It turns out it’s not so easy to buy Afghani politicians.
You might think they’d come cheaper than American pols, but you might be wrong.
Seems the most you can “buy” is access to a politician. The very quiddity of a politician, the difference that makes a difference, is the politician’s ability to change his mind. That precludes out-and-out purchase. It’s more like what Dick Armey called it: renting.
The United States taxpayer has poured nearly two-thirds of a trillion dollars into the Afghanistan war, and there’s also $10 billion in official annual aid and who knows how many “millions of dollars in monthly payments delivered in suitcases, backpacks and plastic shopping bags” by the CIA in hopes of securing the election and continued cooperation of the Karzai government.
But that cooperation didn’t last. It didn’t buy the U.S. permanent immunity status — apparently Obama administration higher ups wanted permanent war status in Afghanistan, protected from negative fallout like court suits.
The CIA-supplied suitcases of U.S. taxpayer money had a special name in the Karzai inner circle: Ghost money. What came in secret left in secret.
That’s why the “bought” — er, “rented” — don’t stay on the take for long. Why should they? What money? What payment?
You mean ghost money?
We don’t see no ghosts.
Sadly, there appears to be a lot of truth to the quip of one American official, quoted in the New York Times: “The biggest source of corruption in Afghanistan was the United States.”
On the bright side, this may mean that American forces will be withdrawn, perhaps even in toto, within the year.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.