Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Karzai Kapers

What with Karzai and Zardari visiting President Obama today (they get twenty minutes each!), both the WaPo and the NYT serve as mouthpieces for the administration's attempt to pressure them into acquiescing to the still nebulous policies of the administration.

Zardari has already launched an attack on Swat with the potential to create hundreds of thousands of new refugees. But his political strength lies only in being the friend of the US, he has little choice but to follow the dictates of his masters. There's little doubt that his political future in Pakistan is closing, the US has gone as far as to make nice to Sharif, who has always been thought of as Washington's enemy. At this point, it looks like either Sharif or another military dictatorship will soon be in power in Islamabad.

Karzai, on the other hand, though seeming more vulnerable, has been quietly manuveuring to win the upcoming elections and to stay on as mayor of Kabul, while keeping elbow room between him and US policies that continue to slaughter Afghan civilians. Unless Obama is going to pull some rough stuff, it looks like he's going to have to deal with Karzai for the foreseeable future. Maybe he should give him more than twenty minutes?


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