Come Mr. Taliban, Tally Me Kandahar

Posted on Sun 04/11/2010 by


Satire by  Shawn Goodwin

Being President of Afghanistan is a difficult, thankless job. The country is an eclectic mix of sand and mountains, uh, and more sand and more mountains. There are no fabulous tourist traps, no glamorous casinos, and no Wayne Newton. What’s worse is that the country has been beset by war for generations, and is currently fighting alongside Western allies against the brutal Taliban regime. As a result, the children of Kabul spend their time playing with Afghan Lincoln Logs – otherwise known as spent bullet casings.

With more catastrophes than a night of MSNBC programming, it’s no wonder that current President Hamid Karzai is under a lot of pressure from both inside and outside his country. That pressure may have explained his recent Amy Winehouse moment, where he ripped the West, claiming the United States was meddling in Afghanistan’s affairs. (We would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids.

After the accusatory diatribe, Karzai informed the parliament that if he was not granted more power, he would defect to the Taliban for a player to be named later:   …  

At one point, Mr. Karzai suggested that he himself would be compelled to join the other side – that is, the Taliban – if the parliament didn’t back his controversial attempt to take control of the country’s electoral watchdog from the United Nations, according to three people who attended the meeting, including an ally of the president.

Now that is just nonsense. Everyone knows that there is not a finer, more upstanding organization on Earth than the United Nations. Sure, they have been offering their electoral oversight “expertise” at a cost – the going rate is a comely lass of virtue true and a fattened goat for each member – but they have the best interests of the nation. Besides, they were instrumental in keeping the peace in Somalia, and look at how well that turned out? Although, allowing the Somalis to watch Pirates of the Caribbean was probably a bad idea.

The United Nations issue notwithstanding, President Karzai’s threat to play for the opposing team is an empty one at best. The parliament knows this, and would have more respect for him if he warned them that he “will turn this car right around!” Like it or not, the man is the face of the enemy, a face that the Taliban will not soon forget. His defection would be akin to the scene in Blazing Saddles, where Sheriff Bart takes himself hostage at gunpoint!

The president must have realized the foolishness of his threat quickly, because he immediately shifted gears and blamed a vast right wing conspiracy for the legislator’s hesitance. Who knew the Tea Party had such an extended reach?

Mr. Karzai blamed the lawmakers’ resistance to his move on a foreign conspiracy, they said. The Afghan president’s latest remarks came less than 24 hours after he assured U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that he was committed to working with the U.S. That phone call was precipitated by a similar—but less vitriolic–anti-Western diatribe Mr. Karzai delivered earlier last week.

One wonders how Secretary Clinton took the news, since she is not a woman who is used to being lied to. Hopefully she will not be too upset with President Karzai who, like Sandra Bullock’s soon-to-be-ex-husband, is desperately trying to hold on to the good life. And why wouldn’t he? In Afghanistan, former presidents have the life expectancy of two days, which translates into the amount of time a ripe banana goes bad. Unlike a ripe banana, however, ex-presidents have little value. They lose their power, are stripped of their prestige, and have their Sam’s Club VIP Membership revoked.

In the meantime, President Karzai is walking a fine line between his countrymen and his Western allies. While trying to please them all, he is satisfying none. He sees an America which embraces a terrorist regime in Iran with one arm while pushing Afghanistan away with the other. Similarly, he must deal with a hostile parliament that is relegating him to lame duck status. Witnesses claim that Karzai has been drinking Pepto Bismol smoothies and dining on Tums kabobs. If the stress gets the best of him, the government may fall, leaving the door wide open for another Taliban matinee.

During the 2008 primary election, Hillary Clinton’s campaign released an ad entitled, “3 a.m. Phone Call.” It asked the question that millions of Americans wanted to know: Do you want an inexperienced leader answering the phone when a global crisis is afoot? If the climate in Afghanistan does not improve, someone – either the president or the secretary of state – will have to take that call, and an anxious President Karzai may be on the other end.’s official satirist, Shawn Goodwin, is a blogger and police detective from Philly.

Read more excellent articles from