Friday, January 30, 2009

Moving tails for Obama!

Written by Kamran Mirhazar, Kabul Press Editor - in - Chief
Translated by Amin Wahidi

Kabul Press: Since it was revealed that Barack Obama will take the power in the White House as the next president of the United States, the subservience and moving tails began by the affiliated ones in Afghanistan.

Gul Agha Sherzai the grand drug smuggler and governor of Nangarhar, Abdullah “Abdullah” one of the most corrupted figureheads in two three decades who is said to have hand in Masoud’s assassination, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai one of the most illiberal person and a spiritual supporter of the Taliban whose financial misuse during his ministry is recently flawed to the media and Ali Ahmad Jalali a former minister who did not dare to expose the names of governmental drug dealers are the famous figures who make efforts to approach the new administration of the United States.

Different resources say that these four persons in spite of not having a public support are hardly trying to accost people in the coming presidential election.

They hire their close friends and relatives to make publicity for them in different provinces. The hired messengers travel to provinces and tell to people that these figures have the full support of the United States of America and it is the USA that decides who would be the president of Afghanistan.

They promise and threat the people as well. They tell people to vote for them to be with the power and wealth otherwise they will be in contrast with power and will be ignored and inculcated.
Indeed the only point they boast on is their affiliation to the United States of America as they say to people.
This group spends millions of dollars for their electoral campaign from unspecified sources.

Like the usual electoral tricks for propagandas, they promises acceleration of reconstruction, fighting against corruption and bringing security stability for people, as Hamid Karzai did promise but in practice during his presidency most things got worse than ever before.
Public interest looters, human rights violators, drug smugglers and family members of Karzai have done anything they wanted during this time, more freely than ever without fear of charges or prosecution.

It is interesting and funny when Gul Agha Sherzai, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, Abdullah “Abdullah” and Ali Ahmad Jalali talks on campaign against corruption.
Gul Agha Sherzai Photo by Viewimages

A report in a Canadian journal sometime ago wrote that Gul Agha Sherzai has a vast hand in the drug production and trafficking in the province under his governance, and when he was the governor of Kandahar (before being governor for Nangarhar), he has had an income of One Million US$ Dollars per week from drug trafficking in that province.

This journal wrote that most of the embezzlements and financial corruption root back to the time when millions of dollars were given to people like Gul Agha Sherzoi by the US Special Forces and CIA in the war against the Taliban in 2001 and then after the collapse of the Taliban these people were again empowered and there again spaces for them in the new Afghan Administration.

Along with drug trafficking, stealing from custom and toll revenues, Gul Agha Sherzai is the repressor of the media and intellectual personalities in the eastern and southern provinces.

Nor the journalists in Kandahar and Nangarhar dare to criticize what Gul Agha Sherzai does in these two provinces, neither the members of parliament from these provinces do.

In Nangarhar, where Gul Agha Sherzai is the governor, only the governmental media reflects a pretending satisfactory of the public from the governor which is obviously broadcasted by his direct order.

Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
The spiritual supporter of the Taliban and a well known figure for prejudice in Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai who was one of the founders of corrupted administration of Karzai now talks about campaign against corruption who want to get the support of Washington in addition to support of London. It is said that he is one of figureheads of Great Britain in Afghanistan; Great Britain, that country that has supported the conservative and narrow minded figures in Afghanistan and in the region in the recent centuries.

When Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai was the minister of finance, he contracted with two American companies to control financial corruption and allocated millions of dollars for this project, but nowadays the officials as well as his rivals say that he has been corrupted during his ministry. Some say he has been keeping the governmental money in his personal accounts. Ashraf Ghani attacks on corrupted administration of Karzai while he has been one of the founders of this administration. After ministry of finance, when he was appointed as the Chancellor of Kabul University, he has ignited the fire of discrimination against Dari Persian language in the university. It is still a question for the Kabul university students; how would he administer a country when he is corrupted and does not have the capability to administer only a university?!
It is to say that Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai has built a big house as a palace in Darullaman where the two historical places are located.

Who is Abdullah “Abdullah”?
Abdullah “Abdullah” the spokes person of one of the parties involved in civil war of Kabul, former minister of foreign affairs and the current president of Regional Peace Jirga is said to have had hand in the conspiracy of Masoud’s assassination.

