Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

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Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Vaniver » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:22 am UTC

I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Metaphysician » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:43 am UTC

Clearly we want to be sending billions of dollars to these people.
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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:23 am UTC

Metaphysician wrote:Clearly we want to be sending billions of dollars to these people.

Are you sure you didn't mean "occupy their country"?

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby FrancisDrake » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:38 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:Clearly we want to be sending billions of dollars to these people.

Are you sure you didn't mean "occupy their country"?

Sweet, it is nice to know I'm not the only one who heard about the occupy the barter markets protest. But, their protest totally makes sense since the people have nothing to drink but Blackwater.
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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Metaphysician » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:04 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Metaphysician wrote:Clearly we want to be sending billions of dollars to these people.

Are you sure you didn't mean "occupy their country"?


Yeah well I'm against that too. I mean it's hard for them to wage war against us if our military isn't there. Really how does our foreign policy make any sense at all? Honestly, regardless of political persuasion, every thinking person should be able to look at this and ask the easy question. What the fuck?
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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:30 am UTC

I dunno, I don't see the big surprise. Karzai is a puppet of the US, but that alone won't keep him in power, with Afghanis not particularly liking the US etc. Because if he loses too much influence in the country or the city, the US will presumably try to replace him by someone else. Or the US might lose grip on Afghan politics completely.

So from time to time he has to make anti-American noises, to suggest that he is an independent leader who just currently sides with the US out of his wisdom of what's best for the country. He could only be an automatic vocal supporter of the US if his position was far more secure (like Saudi royalty), or if the US was far more popular.

I can't tell if he plays this game well, or perhaps he's just blundering about. For that distinction we would have to know how his remarks fall in Afghanistan, and in particular how they fall in circles that Karzai needs to hold on to power. I have no clue even what those circles might be, and sadly our journalists don't seem to have a grip on that level of local politics either. At least for now, he seems to be unpopular in Afghanistan, unpopular with the US and still somewhat in power, so he can't be a complete fool.

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby kiklion » Tue Oct 25, 2011 12:49 pm UTC

I don't even see this as 'anti-american'. Taken as 'If America occupied Pakistan tomorrow, we would help you out' says nothing about being Anti-America but more that Afghanistan would recognize America over-stepping it's boundaries. To me, Anti-America is believing that everything america does is bad and should be resisted. Defending another country that is being occupied doesn't fit into that.

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby aleflamedyud » Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:14 pm UTC

kiklion wrote:I don't even see this as 'anti-american'. Taken as 'If America occupied Pakistan tomorrow, we would help you out' says nothing about being Anti-America but more that Afghanistan would recognize America over-stepping it's boundaries. To me, Anti-America is believing that everything america does is bad and should be resisted. Defending another country that is being occupied doesn't fit into that.

Thanks for making the obvious but "subtle" distinctions that so many seem utterly unable to make.
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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Tirian » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:04 pm UTC

That's what we get for falling victim to one of the classic blunders.

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Dark567 » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:21 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote: Karzai is a puppet of the US, but that alone won't keep him in power, with Afghanis not particularly liking the US etc
The US's ties with Karzai really aren't that good...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 03747.html
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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:41 pm UTC

Yeah, Karzai is only a puppet of the US, so far as he is bound to agree with the US when he sees it directly benefiting the country he has the authority to speak for. Which is like saying Obama is a puppet of the UN because the UNSC mandated military support to the Libyan rebels. It might look like puppetry from a distance, but it's not quite what is usually meant by puppet government.

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Zamfir » Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:12 pm UTC

Dark567 wrote:
Zamfir wrote: Karzai is a puppet of the US, but that alone won't keep him in power, with Afghanis not particularly liking the US etc
The US's ties with Karzai really aren't that good...
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 03747.html

That article ends with
Karzai finally relented by easing the ban to exempt development firms, but not before the crisis dominated the agenda at the U.S. Embassy and the USAID mission for weeks, pushing aside other business. USAID was forced to work up elaborate contingency plans, an effort one staffer said consumed "thousands of person-hours."

So apparently, Karzai's independence comes down to his ability to sometimes refuse an order from the US embassy for weeks, costing USAID thousands of hours. And that was newsworthy enough to get big headlines, and for US officials to call it the lowest point in their relationship. Note that 10 month later, there are still many private security firms in Afghanistan. You can go to the DynCorp website, go to Careers, select "security/protective services", location "Afghanistan", and you get 4 pages of open positions.

I mean, what should we expect? That Karzai gets a formal title as viceroy of Kabul? The whole point of a puppet regime is that you deny that it's a puppet, and claim that it is purely acting in the interest of the people. A bit of theater is par for the course.

That doesn't mean that Karzai likes the US, or that the US can make him do whatever they want. All it means is that the US keeps him in power because they think he's more pliable than the next believable alternative.

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Iulus Cofield » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:46 pm UTC

Oh sure. He got there because he's relatively agreeable and he usually goes along with it because either he thinks it's for the best or the US pressures him, and the US has a lot of ability to pressure Afghani politicians, until continuing to refuse becomes worse than acquiescing.

I'm just more used to "puppet government" meaning the puppetmaster says jump, then picks up the puppet in order to simulate jumping. You know, no agency on the part of the puppet.

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Re: Karzai: Afghanistan would side with Pakistan Against US

Postby Gears » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

That's surprising, because most Afghans hate Pakistanis for financing the war in their country. Karzai might want to help PK but the ANA would most likely tell him to shove off.
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