Our Welfare King In Afghanistan

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 5 2011 @ 10:40am

Hitchens slams President Hamid Karzai for fanning the flames:

Unlike some provincial mullahs, Karzai also knows perfectly well that the U.S. government is constitutionally prohibited from policing religious speech among its citizens. Yet, when faced with the doings of the aforementioned moronic cleric from Gainesville, he went out of his way to intensify mob feeling. This caps a long period where his behavior has come to seem like a conscious collusion with warlordism, organized crime, and even with elements of the Taliban. Already under constant pressure to make consistent comments about Syria and Libya, the Obama administration might want to express itself more directly about a man for whose fast-decomposing regime we are shedding our best blood. 

And that is why, of course, the counter-insurgency will fail. The government we are defending is unworthy of the Afghan people, and any force attached to it will eventually be discredited. We may decimate the mid-level ranks of the Taliban, but as long as they have a refuge in Pakistan, they can wait us out. That's why I feel it's close to Vietnam to send soldiers to fight for a foreign regime that stinks to high heaven, and stirs up passions that ultimately leads to more casualties.

At some point this has got to end and we will have to withdraw. But the deeper we get, and the longer we stay, the harder it is to leave. As I said before warfare can become welfare. And Karzai is the biggest welfare king of them all.