World: Moscow's New Stand-in

To Afghanistan's new Soviet-sponsored strongman, Babrak Karmal, toppling governments is old hat. In 1973, as parliamentary leader of the pro-Moscow Parcham wing of the Communist People's Democratic Party, he helped to plot the overthrow of King Mohammed Zahir Shah by Mohammed Daoud. Five years later, he blithely joined in the subsequent plot that ousted Daoud's regime. For that purpose, Karmal had aligned himself with his bitter political rival, