You can fool most of the people all of the time.
President Karzai has promised to cut corruption in exchange for $billions more in handouts. Where have we heard that before?
In July 2007 I had a debate in the Commons. The answering Minister was Kim Howells. In a lame response he said, ‘Corruption in Afghanistan is something that we just have to put up with.’ At the time, I asked him, ‘But is it something that British soldiers have to die for? The only rational posture of a minister on the Afghan debacle should have been contrite and apologetic. But Ministers do not do contrition. The drugs policy is an utter abject failure. Heroin production is the highest ever and it cost British taxpayers £260 million on narcotics ‘reduction’ in addition to the £1billion we shell out on security".
Karzai had a new wheeze five years ago. It comes naturally to him. He planned to bribe his 'brothers in the Taliban' to change sides. Bribes are the lubricant to all Afghan political and business life. America has delivered millions of bubble-wrapped $100 bills to advance their cause in buying Afghans.
Money is our only ace. It buys friendship, loyalty and information. Karzai cheated and bribed his path to power. He planned in 2007 to extend his sole strategy of corruption. We shelled out new £billions. It was a cheaper option than warfare and more acceptable to the British public than paying in blood.
Karzai stays in power because he has a bottomless fund of NATO taxpayers’ money to win approval. It's corruption of course. But it's our Western corruption.
This is delusional politics based on the myth of the omnipotence of American-British power. If there is any problem, we will solve it. Turning anarchic Afghanistan to a model Scandinavian democracy? No Problem. Ending corruption that has been endemic in Afghanistan for centuries? We can do it. If any Coalition minister really believes that he can end Afghan corruption, and it’s possible he does believe it, the kindest thing would be to have him ushered away by men in white coats.