President Karzai has long been considered a U.S. puppet. And now, with evidence that his brother has been on the CIA payroll for the past eight years (a claim conveniently disclosed ahead of the second‐round presidential election), shows why Afghanistan’s “democratic experiment” is largely a sham. But what’s new? What does “justice” really mean when someone with friends in high places can get away with a $4 billion drug trafficking racket; while poor local farmers have their opium crops eradicated and their drug processing facilities destroyed?
According to New York Times reporters Dexter Filkins, Mark Mazzetti, and James Risen, brother Karzai helps the CIA by operating a paramilitary group; renting out housing to U.S. forces, and acting as a go‐between for the Americans and the Taliban. This should come as no surprise. Even though free markets, democracy, and freedom are the principles that define the United States of America, these have not always been the principles that guided its foreign policy. From time to time, America’s perceived national security interests have led it to cooperate with some of the world’s most repressive regimes and unsavory political movements. U.S. policymakers often openly embrace authoritarian allies. But such prominent alliances are all too often coupled with America’s simultaneous promotion of democracy, liberty and human rights. These mixed messages have severely compromised America’s image and interests on more than one occasion.