Unintended irony from the NYT

The paper of record laments the pervasive corruption in Afghanistan's ruling class and the lack of prosecutions

Topics:

Unintended irony from the NYT Afghan President Hamid Karzai looks on during a news conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, March 6, 2012. (Credit: AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)

(updated below)

The New York Times today has an article lamenting the extreme levels of corruption in Afghanistan’s ruling class — “a narrow business and political elite defined by its corruption” — and explains how these unchecked improprieties are impeding U.S. goals for post-withdrawal stability (“pervasive graft has badly undercut the American war strategy, which hinged on building the Karzai administration into a credible alternative to the Taliban”). Within that article lurks one of my favorite passages I’ve read in that paper in quite some time:

The players include people tied to President Hamid Karzai’s inner circle, many of whom have profited from the crony capitalism that has come to define Afghanistan’s economic order, and nearly brought down Kabul Bank . . . .  Despite years of urging and oversight by American advisers, Mr. Karzai’s government has yet to prosecute a high-level corruption case.

It’s simply shocking to find a country which would allow its political class to be dominated by those who “have profited from the crony capitalism that has come to define its economic order” and who “nearly brought down” its banking system. What must it be like to live in such a country? But even more bewildering still is that the Afghans simply refuse to prosecute their high-levels financial criminals, even though the U.S. is providing advice and oversight! Maybe it’s unsurprising to see a country treat its powerful criminals with impunity, but not when they have the United States of America providing guidance and wise counsel. What could possibly explain this? Are they simply ignoring the important lessons we’re teaching and the shining example we’ve set?

You Might Also Like

* * * * *

Yet another new poll has found that the overwhelming majority of people who live in the Arab world (as opposed to their dictators) view the U.S. and Israel — not Iran — as the greatest threats to world peace. This is seen again and again. Imagine how different American news coverage would be if that fact were periodically mentioned, let alone discussed in order to understand why this is so.

 

UPDATE: I was interviewed by Sam Seder earlier today about Attorney General Holder’s speech defending Obama’s citizen assassination powers. Sam is a great interviewer and I think it was a good discussion. It begins at the 10:00 mark and can be heard here.

Glenn Greenwald
Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 8
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Sonic

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Sonic's Bacon Double Cheddar Croissant Dog

    Sonic calls this a "gourmet twist" on a classic. I am not so, so fancy, but I know that sprinkling bacon and cheddar cheese onto a tube of pork is not gourmet, even if you have made a bun out of something that is theoretically French.

    Krispy Kreme

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Krispy Kreme's Doughnut Dog

    This stupid thing is a hotdog in a glazed doughnut bun, topped with bacon and raspberry jelly. It is only available at Delaware's Frawley Stadium, thank god.

    KFC

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    KFC's Double Down Dog

    This creation is notable for its fried chicken bun and ability to hastily kill your dreams.

    Pizza Hut

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Pizza Hut's Hot Dog Bites Pizza

    Pizza Hut basically just glued pigs-in-blankets to the crust of its normal pizza. This actually sounds good, and I blame America for brainwashing me into feeling that.

    Carl's Jr.

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Carl's Jr. Most American Thick Burger

    This is a burger stuffed with potato chips and hot dogs. Choose a meat, America! How hard is it to just choose a meat?!

    Tokyo Dog

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Tokyo Dog's Juuni Ban

    A food truck in Seattle called Tokyo Dog created this thing, which is notable for its distinction as the Guinness Book of World Records' most expensive hot dog at $169. It is a smoked cheese bratwurst, covered in butter Teriyaki grilled onions, Maitake mushrooms, Wagyu beef, foie gras, black truffles, caviar and Japanese mayo in a brioche bun. Just calm down, Tokyo Dog. Calm down.

    Interscope

    7 ways Americans have defiled the hot dog

    Limp Bizkit's "Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water"

    This album art should be illegal.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>