KABUL, Afghanistan — Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.
The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home.
The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.
I’ve been mulling an Afghanistan post for a while now; I’ve held back simply because I don’t know that I possibly have to add to the conversation. But this news makes me think ... WTF???!!!
I have no fucking clue what we are doing in Afghanistan. Controlling the poppy trade? I mean, other than what you can glean from looking at a map: Oh lookie, there's Iraq on one side, Afghanistan on the other, and wooopsie isn't that Iran caught in the middle? But other than that, what the hell are we doing in Afghanistan??!
So our CIA has been paying the brother of the president of Afghanistan to do dirty deeds. And the president of Afghanistan is a man regarded as a U.S. puppet, whose re-election is questioned by the people because of widespread fraud. I’m so shocked.
No, I haven’t forgotten 9/11. Remind me, how many Afghanis were on those planes that crashed into the twin towers?
There’s a very nefarious trend among our punditry to confuse the Taliban with Al Qaeda, and while no one would pretend the Taliban is an example of democracy, there are plenty of oppressive regimes out there in the world which America has chosen to do business with. It was so cute how a few years ago it was politically correct to say Afghanistan was the "right" war, hell I even said it, but now I'm just wondering... WTF?
Yes, Afghanistan is a cesspool of human rights abuses. I’ve seen those pictures of women being executed for no reason other than wanting to get an education or defying their husbands.
But is a military occupation the answer? It seems to me if ever there was a place where exercises in nation-building--schools, infrastructure, development--would yield positive results for everyone, Afghanistan is it. This is a country that every superpower has tried to occupy in the past century. I think the Afghanis are a little tired of it. So now our presence in there is fueling an insurgency. Who is surprised? And just what, exactly, are we accomplishing?
How much money have we squandered over there? What has our CIA done, in the name of U.S. citizens, that we don’t know about?
I do not like it. No I do not.