“Is Hamid Karzai crazy?” – That’s the question Fareed Zakaria’s article, written for TIME Magazine last week, starts with (http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2164821-1,00.html). Perhaps that’s the type of question Fareed Zakaria, and other journalists – mainly western one’s, should be asking their own governments the next time they introduce their choice of leaders for countries like Afghanistan.
President Karzai has given the Afghan people, and the rest of the world, more than enough reasons to doubt his credibility as a leader. For start, he’s been inconsistent in his political positions and diplomatic relationships with other nations to the point where Afghan public wonders if the President is even aware of what he’s saying – many a times leading himself to be the laughing stock of Afghanistan. At times, I think he represents a character of dual personality like that of Gollum/Sméagol in the film ‘Lord of the Rings’. For example, one day America is an ally and the next day he’d be saying to the media that he would support neighboring countries’ fight against America if need be. Some days he would say the Taliban are the enemies of Afghanistan and then some days they’re his brothers and release hundreds of cold-blooded terrorists. Some days he would speak of democracy and women’s rights, and then agree to pass laws that technically undo the progress done for women in the past decade. Last but not least, he’s been perfectly fine getting all kinds of assistance, including much-enjoyed positive publicity from mainstream western media, only to change his mind in his second term and say he “hasn’t seen much benefit of US presence in Afghanistan” over the years.
“Birds of a Feather, Flock Together”
President Karzai is probably the most inconsistent politician I know of and yes, he may be “crazy” in consistency of his public position on national and foreign policies of Afghanistan, but is he crazier than the former American President George W. Bush, whose administration first supported him and catapulted the name Karzai to stardom in world media? Or the crazier Obama administration that continued to support the Karzai administration? That would be my question to western journalists and media in general. Maybe it’s because ‘like attracts like’, maybe because ‘birds of a feather flock together’, or maybe because President Karzai is the best obedient leader Afghanistan can have in the eyes of the west.
Western media works in strange ways. Back in the 1980’s when the Afghan Mujahidin were fighting the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, they were hailed as heroes by the western media. Afterwards, when the job was done and US went on about their business as Afghanistan went on a self-destruction mode with the ongoing help of the big players of the Soviet war and mission ‘decent into chaos’ kicked off, everyone who was remotely involved in war was labelled anything from “warlords” and “war criminals” by the western media to outright “infidels” and “puppets of the west” by the Taliban, and everything in-between by the Communist remnants in Afghanistan who can only scavenge on the works of others at best. Funny how anyone who serves the interest of the western governments is hailed as ‘the good guy’ but dare anyone say the slightest thing that might not be in parallel to their agendas, the ‘craziest’ of the western journalists come to the rescue and end up unleashing an international avalanche of character assassination campaigns.
Have a look at the screenshot below of the tweet by Senator John McCain – even he joined in promoting the anti-Karzai wagon:
Love him or hate him, neither Afghans nor western journalists can deny that President Karzai, with full backing of the US and international community and with more financial assistance than ever before in the history of Afghanistan, enjoyed the best time to govern Afghanistan. Again, thanks to America – the very hand that’s been feeding President Karzai which is now getting bitten by him.
Perhaps future ‘crazier’ US administrations will think twice before they show any public displays of affection to their endorsed presidents in Afghanistan.
Humanizing the Demonized Afghans
Not convinced yet? Here’s another example of how the western journalists and writers favor only those who don’t threaten their position in their host countries like Afghanistan, published in the liberal/leftist Huffington Post online: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brian-glyn-williams/dostum-the-taliban-killer_1_b_4385095.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false
Fancy catch-words like “warlord”, “drug lord”, and “war criminals” have been consistently used by western journalists to describe everyone remotely involved in pre-9/11 wars in Afghanistan to sell their work – be it books, articles, or making their name in the biased world of international journalism. But publishing such articles in favor of Afghan leaders like Dostum is hitting a new benchmark in prostituting journalistic integrity. But wait a minute, maybe this pro-Dostum article is not all about Dostum after all.
Could it be that since Dostum has decided to be the candidate of choice as the first Vice President by the post-9/11 Afghan patriot and American exported candidate for the next President of Afghanistan – Dr. Ashraf Ghani – the western journalists and writers are now shifting gear to polish new public images for those who may be working under another future American-Afghan President?
Let’s find out in April 2014 when we, hopefully, have our next President. Though I’m not voting and I know we are far from having someone who understands how to be a ‘servant leader’ to the people, I do hope that whoever the next President of Afghanistan is going to be, he would at least make an attempt to transform Afghanistan from a corrupt beggar nation to a nation that will work hard and earn its place on world stage. With such violent and divided past and present, Afghanistan as a barely united country is not entitled to aid that will further feed its appetite for corruption and destruction. Most importantly, I hope we will have a President who will be clear and consistent in his policies and position both internally and externally.
Better days in Afghanistan are yet to come.