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October 28, 2009
Propping up the embroiled Afghan president

Children with U.S. soldier in Afghanista. Photo: Flickr user theUSarmy

U.S. President Barack Obama continues to grapple with the complex situation in Afghanistan.

The American leader has recently been accused of taking too long to make a decision about whether to send more troops.

With allegations of election fraud surrounding Afghan president Hamid Karzai and new allegations against his brother, should the U.S. cut ties with the controversial president?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please remember to be respectful and on-point in your comments. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted and repeat offenders will be banned.

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Comments

29 comments

#29

Aloha!

I agree with the comments of most of the previous responders, namely we ( our government, officially and unofficially ) should have not gone into this yet another corrupt country. President Obama needs to decide that the timing is right – NOW- to no longer fund any type of operations and get our troops out of harm’s way. When will the silliness and madness of war diplomacy ever be reduced to extinction, so that we can go on with our own business? I think President Obama is wrong with even considering any further interaction with an obviously corrupt regime. How many more young people have to get in harm’s way before we decide enough is enough? I want back my taxes misspent on all of this American bullying adventurism, and I doubt we will ever recover even a fraction of the billions and billions of dollars spent and/or comitted to supporting an obviously BAD government. Talk about black holes – we are in one – and don’t seem to know it!

#28

I agree with Mr. Hoh. After working with people in Nepal for four years, I believe that the local culture knows best how to run their lives and we need to work locally to build schools, especially for girls as Greg Mortenson has done in western Pakistan and even into eastern Afghanistan. This is not a necessary war that we are currently fighting. Al Queda is a world-wide effort and that should be our focus. We need to listen to the people who have the experience working with the locals like Sarah Chayse!!

#27

Two questions must be answered by our leaders: 1. Is the destabilization of south Asia making us in the western hemisphere saver? 2. Our we leading the people of south Asia to a better world?

#26

There was a time when I thought that we should stay the course, but as time goes on and the end result becomes clearer – I think we should get out and cut our losses. There are several things that I think about when I think of Iraq and Afghanistan. We have been focusing too much on defeating the Taliban (which we’ll never do completely) and Al Quid a and not enough focus is on our poor troops in the line of battle. This on going war with 4 to 6 troop tours of duty without end – will eventually take it’s toll on our troops. If Obama decides to “stay the course” then we need to fight our style of war and reconstitute the draft, and quadruple our efforts and “demand” that our allies in the west do the same – but we cannot expect our allies to expend their young peoples lives for our ventures and failed policies. We’re in a mess left over from Bush and Cheney and Obama appears to be lost in his own world as to what to do next. At the end of the day – we’re really in a war which pours over into religion and culture – thats a war that we will not win. The Russians could not win, the Chinese would not be able to win nor will the United States. For too many years the West (Particularly the United States and Europe) have went into these middle east countries with our brand of democracy and free enterprise which conflicts heavily with the religion and culture of the region. The West, Russia and China needs to back off and let those countries live their lives and deal with them from a mutual respect and concept. The West has allowed it’s huge corporations to exploit the political, economic and military elements of those countries and now we’re paying a price – in short big business from around the globe along with ideology ought to be reined in. JW @ USA

#25

As Sarah Chayes says in her book The Punishment of Virtue, We have consistantly supported the wrong people in Afghanistan. I agree with Matthew Hoh who recently resigned his US State department position in protest of the US position n oin Afghanistan. We should reduce our levell of commitment until we can figure outr which Afghan is trustworthy.

#24

End the criminal and completely unjustified genocidal wars of conquest. Get out now. Dismantle the CIA, slash the bloated military budget by a third and return the USA to civilian rule.

#23

My thoughts were crystalized by this mornings editorial by Nicholas Kristof: schools, not soldiers. Education and economic opportunities (especially for women) will bring far more long term stability than soldiers and drones.

#22

Encourage Abdull Abdulla to make a “citizen’s Arrest” of Karzai brothers, postpond the elections, bring in more contestants for the next election, to be held without the Karzais.

#21

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan in a failed attempt to hunt down bin Laden. Loosing focus on the original mission it became embroiled in a civil war backing the weaker side. An unfortunate policy blunder that has plagued the United States since it became enamored with the idea of being a superior society after WWII.

#20

The U.S. might be better off cultivating tribal leaders, who have a long history of autonomy, with decreased emphasis on a president who, apparently, cannot capture the allegiance of Afgan factions without “extra-legal” influence.

