James Carville, captain of Bill Clinton’s successful presidential campaigns became an advisor to Afghan Presidential Candidate, Ashraf Ghani in early July. Carville has close ties to the Democratic Party, President Clinton and his wife, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Carville and the State Department claim neither he nor Ghani have the official backing of the U.S. government. No contract details have been disclosed, including any fees Carville might receive.
Kabulpress suggests that the democracy-loving Carville might check a little further into the Ashraf Gahni’s background to see if he is really the person to lead Afghanistan into a just society governed under the rule of law by considering the following:
1. Ghani’s candidacy is probably illegal. The Afghan Constitution requires that all Presidential candidates be citizens of Afghanistan. Ghani holds a U.S. passport, and according to sources at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, he has never applied to rescind his U.S. citizenship. This is a long, complex process, and would have been noticed, if accomplished. There are many media references to Ghani’s American citizenship, and he must clear up this question.
2. Ghani was selected by President Karzai to be the President of Kabul University. During his tenure, he was usually marked absent. According to University regulations, its president must be in his office during his presidency, and the day-to-day stewardship of the university must be his primary duty. According to students and staff, Ghani was rarely at the university—spending most of his time traveling abroad. This was a substantial violation of university policy and public law, causing much consternation among faculty, students and staff. As president, he also pushed Pashto as the official Afghan language and denigrated the huge number of Persian/Dari language speakers at the University. Ghani quickly resigned his post to move onto other things.
3. Ghani has been an outspoken supporter of the Pashtun-based Taliban. As a nationalistic Pashtun, he has appeared in many global media outlets pushing reconciliation with the same Taliban which murdered tens of thousands of Afghans in the 1990s, which protected Osama bin Laden, and is currently organizing daily missions to kill American troops and Afghan citizens in Afghanistan. Ghani’s political choices are deeply questioned by millions of Afghans who lived through the Taliban reign of terror. Many call him the “Taliban with a tie.”
4. Ghani did substantial work for the World Bank and other U.S. institutions that recruited and backed Afghan Pashtun ex-patriots in the 1980’s and 90’s. Many of these individuals had close ties with the CIA. Ghani has actually been accused of being a current CIA agent by the globally recognized Afghan women’s rights organization, RAWA.
5. Ghani, from the very beginning in 2001, has been a primary builder of the national disaster that is Afghanistan today. He helped draw up the Bonn Accords and the Afghan Constitution. He helped build the Afghan financial system, and was a key adviser to Hamid Karzai for many years. His quick reversal of loyalties to Afghanistan’s ruling elite creates big questions in the minds of many Afghans, who see him as Karzai’s mirror. Will he maintain the current policies of government corruption, embezzlement, the drug trade, and growing human rights violations that have marked the Karzai administration?
Does Carville know the real Ashraf Ghani, or is he only familiar with the fluffy biographies published in Wikipedia and right-leaning think tanks with big government and big international aid agency consulting contracts? Those institutions have buckets of money for funding cronies, easy-to-buy-politicians, fat executive perks and salaries, and massive reports that pay consultants big bucks, but deliver less than nothing to the neediest on the ground. Will he serve those people, or the Afghan villagers who have suffered so much already?