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Thursday, May 21, 2009

A neo-con Yankee in Karzai's court

This analysis by ex ambassador M K Bhadrakumar is interesting for two reasons: one what it says and the other what it glosses over re: Mazar Sharif's own neoconzix Zalmay Khalilzad. Zalmay or Zal for him and Hamid mayor-of-Kabul Karzai were point man for Unocal in the Mullah Omar days. They were negotiating the central Asian pipeline deal. THat deal fell through because Mullah Omar accepted (I think a lower bid) from a Italian Turkish consortium. Zal reportedly threatened the Taliban regime with repercussions. ~~t

"Zal" (as he is popularly known) has crossed the American political divide with abandon. Branded as a neo-con who contributed to the New American Century Project under former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld's watch, he was indeed destined to occupy key positions in the US establishment during the George W Bush era, which he did, steadily rising from the position of under secretary in the Pentagon, special envoy to the Iraqi Kurds and Afghans, ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq, finally, to cabinet rank as Bush's representative to the United Nations. Now he is reportedly negotiating his way back to his old hunting ground in Kabul. The New York Times newspaper's ace Washington correspondent has broken the story quoting senior American and Afghan officials that Zal could assume a "powerful, unelected position inside the Afghan government". Such a position, a senior US administration official has been quoted as saying, involves Zal serving as "a prime minister, except not prime minister because he wouldn't be responsible to a parliamentary system".


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