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Examiner.com, May 18, 2012

Rep. Rohrabacher urges Clinton to invite Afghan warlords to NATO Summit

By Michael Hughes

Hamid Karzai with Fahim and Khalili
RAWA: Hamid Karzai named Qasim Fahim (left) as first and Karim Khalili (right) as second vice president, both of them notorious warlords accused of war crimes, brutalities and corruption. (Photo: Reuters)

Human Rights Watch: "He [Fahim] is widely believed by many Afghans to be still involved in many illegal activities, including running armed militias, as well as giving cover to criminal gangs and drug traffickers."

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday to invite members of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance to this weekend’s NATO summit in Chicago. Yet, especially given Rohrabacher‘s strong human rights record, many Afghans are wondering why his NATO guest list is stacked with warlords that have as much blood on their hands as the Taliban.

In a letter addressed to Secretary Clinton, Rohrabacher argued that the Northern Alliance demonstrated its ability to defend Afghanistan by helping overthrow the Taliban after 9/11. The congressman also stressed the alliance’s commitment to preventing Pakistan from holding sway in Kabul.

Rohrabacher doubted that President Hamid Karzai had the same level of commitment and capacity, given the fact he is “being propped up by foreign troops and money” and is likely to fall shortly after NATO troops exit in 2014.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday to invite members of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance to this weekend’s NATO summit in Chicago. Yet, especially given Rohrabacher‘s strong human rights record, many Afghans are wondering why his NATO guest list is stacked with warlords that have as much blood on their hands as the Taliban.

In a letter addressed to Secretary Clinton, Rohrabacher argued that the Northern Alliance demonstrated its ability to defend Afghanistan by helping overthrow the Taliban after 9/11. The congressman also stressed the alliance’s commitment to preventing Pakistan from holding sway in Kabul.

Rohrabacher doubted that President Hamid Karzai had the same level of commitment and capacity, given the fact he is “being propped up by foreign troops and money” and is likely to fall shortly after NATO troops exit in 2014.

For these reasons the congressman claimed that representatives from the Northern Alliance “must be at the table” when the fate of their country is determined.

Afghan expert Khalil Nouri is at a loss as to why Rohrabacher has aligned himself with such maligned actors. Nouri, during an interview on Friday, said it was perplexing because for the past thirty plus years no member of congress has fought harder for the Afghan people than Congressman Rohrabacher.

Nouri commended Rohrabacher for challenging Karzai’s corrupt puppet regime and said he shares the congressman’s overriding goal of “establishing a legitimate, reformist, credible and honest government – and one chosen by Afghans, for Afghans.”

However, according to Nouri, Rohrabacher’s approach will further upset Afghanistan’s delicate ethnic and tribal balance. The northern coalition of minority factions, led primarily by Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, has for decades fought against the country’s largest ethnic group, the Pashtuns, in what seems like one long unending civil war.

Not to mention, according to a Human Rights Watch report, Northern Alliance leaders committed heinous human rights violations and war crimes during a four-year reign in the 1990s, a period marked by the murder, rape and torture of tens of thousands of innocent Afghan civilians.

Ironically, it was the Northern Alliance’s sadistic and corrupt rule that facilitated the rise of the Taliban in the first place. And now, for some reason, Rohrabacher wants them back at the helm.

After defeating the Taliban in 2001 the U.S. cut Faustian deals and awarded some of these very same warlords with cabinet seats, territory, guns and money, alienating a vast majority of the Pashtun population.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan's security forces are currently dominated by northern minorities while Pashtun enlistments have been disproportionately low, in yet another sign the central government and its Western benefactors are partial to the northerners.

This favoritism of the north has fed anti-American sentiment amongst Pashtuns in the south and east on both sides of the Durand Line and, in combination with the Afghan government’s predatory corruption, has enabled a Taliban comeback.

Nouri firmly believes Rohrabacher’s northern warlord solution will be counterproductive in the long and will do nothing more than fuel the insurgency, fan extremism and swell the Taliban’s ranks.


Thousands took to streets with chants against warlords
April 30, 2012: Hundreds in Kabul took to streets with chants of "Death to warlords" and cursed warlords Gulbuddin, Sayyaf, Khalili, Fahim and others. The protest by the Solidarity Party of Afghanistan was for condemning the dark day of 28th April when the warlords of Northern Alliance took power in 1992. Photos of these infamous warlords were burnt in the end. (Photo: Hambastagi.org)
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Category: Warlords, HR Violations, Corruption - Views: 3507


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