On air: Is President Karzai the biggest barrier to peace in Afghanistan?

117[2]The US Ambassador to Kabul is advising President Barack Obama not to send thousands more troops to Afghanistan, until President Karzai’s government proves it will tackle corruption.
So is President Karzai the major obstacle to peace and democracy in Afghanistan? and will he be able to clamp down on corruption? Or does this bring us back to the question this blogger asks is it time to bring US troops home?

75 Responses to “On air: Is President Karzai the biggest barrier to peace in Afghanistan?”

  1. 1 Nigel
    November 12, 2009 at 12:11

    He is a creation of the American mis-adventure in to Afghan politics for which the Afghan people are paying a steep price. Yes he is an impediment to peace but as a microcosm of the wider US led debacle.

    • 2 John LaGrua/New York
      November 13, 2009 at 02:13

      Right on! Karzai is a puppet created by ther US out of shear ignorance.Diem of South Vietnam all over again. It’s a job with short tenure but long enough to build a significant retirement fund .The US should recognize that it can no longer fund these mis-adventures and develop policy that reflects a realisic assessment of ahieveable goals

    November 12, 2009 at 12:23

    What Afghanistan needs is an inclusive rather than a populist government capable of reaching out to friends and foes alike. This does not look quite palatable to Washington given its stance against the Taliban. Right now, the Afghan leader appears to be the one directing American opinion about measures to be taken including who should be considered. Let’s not forget that this is a factional leader who had a good chance of bridging the gap through elections but became radicallized against open democracy. Populist governments are naturally corrupt and full of nepotism and in the end expensive systems to maintain.
    The Allies too need to come out clean about what they are after. Is it about peace or is it about maintaining the arrogant status quo even if there were flaws initially? They need to look again at all factions that constitute Afghanistan and then craft something that cuts across the interests of a good number of them. Lastly deomcracy can only be seen to succeed only when there are several regime changes headed by selfless incumbents.

  3. 4 clive
    November 12, 2009 at 12:24

    Karzai could be one of the obstacles to peace in Afghanistan but not the “biggest”. The biggest obstacle are the Talibans who will do everything to see afghanistan in shambles, the bigger obstacle is the US who have invaded another country and is fighting and killing innocent women and children, the big obstacle is the lack of will by the UN to stop the US from performing her “big brother bully” policy… then the rest can come in any other. I still believe we have not exhausted all peacefull avenues in this afghanistan issue.

    • 5 Docb
      November 12, 2009 at 20:51

      The taliban are not wanting the country to fall apart or in shambles! They want their counrty- tribal territories back…They do not want to be occupied…A central govnment worked for them till Russia invaded…look at picuter from the late ’70’s.

      They are tired of the constant corruption on the streets of Kabul or Kandahaar! The ‘big brother act’ was put in motion by the former president of the USA in retaliation for 9/11 and as a prelude to his and the neocons desire to move on to Iraq!

      The infasrtucture and their civilzation have been destroyed and the Karzai Brothers have done NOTHING FOR THE AFGHAN PEOPLE BUT steal from them and plunder the bounty of the nation over the past 8+ years…

      Karzai is the biggest problem no question!

  4. 6 Helen Richmond
    November 12, 2009 at 13:52

    I am doing some research around this issue and found this blog post. The writer asks ‘If not Karzai, then who?’


  5. 7 Roberto
    November 12, 2009 at 14:20

    RE “”So is President Karzai the major obstacle to peace and democracy in Afghanistan? “”

    ————- He’s probably the best of a poor, shortsighted, weak lot of Afghan leaders.

    No different from the typical American president these days. Major obstacle to peace in Afghanistan is Afghans with their tribalism and their multiple leaders. Not sure they need or want democracy which is obviously not a cure-all for their miseries in the short term.

  6. November 12, 2009 at 14:21

    Mr. clean spoilt it all. Abdullah is disaster. A little TV savvy, perhaps. A godsend for women’s lib and Cerutti suits, but a calamity for Afghanistan.

  7. November 12, 2009 at 14:40

    I just want to know who popped that second “a” in his name. It was more accurate without!!!

