"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

"For straight up monster-stomping goodness, nothing makes smoke shoot out my ears like Brilliant@Breakfast" -- Tata

"...the best bleacher bum since Pete Axthelm" -- Randy K.

"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Does this surprise anyone?
Posted by Jill | 4:47 AM
One thing I've become aware of during my lifetime is that while the federal government has been touting its "war on drugs" for the last four decades, there's also a curious evolution of what the particular drug problem is at any given time in this country. While we were in Vietnam, the government focused on marijuana, which grows easily in that country's hot, moist climate. During our proxy war with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the late 1970's to early 1980's, in which we armed the mujehadeen that later became Al-Qaeda, there was an uptick in heroin use. During our involvement in Central America during the Reagan years, we saw cocaine use rise. And ever since we've been back in Afghanistan, it's been heroin again.

Kind of a coinkydink, don't you think?

So why is it any surprise that Hamid Karzai's brother is simultaneously an opium trader AND working for the CIA:
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency, and has for much of the past eight years, according to current and former American officials.

The agency pays Mr. Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the C.I.A.’s direction in and around the southern city of Kandahar, Mr. Karzai’s home.

The financial ties and close working relationship between the intelligence agency and Mr. Karzai raise significant questions about America’s war strategy, which is currently under review at the White House.

The ties to Mr. Karzai have created deep divisions within the Obama administration. The critics say the ties complicate America’s increasingly tense relationship with President Hamid Karzai, who has struggled to build sustained popularity among Afghans and has long been portrayed by the Taliban as an American puppet. The C.I.A.’s practices also suggest that the United States is not doing everything in its power to stamp out the lucrative Afghan drug trade, a major source of revenue for the Taliban.

More broadly, some American officials argue that the reliance on Ahmed Wali Karzai, the most powerful figure in a large area of southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, undermines the American push to develop an effective central government that can maintain law and order and eventually allow the United States to withdraw.

It's disheartening that the faces may change, the promises may change, but there is something about Washington, and about what goes on at Langley, that turns every American leader's hands dirty.

Labels: , ,

Bookmark and Share
Blogger Suzan said...
I wonder if there's room at the bottom of that pyramid for a few unemployed merricans.

Thanks again, Jill!


Ahmed Wali Karzai, the brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade, gets regular payments from the Central Intelligence Agency

Anonymous Anonymous said...
I do remember how in the 1980s, crack cocaine was depicted as the immediately addicting drug menace that required all out war on users, and in the 1990s, it was the new "super-concentrated" marijuana, and now it's meth. Same rhetoric, different drugs.