Hamid Karzai’s Making Sense

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Afghan President Hamid Karazai broke it down today for a White House press conference, noting, “The death and destruction [in Afghanistan] were “in reality not related to the Newsweek story…they were more against the elections in Afghanistan, they were more against the progress in Afghanistan, they were more against the strategic partnership with the United States.” In TV interviews, Karzai went on to reject a State Department memo released on Sunday, which blamed the slow phasing out of poppy crops on Karzai’s unwillingness to “assert strong leadership.”

Instead, Karzai, who has declared a jihad against opium, blamed Western countries for a lack of necessary support. “The international community must come and provide an alternative livelihood to the Afghan people, which they have not done so far,” Karzai told CNN. He makes a good point.Without alternatives, Afghan farmers cannot afford to give up the production of poppies. There is about $300 million in international funds pledged to eradicate poppies, but only about a third of this amount to establish alternative livelihoods for Afghans.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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