#19

If it is found to in fact be true that the CIA is paying Karzai with the knowledge that he is dealing opiates (and God only know what else he’s doing/ has done), then whomever is responsible, and especially the director of the CIA himself- should be FIRED and REMOVED from duty, HONOR, and INFLUENCE!

#18

I compare Pres. Karzai as a cobra snake…beware a person that cannot be trusted at all.

#17

Having Karzais brother on the payroll of the CIA is not a very wise idea. He is part of the corruption problem along with president Karzai himself. It is time for Afghanistan to sort out there own problems. It is there country and only they can decide what they want for themselves.
Unfortunately we missed our chance in Afghanistan by going into Iraq and it is time to get out and cut our losses.

#16

It is unrealistic to expect a fair and meaningful election from an uneducated electorate in the ways of a Democratic Government.

#15

The Karzai government is corrupt through and through and yet he has done little if anything to hold his government accountable. As odious as it is to support this regime, we still cannot cut our ties and leave ourselves open to a return of the Taliban to power and provide the potential for a repeat of 9/11.

#14

President Obama should move away from Afghaistan until there is a stable government to deal with.
Their government system is inconsistent with our goals. I think many people do not really understand the Taliban and World Focus could enlightening us with a series that would explain their feeling that music, for instance,is evil and must not be allowed. Also, there rules for womens rights, girls education, etc. so the world could see what they want to do to developing societies. Let the world know the enemy.

#13

The United States consistantly hasn’t learned from history. Once again the US goverment has chosen to support another corrupt regime detrimental to our basic principles, national security and in this instance the Afghan people.

#12

Afghanistan has been a basket case for generations. We are only adding to their misery each day we are there. It is time to bring our troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq.

#11

Hamid Karzai signed laws that show that he is willing to stay in power by subjugating Afghan women.

“It allows a husband to starve his wife if she refuses to submit to his sexual demands.

It removes the need for consent to sex within marriage, effectively condoning marital rape.

A wife must also get her husband’s permission to work. Fathers and grandfathers have also been awarded exclusive custody of the children.”

#10

Why do we need to be there? No one has ever convinced me that it is a strategic area. We’ll get the necessary oil and gas and let the entire region take care of itself.

#9

If our troops are dying to achieve success and if the Karzais are in the way of our success then remove the Karzais or remove our troops.

#8

As long as we are perceived as “infidels” occupying a country where we are not welcome due to their strict religious views, we cannot and will not end any warfare, but only continue to incite. A pillar of the Islamic faith is to destroy the infidel — not only as an armed force, but individually; thus the suicide bombers and IEDs. We need to get out of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq. Forget the oil and poppies! Let these tribal societies lead their lives as they wish and get us out before we’re all wiped out.

#7

This has nothing to do with the current government in Afghanistan. Obama should follow the Bush strategy used in Iraq: First go in with 40,000 or more troops and defeat the Taliban and Al Quaeda, then bring security to the country. Train local security forces. Then create a democratic government with U.S. guidance.

#6

The US should certainly see to it that the runoff is fair, and hopefully that will either remove Karzai or at least force a coalition govt. We can’t leave, so we should continue to try to invite European partners into the coalition.

Daljit continues to be delightful. I’m glad she’s back!

#5

Legalize the drugs that are producing the revenue base for these terrorists. Not to mention the kids getting themselves into illegal substance trade in the likes of soft drugs. Remove their income source and the gun trouble disappears.

There is too much income for these punks under current system we seem to be supporting the enemy times two.

#4

It is almost an impossible task for the US to modernize and free Afghanistan. I think the US should focus on supporting the country financially in exchange for their help with the war on terror and for their recognition of human rights. I think the carrot will do more than the stick. Unfortunately Bush/Cheney left President Obama with a horrible mess. We can cut losses and get out.

#3

It’s time to say, “good bye” in Afghanistan for both the Americans and the British. The past government, which supported the Taliban, has been toppled, so… that must be “our victory”. We must stop spendig our money required to be there, and DEFINATELY stop spilling our blood. We may, at some future date be required to return, but we can cross that bridge when we come to it. BOTH candidates for President are less-than-honorable (both of them stuffed ballot boxes)… and this will pretty much always be the case with whomever is running the place.

#2

We should “cut ties” with the corrupt government by leaving the country. We have spent too much money and lives invading and occupying other countries. It’s time to stop behaving like the world’s bullies!

#1

The USA can not even figure out what is happening with Palestine/Israel, so why are we in Afghanistan? ‘First things first’ would be the wise move.

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