  8. November 12, 2009 at 14:40

    Karzai is an unelected president because legal election did not take place. Karzai and all his cronies are corrupt the people are not his concern, power and wealth provided by US and UN Troop presence and billions of dollars pumped into the economy with god knows how much syphoned off to line the pockets of Karzai and his flunkies. The corruption flows from the top down, into the Afghan forces and police to devastating affect. The Afghan people see this and although they do not want the Taliban with its fanatical and corrosive values and teachings, they do not want a govt bereft of moral value and fibre, a govt that does not have the will or desire to clear out of office those who support the Taliban, want their palms crossed with silver at every turn and have very little concern for the suffering of the ordinary Afghani or the poverty in front of them. The Afghan prople are a proud people and want a govt that is theirs and is there for them, a govt that will sacrifice its in built mentality of horse trading and selfishness and put the Afghan people first and foremost. They have seen their country over two centuries now be occupied by one army or another, their country being destroyed by war and violence, their living standards decline year on year and those in office grow fat on the back of the occupying forces and therefore they look for alternatives and hope from others with their minds ready to believe anyone who says they can do better, and therefore recruits are found to be terrorists to remove the infidel and those who grow fat whilst their stomachs remain thin and despair outways hope.

  9. 11 brinda
    November 12, 2009 at 14:54

    Is it time to bring American troops home?

    Yes.High time.

    Is Karzai an Obstacle ?

    No .He is just a puppet is-int he ? At some point people just have to let a country solve its own problems .

    Moreover ,this question i think will be better answered by the people of Afghanistan.

  10. 12 Tony from Singapura
    November 12, 2009 at 14:59

    No I don’t think he is an obstacle, it doesn’t matter who is in that seat – the insurgency is already there and wants to displace that person.

    So to reach peace, there must be bloodshed. Here is how you do it, either

    1. NATO completely pulls out and let the Taliban and “legitimate” government fight it out, whoever wins will run the country happily ever after. If we don’t like the winner, we can always go back in and bomb them at a later stage when it is politically expedient.

    2. Take in more and sufficient troops to wipe out the Taliban then leave the legitimate government to progress along the long road to democracy.

    No charge for this advice.

  11. 13 Dan
    November 12, 2009 at 15:07

    I wish that we can keep our focus.
    The biggest obstacle to peace is religious philosphy that says you have to murder innocents, subugate women, destroy a childs childhood and forces people to live a 7th century lifestyle.
    Karzai is just a corrupt politician.

  12. November 12, 2009 at 15:21

    It is not just Karzai who is an obstacle to peace in Afghanistan. Karzai and all those foreigners who put him there are the obstacle to peace in that country. Taleban is not an inherently destructive body that is trying to wreck that country. They are trying to do their best within the bounds of their religion and culture, which may not be what outsiders want. Taleban was stupid to let Al Qaeda establish its training camps in Afghanistan. Other than that they do not have a hostory of attacking any foreign country. Now that those camps are destroyed and Al Qaeda has gone, Afghanistan should be left to its own cultural and religious devices to achieve a peaceful society. But Truth always escapes the West like water on duck’s back.

    • 15 loudobservant
      November 16, 2009 at 07:09

      I agree with Dan.Afghanistan must be left alone, as he poor Afghanis have suffered a lot for a prolonged period of time.Enough is enough.It is time to leave.

  13. 16 piscator
    November 12, 2009 at 15:28

    The NATO refusal to annul this election and have an honest one completely pulls the rug out from under our reasons for being there. The whole way the US and NATO conducted the election campaign, for example, refusing to ban Karzai for cheating, and then welcoming his ‘re-election’ after a fraudulent election, means that our motives are seen as solely supporting corruption, no matter what the rhetoric. What does it say about Western Democracy, already under heavy criticsism?

    Karzai may be a puppet, but he is also the head of a massive ring of corruption at the expense of the NATO tax payers, and the lives of their troops. Our politicians condone him – they condone his corruption – they condone the oppression of Karzai’s own people.

    They have completely lost any credibility for the mission, and any way of retrieving the situation without removing the Afghan Government. What is the alternative for the allies? They only have one choice now – to get out without further loss of life – on either side.

