After “six years” of being “the darling of the United States”, the “luster” of Afghan President Hamid Karzai “may be fading”, reports the New York Times, because of a “growing concern” that he “is not up to addressing Afghanistan’s many troubles.”
“According to American and European diplomats, recent tension has flared around an episode that received little attention outside Afghanistan and that involved Mr. Karzai’s refusal to arrest a notorious Uzbek warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum.”
Former US ambassador to the UN Richard C. Holbrooke confronted Karzai for letting “the thugs back you down over a murderous warlord.”
Of course these are the same “thugs” handed millions of dollars by the CIA to assist the US government overthrow of the Taliban regime after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. And this is the very same “murderous warlord” responsible for the mass slaughter of Taliban forces while his US allies looked the other way.
As first reported by Newsweek in 2002, “Abdul Rashid Dostum, working with U.S. Special Forces, had the surrendered prisoners transferred” to Sheberghan prison. Survivors who made it to the prison told that “hundreds of their fellow POWs had died while being transferred to Sheberghan inside closed truck containers.”
Evidence of the mass graves used to conceal the bodies of the massacred, either by asphyxiation from being locked in the containers or from being shot (the reports alleged that Dostum’s forces made breathing holes in the containers by firing their weapons into them) was quickly uncovered, and widely reported.
Naturally, the New York Times found this context unworthy of mention, perhaps unfit for print.
Karzai is as disposable an “ally” to the US as was Dostum. After all, Washington needs a scapegoat for its failed policy, dubiously called a “war on terrorism”, in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, and Karzai is as convenient a one as any.