Saturday, June 24, 2006

Afghan PM Karzai: Dorlock Holmes in action

A story fresh off the AP wire has a statement from Hamid Karzai that is summarized as "One of America's closest allies says the war on terrorism fails to address its root causes."

There's a plethora of reactions one can have to this seeming thunderbolt-from-the-sky revelation. The foremost in my mind is what I usually refer to as a 'Dorlock Holmes moment'. For those of you intelligent enough to be fans of the old Warner Bros. cartoons, you may recall the one entitled 'Deduce You Say', wherein Daffy Duck spoofs Sherlock Holmes and his name. While Daffy is at a tavern, gathering clues in his search for the Shropshire Slasher, a huge knife slams into the bar in front of him with a tag proclaiming it the 'property of the Shropshire Slasher'. Dorlock continues to sip his tea for a moment before whipping out a magnifying glass, training it on the knife, and yelling: "A clue!" This is what everyone gathered around Karzai should have said to him once he started bemoaning the fact that the US is more interested in expending ammo than in dealing with the real problems of the world. Everyone, that is, who wasn't an idiot.

It's difficult to feel sorry for Karzai, of course, as he knew what he was getting into. As a paid stooge of one of the many oil interests quite enchanted by the endless barren territory of Aghanistan, making it a wonderful place to run pipelines from the Caspian Sea (via Turkmenistan) to the Arabian Sea (via Pakistan; yes, that means propping up two other execrable regimes of the world, par usual), there was little chance he would have credibility with the Afghan people, even if they were to look past his Western education and mannerisms and air of secularism and, of course, even if he were to somehow wrest power from the warlords/poppy growers that rule the countryside wherein said pipeline will have to run.

So, he played the game for a while, saying all the right things to encourage the mindless, fawning US media that the 'war on terror' is a positive development that's actually, you know, accomplishing something. But, finally, with abject poverty and continued violence playing the pins to his balloon, he has to place the blame somewhere before he's not even safe in Kabul anymore. Thus, he criticizes the US military for killing hundreds of innocent Afghans over the past couple of years in the 'war on terror'. Sounds more like the 'war on peasantry' to me but- sshhh -don't tell anyone! See, that's where the TERRORISTS come from!

(pulling on the Stephen Colbert mask) What?! Really?! Terrorists come from poor people who have few other options in life and are often easily swayed by religious fanatics to commit extreme violence against the people that have killed their relatives and neighbors? That's preposterous! We all know that terrorists are simply evil! Evil, evil, evil! That's it. No further explanation needed. And clearly some of them are intelligent, so they can't all be the poor riff-raff. They're just corrupted by that evil religion: Islam.

Far be it from me to completely disagree with the neo-cons, since I'm of the opinion that all organized religion is contemptible to one level or another. But the buzzwords 'evil' and 'Islam' are just the convenient, no-explanation-needed reasons that both government and media feed the idiots so they don't have to use the words 'poverty', 'fair trade', 'justice', and so on. If they mention it about Afganistan, pretty soon someone will start to ask why those things can't be discussed here (Let's hearken back to that statement by the Bush Administration about setting up national healthcare in Iraq... Hello? Hello, McFlye! Hello!)

So, Karzai speaks up, followed quickly by his spokesman, Khaleeq Ahmad, who gets us right back with the program: " We want to fight (terrorism) in a way that we fight the roots of it: where they get trained, where they get equipment, where they get money, where the recruitment centers are"

Wow. That's a great idea. You get right on that. Tell me how it works out...


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