Photo credit: Reuters

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Court Jester and the Fool

Dear Mr. President,
This whole fiasco with the Bilateral Security Agreement reminds me of a high pressure used car salesman (the U.S.) trying to sell a clunker to a prospective buyer (Hamid Karzai). Only in this case the prospective buyer is just as canny and devious as the used car salesman. Every enticement offered brings a new demand, every pressure is met with another roadblock, and by the end of the day, the salesman is looking to the buyer’s wife, kids, cousins, dog, anyone, to sign the deal. After Kerry’s entreaties, after the Loya Jirga’s rubber stamp of approval, after Dobbins and Rice and all the other nameless negotiators’ pleas and threats, and with billions of Yankee taxpayer dollars sitting on the table, Karzai’s got new demands—free all prisoners at Guantanamo, stop raiding Afghan homes, kicking down doors in the dead of night, terrorizing villages with drones and Hellfire, help start peace talks with the Taliban. What’s with this guy, anyway? What gall! Next thing you know, he’ll demand your Nobel Peace Prize! After 12 years of propping him up, keeping him and his cronies in power all this time, delivering millions in unmarked Ben Franklins to his office every month, treating his government like it was legitimate instead of a sham, now he wants us to stop counterterrorism raids and make our heroes subject to Afghan law? Outrageous! He’s playing David with a slingshot up against Goliath, “the greatest military the world has ever known,” flipping us off, dancing around and laughing at us. It’s humiliating, Mr. President, don’t let him get away with it. Put him on your Kill List. Surely, he’s a bigger threat to the U.S. of A. than that grandmother you droned last year in the mountains of Waziristan while she was picking okra in her garden. I mean, he’s sucking billions of dollars out of our economy and into his own pocket, money needed here at home for food stamps, unemployment benefits, education and aid for ailing municipalities going broke and cutting services and pensions. Karzai’s playing you for a fool, Mr. President. It was a fool’s war to begin with, started by fools and driven by ignorance, hubris and fantasy, a war continued and expanded by you, now your war, to no purpose other than furthering misbegotten dreams of empire and world domination. The way to win in Afghanistan is to walk away, to stop the mayhem, stop the killing, stop supporting the most corrupt government on the face of the earth. In other words, stop playing the fool.

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