A Western-friendly Afghani President may be too good to be true. As much as I was charmed by the first eight minutes of this morning’s NPR interview with him, I was horrified to hear Mr. Asharf-Ghani twist PTSD as an excuse for the recent murder of a woman* who was stoned to death by an insane mob (by Western standards). To be fair, the reported details of the event have been inconsistent; however, what took place remains clear: the crowd murdered her when they believed she had burned a Koran.
A Western-educated former banker, Mr. Ashaf-Ghani attributed this event to his countrymens’ PTSD. I do not know if he was referring to the murderous mob or to the passive Afghani police- who, like many of the American-trained Afghani military, have either run away from Daish/ISIS or have killed Americans.
For many years now I have heard many sociopaths, lawyers and members of the media misuse PTSD as an explanation for violence, but Mr. Asharf-Ghani has topped them all. The ‘romantic’ words he used to describe American soldiers who allegedly told him their hearts remain in his country suddenly soured. I could not help thinking he is trying to hustle President Obama to keep our troops in his dysfunctional country longer. Yet again I sensed another set of lies from a long line of mideastern dissemblers- then I had this intrusive image of the late South Vietnamese president Nguyễn Cao Kỳ and experienced a flood of anxiety that more American lives will be lost supporting a smooth sociopath. Oh, but wait- maybe that is my own PTSD in action. Mr. Obama, you must be wary of new leaders telling you what we would like to believe.
*How a slain Afghan woman became an unlikely champion for women’s rights:
“Farkhunda’s killing shows that Afghanistan is still the most dangerous place in the world for women,” Fawzia Koofi, a prominent Afghan lawmaker and women’s rights activist, said at the march Tuesday. “If there is no rule of law, not only women, but any human being in this country is not safe.”