  14. 17 Dinka Aliap Chawul,Kampala-Uganda
    November 12, 2009 at 15:37

    Mr Khazai maybe a stumbling block for peace & democracy in the country but to be honest, US is major obstacles because the wants to uses Afghanistan as a stone they stands on to glance into the pot (politics) of neighboring countries such as Pakistan & India,how come the organisation like Powerful NATO and the global Superpower US fought for a single movement so call Taliban for nearly a decades?.

    This is a reason why minimum troops are usually sent into the country so that the mission remain uncompleted outright .

    Am saying those not because i’m against anyone or any country that has political interest in Afghanistan but this is a truth.

  15. 18 Gary Paudler
    November 12, 2009 at 15:46

    Is Karzai in Afghanistan or just Kabul? Remember way back when we were talking about the rigged election and a new one was imminent and all of a sudden we heard that Karzai’s brother, Walid, was on the CIA payroll and (this never happens) was engaged in the opium trade and graft and corruption? Notice how, suddenly, Abdullah, the candidate challenging the presidency said “never mind” and, presto-chango! Karzai was the winner of the non-election? Maybe the whole Walid story was “leaked” as a lever to make Karzai accept conditions imposed by the US. In effect; play ball or your brother’s life becomes a living hell. Agree to run the government as our tool and we’ll make the challenger go away and Walid can continue his criminal ways. We get just the kind of willing, if inept, stooge that we like where we’re trying to manipulate regional economics and politics. Posed as a whimsical hypothetical, not libel under England’s bass-ackwards olde libel law.

  16. 19 Roy, Washington DC
    November 12, 2009 at 15:47

    Afghanistan is a mess, to put it very mildly, and it’s hard to pin the blame on any one person or thing. I have no doubt that President Karzai wants peace, but if several years of American occupation can’t bring it, how can we expect President Karzai to bring it any time soon?

    • November 13, 2009 at 11:26

      Roy in Washington, it is a very strange logic to say that American occupation should have brought peace to Afghanstan. It is the American occupation of this country that has plunged the region into a violent turmoil. Karzai is merely a puppet. After the destruction of Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, the Americans should have pulled out and left the country alone. Instead they have made the Afghan mission a recruiting agent for Islamic terrorists all over the world. What chance is there for any peace?

  17. 21 gary
    November 12, 2009 at 15:50

    There seem several, substantial obstacles to peace in this troubled land. Mr. Karzai may not perhaps be the biggest, but he a fairly disfunctional combination of performance and installation art.

  18. 22 Tom K in Mpls
    November 12, 2009 at 16:12

    I think all post up to 15:50 were correct except for piscator and brinda. This is a very deep and complex mess. It seems the locals prefer western democracy to the Taliban. But it is impossible to change overnight. The Taliban need to be suppressed ( you cannot outright destroy them ) until they fade way. An infrastructure and economy need to develop ( we don’t need a new Africa ). And then we will have a good start at what everyone says needs to be done.

    In essence, give the locals the security to do what they want and let them develop with minimal outside aid or coaching.

    • 23 rob z.
      November 12, 2009 at 16:29

      I agree.There is now an idea that makes more since,being looked at.
      Giving money to the local governments and villages instead of the national leadership.Wich will bring stability faster.
      Rob in Florida.

      • 24 Tom K in Mpls
        November 12, 2009 at 19:55

        Actually, you miss my point. First, in most cases giving food or money will *cause* more problems as we have seen in Africa. The organization, local or central is irrelevant.

    • November 13, 2009 at 11:44

      Tom K, Saying that Afghans need western democracy is like saying that all Afghans want to give up Islam and embrace western way of life. So far the West has shown no understanding of Islam or the aspirations of Muslim masses in any Muslim country. The ultimate goal of all Muslim states is to establish full fledged Islamic states. Muslims believe that all necessary laws for governing mankind is contained in Koran and the Hadiths as ordained by Allah, elected legislators usurp the powers of Allah as the sole law-maker. Therefore, any attempt to impose democracy on a Muslim country is seen as an attempt by the “infidels” to wipe out Islam. They would fight unto death rather than accept democracy. The West must snap out of its gross ignorance and learn to live and let live, only then there can be peace. The arrogance must cease.

