And it’s one, two, three, what are we fighting for? Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn. I’m going to Afghanistan. A country whose rigged elections and endemic corruption was the focus of the Obama Administration’s pre-surge anxiety—until it wasn’t. And now it is. Well, for the western media. OK, for a few news organizations. The Guardian, actually. Which reveals that Afghan Prime Minister Nour “Sneaky” Maliki is trading weapons and cash for votes in the run-up to the next round of democratic, free and fair nationwide elections. “Maliki, who faces a bitterly contested final week of campaigning ahead of the 7 March poll, has been photographed handing out guns to supporters in southern Iraq, engraved with a personal message from his office. However he denies that the delivery of weapons, along with cash payments, were improper.” Perhaps “unusual” was the word he was looking for. Is this a problem? Surprisingly enough, yes. Make the jump for a look at the source of Maliki largess. As if you couldn’t guess . . .

Alusi, who was the INIS spokesman until he was asked to move to another ministry eight days ago, said some 8,000 guns were ordered from a Serbian supplier at the end of 2008 for use by intelligence officers. However he claimed Maliki “denied our contract at the last minute and made his own contract of 10,000 pistols, which he has used as election propaganda for himself and his party.’

Hey! That’s U.S government money not buying money for the Afghan military, right? But of course! And what’s the bet the U.S. has already given Maliki’s mob money to arm freedom-loving Afghan tribal leaders? On the positive side, at least they’re American-made weapons.

“He has given at least hundreds of them to tribal leaders in Amara, Nasireya, Diwaniya and many other provinces, [the head of Iraq’s parliamentary integrity commission, Sheikh Sabah] Sayedi said. “They are American-made and arrived by the middle of 2009. It is a cheap way to buy votes. Saddam used to do the same. Maliki said he gave the guns out so that tribal leaders could protect themselves. So he wants to protect them and yet judges and lawyers die every day. What is the role of the Iraqi army and police? I hope the tribes will see through this.”

Sure. Just like U.S taxpayers saw through General McChrystal’s pledge to hand security operations over to Afghani control. Does any of this seem familiar to anyone?

One Response to Gun Bribes Highlight Afghan Corruption

  1. Hey uh… you got your countries mixed up, buddy. Nouri Al Maliki is the PM of Iraq, not Afghanistan. Afghanistan is governed by a President, of which we’ve only had Hamid Karzai and Ashraf Ghani since 2001. Furthermore Diwaniya and Nasariyah are Iraqi provinces, the latter of which is well known for a famous battle that included the capture of Pvt Jessica Lynch. If you click on the Guardian link you provided, even they say Iraq, so I don’t know where you got Afghanistan from. It even says “Iraqi” in one of the inline quotes you provided.

    I know this article is 6 years old but I happened upon it while doing research on the Afghan military and as a veteran of the Afghanistan conflict it struck me as so egregiously wrong that I had to say something. I imagine it might be hard to tell the two countries apart for many who are not well versed in geography or geopolitics, but I think maybe those people would do well to do more research on Iraq and Afghanistan before writing an article that draws conclusions about the strategy and application of foreign policy in one of those countries. This pains me, because I usually love the articles on this site, and I often use some of the articles here to make counterpoints to my pro-gun control friends and family. Unfortunately, this big of a mistake will make me think twice about trusting TTAG as a source in the future.

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