Saturday, March 6, 2010

Our new ally in Afghanistan

The man chosen to be the fresh face of good Afghan governance in a town just seized from the Taliban has a violent criminal record in Germany, but Western officials said Saturday they are not pushing to oust him.

Court records and news reports in Germany show that Abdul Zahir, the man appointed as the new civilian chief in Marjah, served part of a more than four-year prison sentence for stabbing his son in 1998. A U.S. official confirmed that he did serve time in Germany, though Zahir denies he committed any crime.

"I was not a killer. I was not a smuggler. ... I didn't commit any crime," Zahir told the Associated Press in a telephone interview Friday evening. He said allegations of a criminal record were "all a lie."

Our surrogate to replace the Taliban is a man who begins his first interviews by denying he is a violent killer, smuggler and child abuser.

Is there any doubt this will not end well?

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