As said to Kabul Press by a reliable source adjacent to the National Front, Abdullah “Abdullah” the former minister of foreign affairs in Karzai administration is a person directly involved in the conspiracy of Masoud’s assassination. This information is revealed by a relative of Motamed Abdulhamed Mohtaat the former vice president during Dawood Khan. Mr. Mohtaat has written that book which is not published yet. For his book, he is still to wait and discuss with the leaders of Jamiat and Masoud’s family, because in his book he has evidenced the relation of Abdullah “Abdullah” to the conspiracy.
His previous book ‘The analytic history of Afghanistan” has caused the anger of many officials and people on power. Therefore he lives in Ukraine now.

The ministry of foreign affairs was one of the most corrupted offices during the ministry of Abdullah “Abdullah”. Rangeen Dadfar Spanta the current minister of foreign affairs has not been able yet to expulse the illiterate appointees of Abdullah “Abdullah” and refine the foreign ministry structure.
There are still people who were given jobs in the ministry without merit. Abdullah “Abdullah’s” appointees are persons like Mehraabudeen Mastan, who are accused of embezzlement of millions of dollars and are not yet prosecuted like many other public wealth looters and human rights violators.

In this ministry, no merit criteria existed for the appointment of foreign diplomats and ambassadors; only relationship with the minister was enough and people with this specific characteristic as an advantage were promoted to key positions overnight.

And now, Abdullah “Abdullah” in the international arena pretends to be an expert on “Afghanistan issues” and wants to be the next president or the vice.

Ali Ahmad Jalali; coward or compromiser?!
The ministry of interior who commands the national police whether directly or indirectly should protect the law and civil rights of citizens but Ali Ahmad Jalali never did his job well during his ministry.
A clear example is the people’s land properties that were being usurped by the warlord officials in Sherpur Kabul while Ali Ahmad Jalali not only did not do anything, but he was also among the land usurpers.

The warlords such as; Burhanudeen Rabani, Mullah Taj Mohammad, Ata Mohamamd Noor, Mohammad Sharif (Yonus Qanooni’s brother), Yonus Qanooni, Qasim Fahim and others like Zalmai Hewadmal (Karzai’s consultant minister), Mohammad Yousuf Pashtoon, Mohammad Hanif Atmar etc who forced people to evacuate their houses, built their own palaces on the land properties of the poor people.

Based on his past, Ali Ahmad Jalali doesn’t seem to be capable for presidency of Afghanistan and there is doubt that he would compromise and make deal with the warlords and the factors of corruption.

When Jalali talked proudly about the existence of drug smugglers among senior governmental officials but could never reveal the list of names. For sure he still prefers his political dealings rather than fighting against corruption therefore he can never be a president for people. Rather than thinking about welfare of the people, he thinks for his own personal welfare and before to think about public interest, he thinks about his own business and wealth raise.

The only boasting point they have is “moving tails” for Obama, while the people of Afghanistan do not trust them for their negative background and their failure in the past.

Read KabulPress for the latest analysis and reports about Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Russia to gain Afghanistan

What are the Russians’ goals to turn to Afghanistan?

Written by Razaq Mamoon
Translated by Amin Wahidi

Preparations for sending Russian armaments* to Afghanistan by Government of President Medvedev is beyond reality though, but strategically it can be counted as the repetition of Russian Federation’s action in Kavkaz region and Ukraine.

Such unexpected accession of Karzai’s anti Russian government with Russia the country that was sadly witnessing the ongoing changes in Afghanistan in the recent years, is a new drama in which both sides have shown satisfactory based on their mutual interests.

In the new diplomacy, we can see the new feature of Russia (after the breakdown of USSR) clearer and more transparent than any time before.

Russia, the country that at least in the passed year, fearing the rapid influence of the western countries in general and Georgian Government in special, has separated the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions of Georgia of course to revenge the unilateral independence of Kosovo from Serbia.
As a too – late - reaction this measure was taken against gathering of the western countries for unilateral independence declaration of Kosovo from Serbia when they had ignored Russian then.
In another front, to pressure the European energy artery, Russia choked Ukraine government several times.

Now it is the turn for Afghanistan, a country that has been playground for the games of countries addicted to energy potentials. Russia never forgets that, before these countries referring to Afghanistan, at least in one century Afghanistan used to be known as a Russian suburb. And now when the never ending regional game has reached into a new level, the Russian Federation is never ready to lose the share in Afghanistan which it has always thought about.

In order to obtain satisfactory of the American government the post – Taliban government in Afghanistan put in act anti Russian policies in the first years, as a result of such tendency all Russian infrastructures were badly damaged, and half done reconstruction projects and installations remaining from Russian time were totally stopped throughout the country.

