Afghan President’s brother gunned down – U.S. opinion remains low
Ahmed Wali Karzai, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s controversial half brother, was shot twice in the head at point blank range by a trusted employee yesterday. The murder will surely cause more instability for Afghanis loyal to the President.
As reported in this column (read here) in April, Ahmed Karzai had well established links to drug traffickers, a reputation for ruthless corruption, and also links to the CIA.
He was assassination at his well-protected compound in central Kandahar during a routine meeting with petitioners and provincial contemporaries. According to friends at the upscale compound, there were more than 60 guests present at the time of the slaying.
While President Karzai tried to rebuild his brother’s reputation inside the country the past few years, Ahmed was never able to shake his connection with the illicit drug world and thug-like politics. Mr. Ahmed Karzai was reputed to have amassed a fortune of U.S. dollars since his return to Afghanistan from San Francisco to support his brother.
Ahmed Karzai’s killer, Sardar Mohammed, was immediately shot and killed by loyal bodyguards. Speculation surrounding Mohammed’s motivation for the assassination of President Karzai’s brother remains unclear. However, the Taliban did claim responsibility for the murder, but political leaders say there is no proof the Taliban was involved.
Just two hours after the news of his brother’s murder was delivered, President Karzai spoke at a joint press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, confirming the assassination had taken place.
“This is the life of Afghan people, this sorrow is in every Afghan home, every one of us has this sorrow,” Karzai told his loyal followers.
Despite Ahmed Karzai’s tarnished reputation, the President relied heavily on his half-brother to control the crime-and-drug laden southern region of Afghanistan. Another issue that dogged Ahmed Karzai at home and abroad was the not-so-secret relationship he shared with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
It’s been reported that Ahmed Karzai was receiving customary payments for a number of shadowy services. This relationship with the U.S. was seen negatively by many Afghans in the southern part of the country. Yet it was his heavy-handed tactics that secured order despite resistance from the Taliban over the democratization of Afghanistan.
In an effort to reassure Afghan leadership, Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, released a statement regarding the murder of President Karzai’s divisive half-brother.
“I called President Karzai today to extend my deepest condolences to him and to his family on the death of Ahmed Wali Karzai. The United States condemns this murder in the strongest terms,” Clinton said. “For too long, the people of Afghanistan have suffered under the threat of violence, intolerance, and extremism. We join President Karzai in his prayer for peace and stability in Afghanistan and remain committed to supporting the government and people of Afghanistan in their struggle for peace.”
The American people remain solidly on the side of peace for the war-torn tribal nation, however, 58 percent of U.S. public want the soldiers’ home, according to a June 24-28 CBS News/New York Times Poll.
It is unclear if Afghanistan will ever become a democratic nation, but it is imperative that the Afghan people decide what kind of government they are willing to fight for.
The power vacuum created by the assassination of Ahmed Karzai will most definitely leave President Karzai’s government in a much weaker position when it comes to the Taliban – opening the door to even more instability in the war-torn region.
For Parts 1-5 of this series;
#1 U.S. troops fight and die to preserve Shariah Law in Afghanistan
#2 U.S. payments to Taliban & Afghan warlords threaten American/NATO troops
#3 Billion dollar corruption within the U.S.-picked Afghan regime
#4 Terrorism’s down payment in the form of drugs and U.S. aid money
#5 Obama begins to wind-down the costly war in Afghanistan
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
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