- New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage constitutional
- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
Karzai sobs beside slain brother’s body
Question of the Day
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Pushing through a ring of his security men, President HamidKarzai climbed into his slain half brother’s freshly dug grave Wednesday and sobbed alongside the coffin at a funeral attended by thousands of mourners.
Overcome with grief, the president appealed to his countrymen to stop the violence.
Hours later, a bomb attack killed five French soldiers and an Afghan civilian in the east of the country.
The assassination of Ahmed WaliKarzai, who was shot at point-blank range by a close confidant a day earlier, left Afghanistan’s leader without a powerful ally in the southern province of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban and site of recent military offensives by the U.S.-led military coalition.
The radical Islamic movement claimed responsibility for the killing, and the president, speaking later at a somber press conference, challenged his insurgent adversaries to give up violence.
“My message for [the Taliban] is that my countrymen, my brothers, should stop killing their own people,” Mr. Karzai said. “It is easy to kill, and everyone can do it, but the real man is the one who can save people’s lives.”
In a land of big men, warlords and gangsters, WaliKarzai was all of these. He was the president’s bulwark against the Taliban’s forces in the south and the enforcer of the president‘s tenuous rule over the Pashtuns who predominate the insurgency.
To the international community, WaliKarzai offered indispensable reach and ruthlessness, but he was also an embarrassment — a partner whose other partners included opium dealers and smugglers.
On Tuesday morning, a sea of mourners surged toward the grave in the Karzai family’s home village of Karz in the south. The large wooden casket holding WaliKarzai’s body was filled with red flowers.
A tearful president appeared at the fringe of the throng of thousands and pushed toward the lowered coffin.
He paused at the edge of the open pit, then climbed down in it, partially disappearing from view, and wailed.
He remained there for at least a minute, his grief overwhelming other cries and prayers. Relatives and guards were unable to coax him out, but two men locked their arms underneath Mr. Karzai‘s and pulled their leader out by force.
As Mr. Karzai left, his phalanx of guards again powering through the masses, a stream of people dropped fistfuls of dust on the casket.
WaliKarzai’s death will transform power relations in the south, where the international military coalition has few friends of stature and none with the sweeping influence of the president’s powerful sibling. The president will struggle to find an ally resourceful enough in balancing alliances with tribal and political leaders, drug runners and militias in a province where the Taliban still hold much sway.
The assassin was from WaliKarzai’s tribe and hometown and traveled with and worked beside him for seven years.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Obamacare 'pajamas boy' gets roundly mocked
- In court filing, NCAA denies legal duty to protect athletes
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Democrats cite pope in call for minimum wage hike, jobless benefits
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Entertainment News and Reviews from Washington, D.C. and beyond.
In a world that is increasingly complex, we need to seek greater awareness of the blending of cultures and America's changing role in a global community.
Find up-to-date information on the D.C. and Baltimore live music scenes and read interviews with artists and reviews of the latest releases and concerts.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow