The Hamid Karzai era has begun in Afghanistan. But don't be fooled into thinking Afghanistan will see the dawn of a new day, says New York Times Magazine correspondent Peter Maass. Karzai is merely a U.S.-chosen figurehead, with more of a following in Washington than in his own country. The real leaders of the new Afghanistan, Maass argues, are the old warlords who have reemerged to take control of the fiefdoms they were ousted from by the Taliban several years ago. Even more troubling, says Maass, is that the warlords do not take Hamid Karzai very seriously. They pay him politically correct lip service to ensure that he delivers their aid checks from the United States. But the new vision that so many people had for a united, prosperous Afghanistan may actually be a distant dream.
Peter Maass, correspondent with The New York Times Magazine
author of "Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War"
This program aired on January 7, 2002.