Merkwaardige ontwikkelingen in Afghanistan – kan het (nog) erger en gekker?

Terwijl Amerika meer troepen naar Afghanistan stuurt, de NAVO stechelt over extra bijdragen van bondgenoten, en de veiligheidssituatie in het land verslechtert, wil president Karzai weten wanneer de Westerse militairen het land verlaten en zou hij Amerikaanse vliegtuigen willen neerschieten…

The collapse of Afghanistan is closer than the world believes. Kandahar is in Taliban hands – all but a square mile at the centre of the city – and the first Taliban checkpoints are scarcely 15 miles from Kabul. Hamid Karzai’s deeply corrupted government is almost as powerless as the Iraqi cabinet in Baghdad’s "Green Zone"; lorry drivers in the country now carry business permits issued by the Taliban which operate their own courts in remote areas of the country.

The Red Cross has already warned that humanitarian operations are being drastically curtailed in ever larger areas of Afghanistan; more than 4,000 people, at least a third of them civilians, have been killed in the past 11 months, along with scores of Nato troops and about 30 aid workers…

This is not the democratic, peaceful, resurgent, "gender-sensitive" Afghanistan that the world promised to create after the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001…

Afghans working for charitable organisations and for the UN are telling their employers that they are coming under increasing pressure to give information to the Taliban and provide them with safe houses…

Once more, the Americans are talking about forming "tribal militias" to combat the Taliban, much as they did in Iraq and as the Pakistani authorities have tried to do on the North West Frontier. But the tribal lashkars of the Eighties were corrupted by the Russians and when the system was first tried out two years ago – it was called the Auxiliary Police Force – it was a fiasco…

"We" are not winning in Afghanistan. Talk of crushing the Taliban seems as bleakly unrealistic as it has ever been. Indeed, when the President of Afghanistan tries to talk to Mullah Omar – one of America’s principal targets in this wretched war – you know the writing is on the wall. And even Mullah Omar didn’t want to talk to Mr Karzai.

Partition is the one option that no one will discuss – giving the southern part of Afghanistan to the Taliban and keeping the rest – but that will only open another crisis with Pakistan because the Pashtuns, who form most of the Taliban, would want all of what they regard as "Pashtunistan"; and that would have to include much of Pakistan’s own tribal territories. It will also be a return to the "Great Game" and the redrawing of borders in south-west Asia, something which – history shows – has always been accompanied by great bloodshed.

Robert Fisk: ‘Nobody supports the Taliban, but people hate the government’ (The Independent/ICH)

Security in Afghanistan has deteriorated to a seven-year low, Canada admitted yesterday, as President Hamid Karzai continued to vent frustration at the slow pace of progress and accidental civilian deaths caused by Western forces.
"Numbers of insurgent incidents and casualty rates among civilians and soldiers reached levels higher than in any year since the Taliban regime was overthrown in 2001," concluded the assessment tabled by the government. "Security conditions in this quarter were worse than in the previous quarter, and worse than a year ago."
International Trade Minister Stockwell Day, chairperson of the cabinet committee on Afghanistan, acknowledged, "there’s been a deterioration" but insisted – just as the government’s progress report stated – that Canada could still reach a series of benchmarks such as training enough Afghan army and police personnel before the Canadian Forces leave Kandahar in 2011…

Afghanistan ‘worse than ever’ – Canada admits (MIKE BLANCHFIELD in The Gazette)

President Hamid Karzai demanded on Tuesday at a meeting with a UN Security Council team that the international community set a "timeline" for ending military intervention in Afghanistan, his office said.

Karzai told a delegation from the Council that his country needed to know how long the US-led "war on terror" was going to be fought in Afghanistan or it would be forced to seek a political solution to a Taliban-led insurgency.

"The international community should give us a timeline of how long or how far the war on terrorism will go," Karzai’s chief spokesman Homayun Hamidzada cited the president as telling the meeting.

"If we don’t have a clear idea of how long it will be, the Afghan government has no choice but to seek political solutions," he told AFP.

Afghanistan demands ‘timeline’ for end of military intervention (AFP)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday he would bring down U.S. planes bombing villages if he could, in a sign of growing tension between Afghanistan and its Western backers as the Taliban insurgency grows in strength.

As Western dissatisfaction with Karzai has grown over his failure to crack down on corruption and govern effectively, the Afghan president, facing elections next year, has hit back over the killing of dozens of civilians in foreign air strikes.

In recent weeks, Karzai has repeatedly blamed the West for the worsening security in Afghanistan, saying NATO failed to target Taliban and Al- Qaida sanctuaries in Pakistan and calling for the war to be taken out of Afghan villages.

"We have no other choice, we have no power to stop the planes, if we could, if I could … we would stop them and bring them down," Karzai told a news conference…

Afghanistan has suffered its worst violence this year since U.S.-led and Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001, with at least 4,000 people killed, around a third of them civilians.

Despite the presence of 65,000 foreign troops backing 130,000 Afghan security forces, Taliban insurgents have grown increasingly confident in their traditional heartland in the south and east and have also extended their influence close to the capital, Kabul.

Afghan president wishes he could shoot down U.S. planes (By Vancouver Sun / ICH)

..I can tell you with great authority that the Afghan people detest the presence of the Americans in their country – and for a whole raft of different reasons…

War of the Worlds (By Yvonne Ridley in Information Clearinghouse/ICH)

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3 thoughts on “Merkwaardige ontwikkelingen in Afghanistan – kan het (nog) erger en gekker?

  1. Karzai wil graag volgend jaar herkozen worden als President en probeert daarbij overduidelijk de grenzen af te bakenen waarop hij tegelijkertijd nog geloofwaardig kan blijven voor de westerse mogendheden en zijn eigen bevolking, wiens harten/stemmen hij aldus probeert te winnen..

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