Saturday, April 13, 2013

Binocular Snapshot for 04/13/2013

LastDayWatchers here is some 

“Everyone knows how Karzai was brought to Kabul and how he was seated on the defenseless throne of Shah Shuja,” referring to the exiled Afghan ruler restored to the throne by the British in 1839. “So it is not astonishing that the American soldiers are making fun of him and slapping him on the face because it is the philosophy of invaders that they scorn their stooge at the end ... and in this way punish him for his slavery!”

And although few in the West are aware of it, as the United States prepares to withdraw from Afghanistan, history is repeating itself. We may have forgotten the details of the colonial history that did so much to mold Afghans’ hatred of foreign rule, but the Afghans have not.

Today, Shah Shuja is widely reviled in Afghanistan as a puppet of the West. The man who defeated the British in 1842, Wazir Akbar Khan, and his father, Dost Mohammed, are widely regarded as national heroes. Mr. Karzai has lived with that knowledge all his life, making him a difficult ally — always keen to stress the differences between himself and his backers, making him appear to be continually biting the hand that feeds him.

In 2001, top Taliban officials asked their young fighters

“Do you want to be remembered as a son of Shah Shuja or as a son of Dost Mohammed?” As he rose to power, the Taliban leader Mullah Omar deliberately modeled himself on Dost Mohammed, and, as he did, removed the Holy Cloak of the Prophet Muhammad from its shrine in Kandahar and wrapped himself in it to declare jihad, a deliberate historical re-enactment, the resonance of which all Afghans immediately understood.

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