‘Ahmed Rashid’s War’

‘Ahmed Rashid’s War’ by Tariq Ali for Counterpunch, October 9, 2009

After breakfast, I read Gideon Rachman’s often revealing blog on the Financial Times website. Today there was some very good news. Ahmed Rashid, a leading adviser to the US hawks on Afghanistan, is depressed. Deconstructing Rachman on this occasion might be useful for CounterPunch readers:

“…Jon Snow of Channel 4 News, allowed me to gatecrash a breakfast he was having with Ahmed Rashid. In theory, Ahmed is just a journalist like us. But his views on Afghanistan and Pakistan are now so widely sought that he has really become a player. He seems to be consulted by everybody – and I mean, everybody.”

This last is a slight exaggeration. The main people who consult Rashid, apart from Robert Silvers at the New York Review of Books, are US policy-makers in favor of a continuous occupation of Afghanistan. Rashid provides them with many a spurious argument to send more troops and wipe out the Pashtuns opposing the occupation. Within Afghanistan, Rashid’s principal backer and friend is Hamid Karzai who has now managed to antagonize even the tamest US liberals such as Peter Galbraith, recently sacked as a UN honcho in Kabul because he suggested that Karzai had rigged the elections. Rashid the journalist has no time for people who suggest that Karzai is a corrupt rogue, whose family is now the richest in the country, or that he manipulates US public opinion with the aid of PR companies, friends in Washington and, of course, Ahmed Rashid himself. read more

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