What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

British citizens of note, reloaded

It's as though this article would come as a follow-up to this post of mine. Here's some explanation regarding why Hamed Karzai is not liked in the UK. The tone of the article is interesting, and does not really remind me of sober journalism, but this is, let me reiterate, not to say that I see, in Hamed Karzai, the immaculate statesman.
"The rot began in 2006 when Britain demanded that Mr Karzai replace the Governor of Helmand, Sher Mohammed Akhunzada, as a condition for deploying troops there. The Governor and Mr Karzai had been old friends since they fought the Soviet occupation together.
Alhough an influential and courageous warlord, Mr Akhunzada was accused by the British, among many things, of being a drug lord. Mr Karzai reluctantly removed him and made him a senator. Mr Akhunzada has lobbied to be reinstated ever since and is regarded as central to the growing mistrust between Mr Karzai and the British.
Acrimony worsened during 16 Air Assault Brigade's first tour of Helmand that year when Mr Karzai intervened directly with the tactical deployment of British troops in a series of telephone calls to annoyed senior British commanders that were described as “hysterical” by witnesses.
In January at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Mr Karzai ridiculed Britain's efforts in Helmand, claiming that heeding its advice had made the situation there worse. “Before [the British Forces arrived] we were fully in charge of Helmand... the British Forces guaranteed to me they knew what they were doing and I made the mistake of listening to them. And when they came in, the Taleban came.”
The British were furious. False rumours began to circulate among embassy staff that Mr Karzai was “mentally ill”, and in a series of counterclaims Western diplomats pointed out that most of Afghanistan's problems originated from the endemic incompetence of the Karzai Government."
I left out from the article's enumeration issues I had dealt with in my earlier post, the one I linked to above (such as the rejection of would-have-been superenvoy Paddy Ashdown by Karzai). I still find the British outrage against Karzai incomprehensible. What's that thing reliable-and-anonymous sources say about the "hysterical" calls regarding the "tactical deployment" of British troops in Helmand? It's all so vague. (I may have missed that story and some more details of it, that may have been revealed - a link is welcome then, unless I update this post faster, once I have some time to work on Google a little.)
Anyway, now there is this article, and it is not meant to make people appreciate Karzai too much. Its main point seems to be that if Karzai is nice, then it is because somebody is telling him to be nice, to get him to be nice at least sometimes.

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