  19. 26 John Smith - Jamaica
    November 12, 2009 at 16:19

    Unfortunately the West continues to think that it can export the idea of a Western Democracy to the whole world. One size does not fit all and the cultural perspective has to be taken into account. Karzai is merely the typical leader of the Islamic world…once in power, stay in power like a sheik or king. The US has to decide whether it wishes to finally observe these cultural differences and work with it, or continue to expound the West’s version of democracy as the way forward and as such, withdraw support for Afghanistan. It can’t have it’s cake and eat it.

  20. November 12, 2009 at 16:22

    My take on this, albeit a tad cynical:
    Mr. Karzai was effectively picked by George Bush to win the first Afghan election in order to assure the US could proceed with its war on terrorism without central government opposition. Obama inherited Karzai along with the sorry history of an ineptly supplied front in Afghanistan, and I wouldn’t doubt if Obama might not have hoped the Afghan election would have given him a different Afghan president with whom to work. Now Obama is stuck with a double-tainted “partner”, who represents through his own actions/dealings all of the difficult layers of Afghan political, social and economic problems. The same problems that throw sand in NATO’s military machine, as well as into the eyes of those Afghanis trying to drag Afghanistan into the 21st century. Is Mr. Karzai “the problem”? He most definitely IS the problem as the emblem of political puppeteer-ing and internal corruption… a sorry model for democracy to a people who have not had much experience with that institution. He most definitely IS NOT the problem if one considers that he represents reality in Afghanistan… any other leader would pick up the same strings of deal-making and corruption… or be assassinated. Stalemate.

  21. 28 Peter_scliu
    November 12, 2009 at 16:42

    There’ll be no peace in afghanistan until the Taliban rules. Negotiate with the Taliban. By backing Kazai the coalition is shooting their own foot. A corrupt person will lean towards where the money is. Which ultimately will be trial back to the opium trade which in turn will fund the Taliban. If the Taliban agree to stop hosting Al Qaeda and ceased all hostilities towards their neighbors then the coalition should pull out. Please USA stop making wars.

  22. 29 rob z.
    November 12, 2009 at 16:43

    Dealing with leaders who put themselves before thier job,is ineffective.What this ,and many other actions in the past in Africa,South&Central America;is that the UN and the west in general need to stop giving aide to governments that is supposed to help the people of that nation.Instead help the ones who need it directly.
    Corrupt leaders have shown they will do what ever it takes to stay in power,why give them the money?
    Rob in Florida

  23. 30 Elias
    November 12, 2009 at 16:46

    Corruption is the way of life in Afganistan and it has been for hundreds of years. President Karzai is not the major obstacle to peace in the region, to have peace you will have to look elsewhere.

  24. 31 SUE
    November 12, 2009 at 17:03

    I just made a longer comment but it got lost. I am totally in agreement with Jodie in Virginia except that I don’t think it is a cynical view at all but rather a humanitarian view. The troops there need to be put into humanitarian help if it can be done. If not, they should come home, and no new troops and no repeated deployment of the same troops, which is the most inhumane treatment of any soldiers that I have heard of in a modern developed country. And Obama has to accept the fact that he is only cleaning up after Bush, that he is not obligated to follow in his footsteps.

  25. 32 John in Salem
    November 12, 2009 at 17:03

    Karzai is a symptom of an illness that only the people of Afghanistan can cure.

  26. 33 Joseph
    November 12, 2009 at 17:14

    He is definitely not the right person for it. From what he is doing I cant see real interest to make Afghanistan a democracy. His name in Afghanistan is not good, he is not respected and is corrupted. To see the west men dying in hope he will make a difference that they can go home makes me feels sick. He is watching his own pocket and that is all he is interested in

  27. 34 Colin Sundaram
    November 12, 2009 at 17:21

    12. 11. 09

    The whole country and its bureaucracy are totally corrupt. The situation is like the drug mafia in Columbia and or Mexico. How effective is the governments’ efforts in those countries to fight crime and drug trade? There may be arguments and counter arguments about how corruption can be contained but it is an Herculian task indeed. However, measures need to be taken step by step to arrest the increase in corrupt ways of Afghan life and slowly over a period of time it can be brought to an acceptable level like that in countries like India. When Saddam Hussein was captured what did the American administration and its war machine thought then? It’s all over and in a matter months all American troops can be withdrawn and Iraq will embrace democracy like the one that exists in the U.S. What a folly was that. Since the arraignment and execution of Saddam how many more American military personnel had to be brought and nobody knows how many more years they need to be stationed there etc. Afghan situation is much more complex because of the inhospitable terrain and the battle hardened tribals and tribal pride not to lose a war even if they all die fighting. They have a firm belief at their heart that they will have a better life else where in case they die fighting the infidels. No blockbuster bomb can defeat that blind faith. I believe American ambassador may be influenced by Abdullah Abdullah to unseat Karzai I believe. Who is in power doesn’t make much difference to finish the war for America; it has to be won fighting at the cost of many American lives with the corrupt system remaining as it is even after the war was over.

    • 35 Colin Sundaram
      November 13, 2009 at 07:59

      13. 11. 09


      If the U S and its allies leave Afghanistan today or tomorrow before destroy the Al Qaeda and Taleban, they will regroup and grow like weeds in abandoned fields. Once they are left alone they will flourish like the marijuana crop in Aghan mounts and will become never defeatable in a war. With a bomb like the ones dropped in Hiroshima and Nagasaki it will a matter of a day or two before they succumb to defeat. With the present day world order such events will never take place. The only way forward is to kill them one by one until the remaining ones raise their hands and surrender. No war can be fought without loss of human life on both sides. For both the opposite side is an enemy though the rest of the world know that one side is fighting notorious terrorists who still live dark ages.

  28. November 12, 2009 at 17:46

    As an American, I say it is time to come home. We went their to rid a safe haven and training ground for Al Quida, To do that we had no choice but to remove the Taliban from power. The problem, as I see it, we had a President that got us side tracked into a way in Iraq (which was and is a very bad policy) and then ignored Afghanistan and never rebuilt the infrastructure. Now we and our allies have a mess on our hands.

    This region has been in a civil war for over 35 years, is mainly Muslim and will never consider “Christians” as liberators. Still, the NATO forces and the USA have done some good…so perhaps help with infrastructure, but remove most if not all troops.

  29. 37 Gary Paudler
    November 12, 2009 at 17:47

    Them dang Afghans are sooo corrupt, not noble and honorable like us. Here’s a piece in “The Nation” about the US Department of Defense paying private contractors to provide security and the contractors shoveling many millions of those US dollars at the Taliban to don’t shoot this convoy, but take this money and fund your violent insurgency bent on killing as many US troops as possible.
    I just don’t understand, why is the Taliban so hard to beat? Why doesn’t the US and our puppet Karzai have more credibility with the Afghan people?

  30. November 12, 2009 at 17:56

    No.Karzai is not the biggest obstacle to peace.Corruption is cited for failiure.But then Africa and China are just as corrupt,and we cuddle up them.Perhaps a dictator,for a short time,may be an answer,as in ancient Greece and Rome.I say that because,no Afghans seem to be listening to the democratic voice.

  31. 39 Tom K in Mpls
    November 12, 2009 at 18:08

    I have just heard the best news for the future of Afghanistan. There is an export in progress of apples. The export of a renewable and sustainable product is the second best possible event. The export of manufactured products would be #1.

  32. 40 Bert
    November 12, 2009 at 18:16

    No, Karzai is certainly not the biggest obstacle to peace in Afghanistan. He is educated, well spoken, and intelligent, but unfortunately finds himself having to “lead” a tribal people steeped in medieval traditions. And probably has several unsavory characters in his entourage.

    The biggest obstacle to peace is the culture that punishes women with public lashings, perhaps for wearing trousers, or a culture that condones throwing acid in school girl faces, for having the audacity to get an eduacation.

