Karzai's Half-Brother Killed in Kandahar

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's half-brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai was shot dead at point blank range this morning in Kandahar. As provincial council chairman of Kandahar, Karzai was thought of as a stongman leader, and perhaps the most powerful man in southern Afghanistan. He was also a deeply controversial figure, believed to be involved in Afghanistan's drug trade and central to the corruption that has marred the Afghan government by American military commanders.

Conversely, NATO officials saw Karzai as integral to the fight against the Taliban in southern Afghanistan. In 2009, it was revealed that the C.I.A. had been paying Karzai for much of the previous nine years for services such as recruiting a paramilitary force.

It was initially reported that Karzai was killed by his bodyguard, but more recent reports say the assassin was Sardar Mohammed, a trusted friend of the family and security commander.

Alissa Rubin of The New York Times has the latest from Kabul. Christine Fair, assistant professor at the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, analyzes what Karzai's death will mean for the war effort in Afghanistan.

Guests:

Christine Fair and Alissa Rubin

Produced by:

Sitara Nieves

Comments [2]

Nikos Retsos from Chicago, Illinois


Even though all of us detest assassinations, let's not forget how we celebrated the assassination of Osama Bin Laden! Wali karzai assassination would probably be a positive development in our Afghan conflict. Let's not forget - again- that the Karzai brothers, both the president and his siblings, have amassed a wealth of properties in Dubai and other Gulf States from OUR tax dollars! The U.S. formed anti-corruption strike force in Afghanistan has caught emissaries bordering flights out of Kabul with bags containing $ 50 millions! And when it tried to investigate where the money originated, president Karzai's ministries were stonewalling! The Karzai brothers know that when the war in Afghanistan is over, the Taliban will prevail, and they would have to fly out into exile or be caught and hanged! They, therefore have been sowing $$$$$$$ into the Gulf emirates for an affluent life in exile when that time comes. And in the process of amassing that wealth for themselves, they have made a lot of enemies!

Does anybody older remember the Shah Reza Pahlevi of Iran, and Ferdinand Markos of Philippines? They had amassed $ 25-35 billions abroad. I am sure the Karzai brothers are not far behind. I am, therefore, sorry for the Afghan civilians who try to survive in an arid a mountainous country while everything blows up around them, not for those handling the $ billions the U.S. is blowing in, or for the Karzai brothers and their associates who are blowing $ billions in U.S. aid out for themselves. Wars make many people multimillionaires, but our sympathies should be with the innocent victims caught in the middle - not with the "hogs of war!" Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Jul. 12 2011 09:14 AM
Lord Howard Hurts from Sarasota, Florida

US wars launched since the attacks of September 11, 2001 have left 225,000 dead and cost up to $4.4 trillion, according to a new study by university researchers.

The study published by Brown University this week focused on the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and counter-terrorism campaigns in Pakistan and Yemen, which came in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States.

The authors argued that governments almost always go to war underestimating the potential duration and costs of a conflict while overestimating "the political objectives that can be accomplished by the use of brute force."

The study said "an extremely conservative estimate" of the casualty toll was about 225,000 people killed and 365,000 wounded in the wars so far.

Yawn, Yawn, Yawn. So much wasted money and lives. And just look at all the positive results. Zero. This is why we need to stop the wars, NOW, and pay attention to domestic affairs, and let others handle their own affairs; Stop with the taxpayer aid money also; Strengthen our economy by reducing taxes, and make political office public service rather than a profession.
Lord Howard Hurts freedomfiles.blogspot.com

Jul. 12 2011 08:41 AM

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