismal Human Rights Record
John Berger
The Nature of Mass Demonstrations
Stephen Zielinski
It’s the End of the World as We Know It
David Swanson
Six Things We Should Do Better As Everything Gets Worse
Alci Rengifo
Trump Rex: Ancient Rome’s Shadow Over the Oval Office
Brian Cloughley
What Money Can Buy: the Quiet British-Israeli Scandal
Mel Gurtov
Donald Trump’s Lies And Team Trump’s Headaches
Kent Paterson
Mexico’s Great Winter of Discontent
Norman Solomon
Trump, the Democrats and the Logan Act
David Macaray
Attention, Feminists
Yves Engler
Demanding More From Our Media
James A Haught
Religious Madness in Ulster
Dean Baker
The Economics of the Affordable Care Act
Patrick Bond
Tripping Up Trumpism Through Global Boycott Divestment Sanctions
Robert Fisk
How a Trump Presidency Could Have Been Avoided
Robert Fantina
Trump: What Changes and What Remains the Same
David Rosen
Globalization vs. Empire: Can Trump Contain the Growing Split?
Elliot Sperber
Dystopia
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail