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?