Tens of productive corporations were being sold out to the investors coming from west under the title of moving towards free market, and tens of thousands of people working in these installations lost their jobs and turned to poverty.
In the first three to four years of the new government, the economical – political dealer organizations have accelerated the damages of what all Made in Russia things existed in the country and the main reasons for temporary achievement of this campaign were two things;

Russia’s involvement in its internal problems which needed time to clear accounts with fifteen former USSR republics that are to some extend already applying western capitalism models on their trade systems and industrial products.
This situation kept Russia busy within itself and the efforts it made were to keep its regions of interest far from capitalism and to be cautious about the enforcement of NATO near its territory.

Russia was doubtful so far of the American – led global campaign against the terrorism and regional game would reach to its dead-end and this campaign would weaken the military and economical ability of the warrior countries.
Now after seven years, Russian feels that the time has come and it can achieve both goals: first the European conquer on the Russia strategic regions and the process of early membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO has been practically stopped by Russia after applying the so called “Energy War”, while on the other hand the political - military crisis in Afghanistan has badly damaged he military and economical machinery of the western countries.
The governmental officials in Afghanistan have faced with many problems in all arenas. The western investment in this country not only could not build up capacity of the officials to handle the affairs independently and gain the public support, but day by day the government is losing control over major parts of the country.

The monster of extremism is getting stronger than ever before and nowadays the drug trafficking is done easier than any time in the past.
This condition makes the United States reluctant to the current Afghan officials as they have proved to be too insufficient to support the western policies in their country.

Now they are to find a new structure for the establishment of a stable and sufficient system, therefore nowadays they clearly criticize Karzai who has been once brought by them and imposed on people. Recently Karzai has been under harsh criticism of the western officials as well as the western media for insufficiency and being involved the corruption and the drug business.

In strategic balances and equations, it is something expected, how the western powers take position nowadays; whenever the interests countries differ they easily shuffle down the political formulas sometime even into vice versa.
Based on this fact, now is the time for Russia and Karzai government to shake hands of friendship based on their mutual interests.
The interesting point here is the comparison of Russian Federation and Afghanistan in the current time as the needs, chances and opportunities of both sides do not seem to be the same.

Russia, throwing its creel in the south of the region this time, feels strong enough to handle the situation and take the opportunities while the Afghan government in contrast does not have a good condition. It loses the support of western allies day after day so it is a critical situation that obliges Afghanistan look for Russia’s help and support.

Considering the chain of changes in Afghanistan and in the region such as; increase of security threats, economic crisis and rapid growth of corruption the Afghan Administration, forming of regional groupings in the region to encounter unilateral dominance of United States and NATO in the region, end of republicans power in the United States and dead-end of Campaign against the terror, the Afghan Administration has lost time and missed many opportunities.
As a matter of fact, Russia would shake a weak hand that is in need for friendship.

What have made Russia to turn towards Afghanistan in this important time?
It is not a new thing that American and NATO are blocked in a maelstrom where the former USSR was also collapsed in it. Right now it may not be important either, which of the poles made mistakes in the Afghanistan maelstrom in the past. The important point here is that Russia is becoming active to get the opportunities that it lost through two past decades. It is exactly the golden chance that Russia was looking for within the years of silence of diplomacy in Afghanistan.

We can categorize these opportunities as the following;
There is no fear and panic for Russia if the war continues and crisis increase in Afghanistan, for sure there is nothing for Russia to lose, but instead the regional geography would turn in favor of Russia because of fear of expansion of extremism and terrorism.

The war in Afghanistan has frightened the central Asian countries that are full of petroleum and gold mines. The countries that have been standing against Russian since 1990s but now fearing the fire of war in their vicinity, and the slightly march of western system towards their national interests therefore they need to a resort to rely on that could be only Russia in the region.

The temporary temptation of westernization in this region is cooled down; instead each of these countries tries to maintain their national interest along with nationalism sensations. In this case, Russia’s power and influence would again conquer this region, but this time peacefully and gently as fast as it was removed in the past.

The bargaining of Russia with NATO and the USA about rout of Russia through Central Asia for the NATO and Coalition logistical conveys to Afghanistan has brought another chance for Russia and this country would easily take enough advantages, as if “ strike when the iron is hot”.

Russia’s positive response to Karzai government regarding sending the Russian armaments the Afghan Army not only helps Russia’s treasury but it realizes the Russia’s repeated demand from Afghanistan that has been rejected or been ignored by the Afghan government in the past. This way, all half done projects and Russian infrastructures that were somehow stopped by the Afghan government in this period may begin again so that the Russian Federation would rehabilitate its lost position and interest in this country.
Afghanistan Development Bank run by a Russian company, was one of tens of Russian constructive and productive installations / organizations that were inactivated* by the Afghan government.

