Letting Go of the Pretense

Posted on May 19, 2009

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Future Afghan Vizier Zalmay Khalilzad

Future Afghan Vizier Zalmay Khalilzad

If anyone ever beleived that there was a functioning autonomous government in Afghanistan…well, you can let that little fantasy go now. The New York Times reports on May 19, that:

Zalmay Khalilzad, who was President George W. Bush’s ambassador to Afghanistan, could assume a powerful, unelected position inside the Afghan government under a plan he is discussing with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, according to senior American and Afghan officials.

Mr. Khalilzad, an American citizen who was born in Afghanistan, had considered challenging Mr. Karzai for the presidency in elections scheduled for this summer.

But Mr. Khalilzad missed the May 8 filing deadline, and the American and Afghan officials say that he has been talking with Mr. Karzai for several weeks about taking on a job that the two have described as the chief executive officer of Afghanistan.

some Afghanistan experts said that enlisting Mr. Khalilzad would have the virtue of bringing a strong, competent leader into an increasingly dysfunctional Afghan government.

The position would allow Mr. Khalilzad to serve as “a prime minister, except not prime minister because he wouldn’t be responsible to a parliamentary system,” a senior Obama administration official said. Taking the unelected position would also allow Mr. Khalilzad to keep his American citizenship.

Looks like we get to stay in charge of the largest poppy farm on the planet without any of that pestilent election thing tripping things up. Hurray! Free heroin and blowback for everyone!

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