Springtime in July: Karzai calls on Mullah Omar to Run for President of Afghanistan
July 12, 2012 - 2:15 pm
I’m still in the cave, finishing a book about the “Arab Spring.” That’s why I couldn’t help but catch a post by my pal Diana West, who notes a Los Angeles Times report about the redoubtable President Hamid Karzai, our ”partner” in the “Islamic democracy” of Afghanistan — the one where apostates from Islam are put on capital trial and 19-year-old rape victims, after being convicted of having sex out of wedlock, get their 12-year prison sentences commuted if they marry their rapists.
Seems that after over a decade of American soldiers putting their lives on the line to prop up his sorry regime so that Afghans can live in, er, freedom from “violent extremists” like the Taliban, Karzai is proposing that Mullah Omar, the leader of the Taliban, run in the next presidential election. Seriously:
President Hamid Karzai had a suggestion Thursday for Mullah Mohammad Omar, the fugitive leader of the Taliban movement: Run for president if you want.
The Afghan leader, speaking at a news conference, urged the Taliban chief to embark on negotiations with his government and take part in the political process. He said Omar and his “comrades” could set up a political party and that Omar himself could become a candidate for office if he wished.
“If people vote for him, he can take the leadership,” Karzai declared. Afghanistan’s next presidential elections are scheduled in 2014.
Karzai also said that Omar could visit Afghanistan “anywhere he wants,” but added,“He should put the gun down.” Renouncing violence is a condition for Taliban who wish to join government “reintegration” programs intended to draw fighters away from the battlefield.
In inviting Omar to run for office, it was not clear whether the Afghan president was speaking rhetorically — as he once did when he threatened to join the Taliban.