    However, that kind of culture needs to evolve from within. That’s why it’s more than high time that the West pull up stakes and get out.

  33. 41 jens
    November 12, 2009 at 18:18

    David Price,

    how much more dictatorship like can you get than the rule of the Taliban?

    November 12, 2009 at 18:29

    If there should be a troop surge, it can only be credible if it is backed be clear insight of what has been learned, achieved or failed and then avail troops with a clear agenda. A good stock taking should be first on Al Qaueda. Is it still there and how much of a threat is it?
    Second is the Taleban. There should be enough knowledge about what their grivances are. As for deomcracy and development, not much has been done even if we say these have failed. The rest of the world has been subjected to terms of office for the rulers. In Afghanistan for instance, democracy is said to work without transitioning. How?
    Obviously Afganistan is by now a very costly in terms of money and lives lost and I can understand why withrawal is not very popular but honestly the initial plan needs revising.

  35. 45 seaAdamwestiii
    November 12, 2009 at 18:33

    The warlords nor the people would ever accept a central government to lead the country. I believe Karzai is going to do as much as he can by the demands imposed on him by the US. Democracy you can forget about it! They’ve never had a democracy and their culture and tradition would not permit it.

    By the way, who helped to get Karzai on the ballot for initial presidency? Abhdullah wouldn’t have been a better person to become President. He had his problems I believe from 92-96 with the people so there isn’t much love for him.
    The Pakistani women have been more oppressed since the invasion by US forces and the coalition. The people don’t like the Taliban, but they sure don’t have any love for the US with the exception of those getting paid by our government.

    I believe it is a waste of time, money and energy to have US & the coalition troops remain in Afghanistan. We need peace in the world not constant wars!

  36. 46 Guido Schloegel
    November 12, 2009 at 18:59

    Democracy is not as easy as many people think. Even in Europe most states needed more than one attempts to achieve a stable democracy.

    In my opinion the most important thing for Afghanistan is to establish an independent police and justice system, and to establish a free press. This is the best way to reduce corruption and abuse of power.

  37. 47 Shannon in Ohio
    November 12, 2009 at 19:11

    Can development trump a nation full of Karzais? Alas, I doubt that will happen until individual Afghans rise up, but there is such an atmosphere of collective exhaustion there.

    It is hard to establish a reputable government when daily survival is such a hard scrabble fight. Like Tom K., I think the apple export story (I have heard other reports of almonds and soap etc.) are the only good news I have heard in a long time. Give NGOs money to help the people–bring home the American soldiers.

  38. November 12, 2009 at 19:15

    President obama’s waterloo wont be the national health care plan but mountains of afaganistan… He will be remembered by the failure or success of which am sure it will be the former.

  39. 49 Dan
    November 12, 2009 at 19:19

    Who cares that Karzai is corrupt…..Chicago (USA) politicians are corrupt.
    What is lacking is an understanding of whom we are fighting and having a plan to defeat the real enemy, radical Islam.

  40. 50 Jim L.
    November 12, 2009 at 19:27

    @ Gary Paudler: yes, good point.

    The Taliban all but wiped out the opium trade – then bingo, in go the US Marines and we have record harvests again. I wonder what the US citizens will do if/when they actually wake up and realise that their money (and children) are being used to protect a bunch of drug smugglers.

    And Karzai isn´t the problem -. like most politicians, he´s just a puppet. Follow the $$$´s to find the real power…

  41. 51 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    November 12, 2009 at 19:28

    All politics is local. The Afghan people are themselves the barrier to peace. They have no tradition of peaceful co-existence, and are steadfastly resistant to change.

    Afghanistan is a mountainous, resource-pour, landlocked country at the intersection of larger and more powerful neighboring countries that have different cultural, religious and linguistic traditions.The Afghan response is unending conflict. I, too, live in a mountainous, resource-pour, landlocked country at the intersection of larger and more powerful neighboring countries that have different cultural, religious and linguistic traditions.

    Afghanistan is one of the poorest and most violent countries on earth. My Switzerland is one of the most prosperous and peaceful, and has been for over 700 years.

    Until the Afghan people decide to give peace a chance, there is no hope for them.

