Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Hamid's 15 Minutes Coming to a Rapid End

With his inauguration as "president" of Afghanistan, look for Hamid Karzai's name to fade from the media, unless something tragic happens.

Recall: a year ago, the Bush administration simply forgot about Afghanistan when it came to doling out foreign "aid" (and remember that "aid" in this case tends to ultimately end up in the hands of US firms, who provide the products and services procured by this money). Sure, Cheney and Rumsfeld can stop by Kabul, watch the ceremony, and feel good about themselves. But let's be real: Karzai is, at best, a mayor--and maybe not even mayor of all of the capital.

Afghanistan is turning into a narco-state (who says Bush doesn't think fondly of his misspent youth?), and real authority is held at the local and provincial levels. Karzai's power is limited to the largesse of his donors, who's history of generosity is lacking just a bit.

Good luck, Hamid--you're going to need it.

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