Karzai’s election victory was rigged. Let’s not beat around the bush. It’s obvious, but unsubstantiable because the US does not want it substantiated. Now we’re asking a guy that rigged his election to clean up corruption in Afghanistan. Great idea. It’s like asking a leader of a military coup to rein in his country’s military.
This is just one more lesson about how nobody wins in Afghanistan, not even the Afghans. Karzai’s brother is a drug dealer on the level of “kingpin.” He’s also the only guy holding Kandahar, the most important city in the south. Therefore, the evidence that he’s a heroin-making machine has to be reduced to the level of unsubstantiated rumors. This also means immunity for anyone in his organization that does a good job for him. Should someone be on the outs with the President’s brother, he’ll likely get handed over to the police in a significant ceremony. Until then, the biggest dealer in Afghanistan will go untouched.
What about the provincial governors, many of whom are big dealers in their own right? Well, they’re doing what they can to keep their provinces together. The US is caught in a quandry: it must choose whether to fight the drugs in Afghanistan or to fight the Taliban. To be sure, the Taliban forces in Afghanistan are dealing in drugs for their own purposes, but nowhere on the level the Afghan government is dealing.
Once again, the USA has made a bargain with one set of criminals to fight another it sees as more dangerous. Every time the USA has done that, the criminals they picked turned out to be even worse than the ones they fought. So it goes again.