Fighting Corruption in Afghanistan: Are We Doing Enough?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai waves as he leaves a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on July 29, 2010. (YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty)

One of the biggest threats to Afghanistan's security is corruption in the Afghan government. In July, a close advisor to Afghan President Hamid Karzai was arrested on corruption charges, and then released after President Karzai intervened. Are we doing enough to eradicate issues of corruption in that country, both in the government itself and in our dealings with people there?

We're joined by Dawood Azami, editor at the Kabul bureau for the BBC World Service. Azami tells us that Afghanis see the issue of corruption as central to whether they become loyal to the government, or the Taliban.

Guests:

Dawood Azami

Comments [2]

Nikos Retsos from Chicago, Illinois

I don't think the question should be "Are we doing enough?" It should be: "Are we doing the right thing?"

What amazes me, and most Americans I guess, is the fact that we kept blaming Afghan president Hamid Karzai for corruption all along, and now we have to admit publicly that we bribe his officials for information because he either "doesn't tell us what is going on in his administration," or because he is clueless about! And, the story goes, we have to pay dearly for all information. And, the story continues, $ 1 billion is shipped out of the country annually! And two weeks ago, Karzai’s National Security Chief, Mohammad Zia Salehi, was arrested by the U.S. controlled Anti-Corruption Task Force for taking bribes from the Ansari National Exchange to facilitate shipping out large amounts of U.S. cash bribes. And now we learn that he was on the CIA payroll too, but he was arrested for "double dipping" on bribes. And that tells us that "CIA bribes are legal in Afghanistan, but other bribes are not! And that means: "We are failing in our Afghan war, and we are desperately trying to stabilize the country with bribes in order to secure a face-saving exit!"

How does the CIA justifies that? The CIA now has this excuse: "Afghanistan is not Plato's Republic, and we have to pay bribes to be effective." But that is contrary to our claim that "we want to establish a democratic government there before we get out." There is no precedent in the history of mankind where invaders and conquerors established a democratic government in any occupied territory with bribes. Afghan officials just enjoy the protection of the U.S. troops while they are getting rich with our bribes, and while they ship out those $ billions to live like princes outside Afghanistan when the U.S. throws in the towel and they run for the borders!
And while we empty bribes with the truckload in the "black hole" of Afghanistan, Americans are in the 3rd year of poverty, $ trillions lost in their real estate equity, high unemployment, and a nearly empty U.S. Treasury!

God bless our Plato-styled democracy , in which the CIA 's “Philosopher King in Afghanistan,“ [Platos’s best form of government is that of a philosopher king ruler] Hamid Karzai has one philosophy for himself and his cronies: “Get rich as fast as you can, and get ready to get our of Afghanistan as soon as the U.S. abandons "The Graveyard of the Empires."
Nikos Retsos, retired professor

Aug. 27 2010 11:00 AM
ed from texas

It is amusing that we focus so much attention on the foibles of other nation's government and so readily condemn them but our own is squeaky clean;

Aug. 26 2010 07:56 AM

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