Department of Analogies

Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan, is not particularly popular since his government is viewed as corrupt and incompetent. His big advantage, however, is that there’s no well-organized and reasonably unified opposition to him. It was thought, however, that Gul Agha Shirzai, governor of Nangarhar province, would probably be the strongest challenger. And Matthew Rosenberg reports that “on Friday [Shirzai] secured the support of Afghanistan’s vice president, Ahmad Zia Masood, said the governor’s long-time advisor and spokesman, Khalid Pashtoon.”

But then, as Spencer Ackerman observes, the story gets funny as Shirzai mysteriously chooses to drop out:

The governor didn’t explain his decision to drop out Saturday, even to his closest associates. He also said he was stepping down as governor, but the president refused to accept his resignation.

“Even his own brothers were cursing him last night,” Mr. Pashtoon said Sunday, saying he would no longer work with Mr. Shirzai. “This was the stupidest act I have ever seen. It’s like you were just throwing a chunk of barbecue from your mouth when you were very hungry.”

Mmm… barbecue:


I wonder how long Pashtoon is goigng to last as an adviser?

The Afghan food I’ve had is more grilling than barbecue, but I suppose it’s not worth quibbling with a spokesman capable of giving pungent quotes in multiple languages.