Hypocrisy is not Leadership

President-Karzai

Hypocrisy is the state of falsely claiming to possess virtuous characteristics that one lacks.  Hypocrisy involves the deception of others and is thus a kind of lie.

We are all a little bit hypocritical, but most of us don’t go around shouting it to the global press!

I am referring to President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, who vociferously claims that the US and its Allies have “no respect for innocent civilians” and routinely kill and injure women and children.

A statement from a man of virtue or outright hypocrisy?  Here are two facts that bother me.

First, routinely Taliban and Al Qaeda suicide bombers, many of them Afghans themselves, kill hundreds of innocent men, women and children every week inside Afghanistan.  It is not uncommon to read reports of a suicide bomber attack at a wedding or a shopping market, with scores of mutilated bodies of women and children as a result.

I will wager that more innocent civilians have been killed by the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan than by US and coalition forces. The Taliban actively target civilians, US and coalition forces don’t. According to a recent UN report:

The annual United Nations report on civilian casualties shows that more than two-thirds of the 2,777 civilians killed last year were the victims of insurgents – a 28% increase on 2009. By contrast Nato and Afghan government forces were responsible for killing 440, a 25% decrease.

More than half of the deaths caused by the Taliban were the result of homemade bombs and suicide attacks.

The report’s authors said the “most alarming” trend was a 105% increase in the number of civilians assassinated by insurgents as part of the Taliban’s campaign against government officials.

Second, the amount of money the US has poured into Afghanistan is staggering. In just two years (FY 2012 & 2013) it amounts to $ 198 billion, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  According to a Center for International Studies report, this huge amount of financial aid has no auditing controls or perceived measures of effectiveness.  And, according to many reports, a healthy amount (mega-millions) goes directly into the pockets of President Karzai and his “relatives” and supporters. Now that’s what I call “hazardous duty pay”!

There will always be hypocrites, but we don’t have to support them to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars and the lives of soldiers, while they openly criticise and steal at the same time. The US and its allies should realize that they are pouring money and lives into an ungrateful, bottomless pit of hypocrisy.

No one ever erected a statue honouring a hypocrite!

There is no incentive for President Karzai to seek peace and economic prosperity for Afghanistan when he gets a free handout of billions. My dad had a wise saying about accountability:

“No one buys a cow when the milk is free!”

I know this is not my usual style of post, but this type of blatant hypocrisy and senseless deaths really bothers me, especially when the US could really use all those $$ billions of dollars at home to help fix its debt and the  economy, not to mention the thousands of soldiers and reservists who could get back to doing real productive work rather than living in harm’s way to support an ungrateful hypocrite!

Unfortunately, the US is not strong enough economically (or emotionally) at this time to try to fix the world.  They need to fix themselves first.  A robust US economy is the best solution for global stability. My vote? Pull out now, cut off the billions of wasted aid money, and fix the US economy.

Tight Lines . . .

John R Childress

john@johnrchildress.com

About johnrchildress

John Childress is currently Visiting Professor in Strategy and Culture at IE Business School in Madrid and a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at john@johnrchildress.com or john.childress@theprincipiagroup.com
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