Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Just Great - Political Chaos in Kabul

Hamid Karzai reads impassioned speeches to Canadians written by our own, newly political, armed forces. Another young man is sacrificed. Now it turns out that a seismic event has hit Karzai's already wobbly and corrupt Kabul government.

The New York Times reports that the Karzai government is locked in an escalating power struggle with the warlords and mujahedeen in Afghanistan's legislature.

It is said to have begun in May when the lower house overwhelmingly passed a resolution calling for the removal of the country's foreign minister, something Karzai has refused, calling the measure illegal.

Mr. Karzai’s opponents have promised to boycott Parliament unless he removes the minister, Rangeen Dadfar Spanta. In recent days, a group of more than 50 legislators, most of them members of a new opposition coalition, have threatened to quit altogether over the president’s intransigence.

“This is serious,” said Wadir Safi, a member of the faculty of law and political science at Kabul University. “It’s dangerous for the government and the nation.” The showdown, he said, is eroding whatever public confidence in the elected leadership remains.

Karzai has a particular vision for dealing with government, and it doesn’t involve a big role for the legislative branch,” said a Western diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

But the president has long been dogged by criticism of ineffectiveness and chronic indecision. Government corruption and poppy cultivation are rampant and public services remain a wreck; food prices are soaring, unemployment remains high and resurgent Taliban forces in the south are pressing toward this capital.

As public confidence in Mr. Karzai has evaporated, opposition has escalated sharply from within the government, led by regional power brokers who feel he has marginalized them.

The roots of this crisis go back to Karzai's decision not to block the warlords and criminal element from being elected to his government. The Afghan foreign minister has infuriated these types by attempting to derail their legislation granting themselves amnesty for their war crimes in the 30-year old civil war. In short, Karzai put a nest of vipers in his bed and now they're threatening to attack him.

Six years now and this is what we've got to show for our sacrifice. Great, just great.

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