[col. writ. 9/9/09] (c) '09 Mumia Abu-Jamal
Since 2001, U.S. presidents have tried to sell their foreign adventures and invasions as exercises in exporting democracy -- as if democracy was a crate of corn, or a barrel of oil.
Few modern presidents spoke of this more often or with more intensity than former president George W. Bush. Few were more disbelieved than he.
It was the height of irony for him to declare, as he often did, that democracies were peaceful, as he spoke atop a rotting hill of bomb-blasted bodies and bones.
Many apologists for the Afghan war have used the export of democracy argument to justify its invasion and occupation.
The installment of Hamid Karzai was supposed to be the crystallization of this democratizing impulse, as was the recent 'election.'
Perhaps the urbane Karzai learned his lesson only too well, if the explosion of ballot-box stuffing, corrupt voting, and other violations are any indication.
Americans certainly know a thing or two about stolen elections and botched balloting. The two Bush campaigns were exemplars of the art.
Democracies, like cuisine, are best home-grown.
Bayonets of foreigners are poor conductors of democracy.
Karzai is about as puppet-like as can be seen without strings.
He is British raised, U.S. paid and U.S. preserved.
He is, essentially, the Mayor of Kabul, who heads a cabinet of narcotraffikers and warlords.
And despite the title, he is controlled and led by them, rather than the reverse.
For years, Karzai was so distrustful of his fellow Afghans, and so devoid of even his own tribal support, that his personal bodyguards were a corps of beefy, buzz-cut Americans.
Imagine a U.S. president surrounded by an armed cadre of foreign soldiers!
Afghanistan is about as much a democracy as Iraq is, or Pakistan is.
It is a state ruled, not by Afghan will, but by foreign elites and local compradors. But it is not, and can not be, a place of peace.
For it is not a democracy, nor governed by popular will.
Call it a narcocracy (rule by drug lords); or a kleptocracy (rule by thieves).
Just don't call it a democracy.
--(c) '09 maj