Shouldn't our government care whether Hamid Karzai retains power in Afghanistan? After all, what are our troops over there for if not to defend the central government?
The Americans care deeply about the Afghan election. They see Karzai falling in with some of the worst warlords in his country in a desperate bid to cling to power. It's been widely reported that Washington was furious that Kabul allowed warlord general Dostum to return to his Uzbek homeland days before the vote.
The US seems to be backing away from its support of expansive Indian influence in Afghanistan in favour of something more acceptable to Pakistan. Karzai is, of course, decidedly pro-India and anti-Pakistan, fearing the domination of his country's immediate and much more powerful neighbour. Likewise Islamabad isn't particularly fond of Karzai either.
America has actively sought to deny Karzai a first ballot win, hoping that a runoff vote might see Karzai's rival, Abdullah Abdullah squeak into office. Karzai has responded by rallying warlord support and tribal intimidation. By many accounts there has also been a good bit of fraud thrown in to boot.
The question becomes does Stephen Harper still back Karzai or is he falling into line with Washington and Islamabad? I think it's time for Steve to fish or cut bait.
The outcome of this election could turn very ugly. Dissident tribesmen may flock to Karzai's only real opposition - the insurgency. It won't take an awful lot to transform the insurgency into a full blown civil war. If it comes to that, what business does Canada - or NATO for that matter - have taking sides?
If our guy is a treacherous, lying, manipulative reprobate willing to sell out his countrymen to murderous warlords simply to keep a grip on power, why are we supporting him at all? Maybe the Harper government can explain just what our troops are over there fighting and dying for.