at all levels require bribes and payoffs before any business can be done. The Afghan people
are caught between a corrupt government they despise and a shadow Taliban government
they fear. So, how will the average gum-chewing Afghan greet the news the United States is
no longer interested in high-level corruption, but will continue to oppose graft on the local
It appears Afghan President Hamid Karzai is miffed with us. One of his top aides was
arrested and Karzai wasn't notified beforehand. His brother, Mahmood, is a part-owner of
Kabul Bank which is in danger of failing because of corrupt lending practices and the U.S.
refuses to bail the bank out. His other brother, Wallid, is the "fixer" in Kandahar and is at
the center of a system of bribery and corruption including getting a piece of the opium trade
which helps to fund both the Taliban and al Qaeda. At least he is on the CIA payroll; but
President Karzai is angry about all the unfavorable press his brother and family and friends
The Obama Administration has announced it is going to leave the Karzais alone and focus
on local power brokers and corrupt officials (most appointed by the Karzai family). They
promise they won't ignore major corruption; but they will cut the Karzai family criminal
enterprise some slack. They promise to give him advanced notice before they move in on any
one in his government and get his approval. (You don't think he would tip off anyone, do you?
Her is our trusted ally, after all.) It seems the Afghan president is making noises about turning
to Iran or making a separate peace deal with the Taliban to protect his criminal siblings; and
Obama's advisors are so shaken by this possibility that they have agreed to stop pressuring
him to clean up his country.
So, now we will focus on low level corruption and be very discreet about not
embarrassing Karzai every time one of his clan gets caught with his finger in the cookie jar.
We will now go after local crooks and leave the big crooks to the Afghan president. In 2010,
our administration promises to insure U.S. taxpayer's money is fully accounted for unlike for
the last eight years or so. I wish I was making this up. We continue to re-arrange deck chairs
on the Titanic while the hole in the bow gets bigger and bigger.
Afghan financial institutions launder drug money for the Taliban and possibly al Qaeda.
This will continue. The Afghan government protects the opium industry. This will continue.
Afghan politicians will continue to loot the nation's treasury and Americans will pay for all of
this in blood and treasure. The local thugs are all appointed by the national crooks. The local
sharks serve at the pleasure of the national sharks. Obama officials insist this is not a retreat
from rooting out high-level corruption. O.k., so we will call it a strategic withdrawal from the
In December, General Petraeus and Secretary of Defense Gates will review the counter-
insurgency strategy for President Obama before troops are supposed to be withdrawing in
July of 2011. You and I know exactly what will happen. In December, they will declare the
strategy sound; and then in July they will announce most troops will stay in the country for
the foreseeable future. Americans will continue to die and good American money will follow
bad as the Karzai crime family continues to steal from its own people and from us. I love the
smell of corruption in the morning. It smells like victory...doesn't it? What do you think?
I welcome your comments and rebuttals. Please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org