Rumors and denials swirl around Karzai
hmmmmm... as i sit at my desk here in kabul and read the following article from the guardian, i have to ask myself, what's next...? karzai can't be overly thrilled with this, but, on the other hand, afghanistan is crying out for leadership and karzai ain't steppin' up...
The US and its European allies are preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul government in a direct challenge to the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, the Guardian has learned.
The creation of a new chief executive or prime ministerial role is aimed at bypassing Karzai. In a further dilution of his power, it is proposed that money be diverted from the Kabul government to the provinces. Many US and European officials have become disillusioned with the extent of the corruption and incompetence in the Karzai government, but most now believe there are no credible alternatives, and predict the Afghan president will win re-election in August.
A revised role for Karzai has emerged from the White House review of Afghanistan and Pakistan ordered by Barack Obama when he became president. It isto be unveiled at a special conference on Afghanistan at The Hague on March 31.
As well as watering down Karzai's personal authority by installing a senior official at the president's side capable of playing a more efficient executive role, the US and Europeans are seeking to channel resources to the provinces rather than to central government in Kabul.
A diplomat with knowledge of the review said: "Karzai is not delivering. If we are going to support his government, it has to be run properly to ensure the levels of corruption decrease, not increase. The levels of corruption are frightening."
Another diplomat said alternatives to Karzai had been explored and discarded: "No one could be sure that someone else would not turn out to be 10 times worse. It is not a great position."
ok...? got that...? now check the official denial...
The State Department Monday rejected as nonsense a published report that says the United States and key allies want to create a new senior post in the Afghan government to bypass President Hamid Karzai. The comments came as the Obama administration neared completion of a review of U.S. Afghan policy.
Officials here are not volunteering any ringing endorsements of the way President Karzai is handling his job, but they are rejecting the notion that the United States and European allies will push for creation of a new executive post in the Afghan government - a prime minister or a similar mandate - to dilute Mr. Karzai's powers.
this story didn't make it into the guardian because it sprang fully-formed from somebody's vivid imagination... oh, and, btw, the official denial comes from - wait for it - voice of america news...! mmmm-hmmmm... Submit To Propeller