At the same time, Russian doesn’t want to be the only country in the region not benefiting from drug trafficking and narcotics business in Afghanistan, but it tries to have a share of benefits from this advantageous business; drug trafficking that exclusively pass through Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkey to the European market which now has not benefit for Russia which so far has been isolated from this trade.
Based on the facts mentioned above, coincidently with the power transformation from Republican George W. Bush to the Democrat Barack Obama, in a sudden move Russia expects to approach the Afghan Administration; the Administration that has lost the attention and kindness of the new administration of Democrats and needs a strong regional ally. This act of Russia has a clear message for Obama and that is;

The new US administration has to accept Russia as its regional associate in this regional game and would not take for granted its demands in the game of Afghanistan because President Obama has come on power based on the motto; “The Change we need”!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Poor people and food

A caricature designed by Mehdi Bakhtiar, Afghan caricaturist and graphic designer

The Afghan Democracy!

Written by: Ahmad Bahar Chopaan
Translated by: Mohammad Amin Wahidi

It seems that the sun of democracy in Afghanistan is to be eclipsed in the transactions between Karzai, his supporters and the Taliban!

It is not too late after when Dr. Zahir Tanin¹ has mentioned in one of his interview that “Karzai is trying to Afghanize the democracy” and now as a result we are seeing the Afghanization of democracy.

In an Afghanized democracy, democracy is totally changed from its original essence, the same as all other things, when Afghanized, whether take the antonym meaning or totally lose the meaning.

Indeed it is absurd to try to change the meaning of democracy. In democracy it is not important how to empower a person to govern, but more important is how to dethrone or dismiss a person on power when showed to be insufficient for the mandate.

As it seems, it wouldn’t be easy to dethrone our governing President in an Afghanized democracy.

The Afghanized democracy has many exceptions; in its acme, it spurns the laws including the mother law the national constitution, and after seven years of prank war against the terrorism, it appears on a dinner table of Arab Sheiks by the name of an Inter - Afghan peace to embrace Mullah Omar.

The Afghanized democracy makes brotherhood between Arab Osama Bin Laden, Pakistani Baitullah Mahsood and Afghan Mullah Omar to mobilize them against the Afghans who suffering their politicians for years and years.

The Afghan Democracy is totally unaccustomed to the words “dēmos” and “kratos” the original roots of the word which are too old for it now.

In this Afghanized democracy there is a new interpretation; what the people want to say, they can say but what Karzai want to do, he does it.

The Afghan democracy is like the dream of a mute man who wants to relate it to a group of deaf people.

The laws are only written pieces of paper and freedom of speech is nothing except a cheap joke because the minister of information and culture has taken oath to destroy the culture.

In the Afghan democracy the students are not allowed to use their mother tongue as a communication tool in their daily lives and if someone does so, they are being charged with imprisonment; if they want to use the transcript of their mother tongue on the official sign boards, the Afghan police is allowed to use violence against them, torture them and detain them, because it is Afghan democracy.

In the Afghan democracy, president’s brother can act as the foreign minister and can represent the government in secret negotiations with the Taliban and the Saudi Arabian, because first he is a member of the president family, secondly the Afghan democracy gives his this authority.

In the Afghan democracy, forced displacement of ethnics, and looting their possessions is allowed not only with the intervention of the government but with the permission and support of the government and there is no charged for subsequences of human rights violations.

The Afghanized democracy removes the additional columns and rows of the national ID cards that are for the ethnic identity of the ethnics to merge them into one nation, the Afghan nation, the is only for the Pashtoons!

As said by Dr. Sorosh, “democracy is a device to elect, criticize and dismiss the sovereigns” and the real democracy is too distant from the current Afghanized democracy.

In the Afghan democracy criticizing the governing team is not possible, and if some one does so, his head is wanted for rewards!
In this situation it is definitely too far to expect procedural dismissal of an insufficient president as Karzai who has confessed in one of his speeches that he has lately has tasted the flavor of the power and he would not easily leave it.

As a big lie it is no more tolerable to have such a fake democracy, it is not the cure we were looking for our pains.

Whether the real democracy would be applied in the country that would give the nation a chance to decide about electing , criticizing or even dismissal of their leader in case of insufficiency or otherwise as an alternative we should replace another system in a way that would realize our expectations.