January 13, 2012



Afghanistan forever. And ever
by Jim Hightower

A bipartisan majority in Washington has been quietly funding a multimillion-dollar educational initiative to lift people up. Great! Except that the initiative is not for hard hit Americans, but for Afghanistan.


Actually, only top Afghan officials can participate, and — get ready to upchuck — this so-called "educational" effort is to teach the corrupt leaders of President Hamid Karzai's regime the art of public relations, specifically on how to hold news conferences.


How's that going, you ask? Not well, though in fairness let's acknowledge that Karzai's officials have at least begun to hold a few actual press meetings. Previously, Afghan ministries required the media to submit any questions by fax, which was a bit of a run-around, since they had no working fax machines. So, this is counted as a giant step forward.


Now, though, the U.S. instructors have abruptly withdrawn from the PR school. Apparently, they're annoyed that Karzai and his cohorts keep criticizing and frustrating our efforts to help them establish a functioning government. Last year, for example, the Afghan attorney general expelled American advisors from his office after they kept pushing him to prosecute cases of blatant corruption against his fellow officials.


Still, while our advisors, instructors, and mentors have been pulled, our money has not. American financing of the PR school continues. It's all part of our 8 billion tax dollars a month — a month! — that Washington keeps airlifting into Afghanistan, while our own people's educational and job-training needs are being slashed.


Well, at least Obama is getting us out of Afghanistan in 2014, right? Well, he says so, but Pentagon war hawks say they want to negotiate with Karzai to keep thousands of American forces there (and billions of our tax dollars) beyond Obama's deadline.

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Copyright 2010 by Jim Hightower & Associates
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