The 401st Blow :: Thoughts On Media

How To Make Enemies And Alienate People

Posted in Policy, Theory by Noah Harlan on October 28, 2009

The New York Times has a piece revealing that the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s brother Wali is not only a major heroin trafficker, but also has been on the CIA payroll.  There has been a great deal of histrionics among commentators in the US who are, naively, aghast that we would be supporting such a nasty character and paying him to boot.

I think everyone’s missing what just happened.

Apparently various US officials in Afghanistan have been frustrated by this guy and haven’t been able to do much about it. Well guess what? I think they just solved their problem.

By leaking that he’s tied to the president and involved in opium they get the US news machine interested. Being in the opium trade means he’s close to the Taliban who use opium to finance their operations. This is all pretty basic. Then, saying that he’s on the US payroll a couple days after a number of US soldiers and three DEA agents were killed in Afghanistan turns up the media interest. Once that information is leaked it hits the news wires.

The problem is, you really don’t want to be Wali right now. He’s been trading opium with the guys the US are fighting with and we just told them that he’s on our payroll.  I don’t think he has a long career with them, do you?

Clever move by someone leaking that.

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