  42. 52 Tom D Ford
    November 12, 2009 at 19:28

    If the Global Oil and Gas Corporations are running things I suspect that the US will just keep propping up the US puppet Karzai and send in only enough troops to protect their “Geo-Strategic” Oil and Gas interests.

    I’d like to see something different happen, like curb the corrupting influence of Oil and Gas and stabilize the nation in a socially just way.

    Obviously I don’t know how to do that or what it would eventually look like, but I suspect that developing and bringing power from the bottom up on The People of Afghanistans’ terms will be the most effective long term solution.

    • 53 Tom K in Mpls
      November 12, 2009 at 20:02

      Fortunately the only way oil comes into it is the possibility of building one or two pipelines. But for now the area is too unstable to move forward with these plans.

  43. 54 Tom D Ford
    November 12, 2009 at 19:33

    Let’s remember that General MacChrystal took part in the cover up of the Pat Tillman “Friendly Fire” killing, and so he simply cannot be trusted without consulting others to corroborate what he says.

    Moreover, Bush/Cheney purged our General Officer Corps of Generals who disagreed with their disastrous policies and MacChrystal is one of the Generals that Bush/Cheney kept. He is entrenched in the failed Bush/Cheney mindset.

    I am glad that Obama is taking his time in trying to figure out how to clean up the Bush/Cheney/PNAC mess. Our Military and The People of Afghanistan deserve far better than what Bush/Cheney did to them.

  44. 55 Dan
    November 12, 2009 at 19:37

    @Tom D Ford
    It wasn’t what Bush dis to the people of Afghanistsn but what Brezhnev did to the Government, people and infrastructure, such as it was, of Afghanistan.

  45. 56 Robert
    November 12, 2009 at 19:52

    Eric just suggested reconfiguring the Afghan government to make it more democratic. How presumptuous! Is it really “our” role to impose a governmental structure on a sovereign nation? If so, then onwards to Somalia! To anywhere else where “we” do not like the government.

  46. 57 Paco
    November 12, 2009 at 19:56

    He is certainly not one the biggest barriers, but definitely one of the barriers. To me he doesn’t seem to be a very strong, effective and honest president.

    In general I think it wasn’t a wise move from the west to install western political system (democracy) in such a country. Better I would have been to have installed a system similar to Roman empire (with a senate etc.), where the sanators then would represent the various fractions within Afganistan.

  47. 58 Lew in Cincinnati
    November 12, 2009 at 19:57

    I think world have your say today has a point ot all of this. Not one of us know exactly what is going on in af-pak region. I don’t think Karzai himself understands how things are actually going. This is the reason everyone is struggling we don’t get it and neither do they.

  48. 59 ajmal karimi
    November 12, 2009 at 19:58

    Mr Karzai should eliminate those former mujahidin (warlords) from the power and seek for international court to bring them into justice then there may be some hopes of piece and stability in afghanistan

  49. 60 Anakor Goziem
    November 12, 2009 at 20:02

    No, I dun think He is.

    do not be asking that type of question.

    such question may only cause American president to wake up one morning and send American trros to level the city

  50. November 12, 2009 at 21:05

    Obama and the Nobel Peace Prize : Stop the War

  51. 62 Mike Murray
    November 13, 2009 at 01:18

    Is Karzai the problem? Honestly, it seems as no would the anwser. He is a negotiator and thats what Afganistan needs. I don’t know what people expect to happen in under a decade. It seems we have failed to turn the poorest country in the earth into a prosperious democratic nation. REALLY? There is no quick solution it is going to take a couple generations. Not to mention when you look in context we are trying to police Afganistan a population of 28.4 million with only 68 thousand troops. Thats one soldier per 418 Afghans… less than the force we use to police our own nation which stands at one Police Officer per ever 358 people. We must put these things in context to understand the situation.

  52. 63 Tan Boon Tee
    November 13, 2009 at 05:20

    Invariably. What can one expect of a crazy power-seeker?

    The only reason why he has been able to cling on to the premiership could well be due to the constant and enormous support of the US leaders who think he is still their man. That might turn out to be a grave if not highly costly mistake, unfortunately.


