By Ann Marlowe
As Western leaders and Congress debate NATO’s responsibilities in Afghanistan, it’s time to dissolve two great American illusions about Afghanistan.
The first is that Hamid Karzai is a good president who looks after American interests. The second is that the situation in Afghanistan is going from bad to worse. Both of these unchallenged “facts” are dangerous errors.
Karzai manages by panic, with massive corruption and an absence of vision. It’s a tribute to the Afghan people’s energy and U.S.- implemented economic regulations and reforms that Afghanistan’s gross domestic product has more than doubled since the invasion. But Karzai has sought to derail grass-roots efforts at building democracy and to stifle Afghanistan’s nascent civil society, repeatedly siding with fundamentalists against progressives. (more…)