  53. 64 Murton
    November 13, 2009 at 06:28

    The taliban are not wanting the country to fall apart or in shambles! They want their counrty- tribal territories back…They do not want to be occupied…A central govnment worked for them till Russia invaded…look at picuter from the late ’70’s.

    The infasrtucture and their civilzation have been destroyed and the Karzai Brothers have done NOTHING FOR THE AFGHAN PEOPLE BUT steal from them and plunder the bounty of the nation over the past 8+ years…

    The Taliban are a nihilist group of cretins who care nothing about the rich, wonderful cultural heritage of Afghanistan…not the vibrant, beautiful musical heritage, not the artistic heritage, not the educational enrichment of its young women…all they care about is the destruction of a nation for the benefit of a warped and perverted interpretation of Islam…plus, they played host to Al Queda, their partners in crime. I do agree with what you say about Karzai…he is a disaster, a disaster installed by the Bush regime.

  54. 65 pemba
    November 13, 2009 at 10:41

    Mr.Karzai is the hero in the war torn Afghanistan and he will not give up easily to any accusations.This is his style and not only him but it would be the same with every politicians over the world.

  55. 66 pemba
    November 13, 2009 at 10:49

    Mr. Karzai can never be an obstriction in the peace deal in Afghanistan.He will eliminate corruption very soon.As cprruption is deeply rooted under the net of Talibans and Al quada it is not really easy to tracle within short span of time.

  56. 67 khaled safi
    November 13, 2009 at 11:03

    karzai took advantage of getting the war lords in his side and took the power.we need some changes that didnt happen. as long as there are warlords in power there wont be any peace and stability in the county. there is no system almost all the those who work for the governament are corrupt and karzai is not getting any serious about them.

  57. November 13, 2009 at 11:59

    The president is no obstacle to peace, but there will be no peace at all unless either side win.

  58. 69 scmehta
    November 13, 2009 at 13:44

    In the given circumstances, President Karzai has always been trying to put in his best for his country; Isn’t it being strange, insolent and unjust, that, the ‘carrier of peace’ yesterday should be labeled as a ‘barrier’ today; Any other head of the state, during those bloody and tumultuous times, would have wilted under that tremendous pressure. I strongly feel that he and Abdulla Abdulla can steer Afghanistan clear of all the impediments on its way to peace and stability.

  59. 70 Dennis Junior
    November 13, 2009 at 14:49

    Yes, President Karzai of Afghanistan is a barrier to peace of Afghanistan…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  60. 71 Dennis Junior
    November 13, 2009 at 15:48

    I think that the most productive for Mr. Karzai to do for the people in Afghanistan and, also, the international community was…to accept the international community option of a coaliation government, and, he would have some legitmate rights now in power….

    ~Dennis Junior~

    • 72 Dennis Junior
      November 13, 2009 at 17:25

      But, Mr. Karzai…who is acting in his own best interest; Decided that he wanted to be stubborn and, wants to have limited support in the peace process in Afghanistan….

      =Dennis Junior=

  61. 73 ajmal karimi
    November 13, 2009 at 15:52

    mr karzai has a tough job infront of him for the next 5 years, i dont think he is able to tackle corruption and other problems in afghanistan because he has warlords(formal mujahidins) around him

  62. November 14, 2009 at 13:15

    There is no viable alternative to Karzai. If he were replaced it would be another cardboard cut-out. Peace will only happen when God and the Afghan people will it.

  63. 75 shahrokh >
    November 15, 2009 at 00:06

    the only obstacle for peace in Afghnistan and whole of the middle east is western goverment (specialy u.s and u.k )foreign policy, thay must stop thinking about thair own interest ,and think about the whole world interest. first step is stop backing the corrupt regims in the middleast and just pay for the oil like the others do .
    the second step is stop selling arms to Israiel and those Moslem country .
    Karzai is only a puppet and i promiss when the time comes he will be disapieared.
    and also i want to remined Obama that the way to the moslem world is thorow Gasa and Palestine but if you want to sell more arms and have more free oil yes offcours you went to wright place.

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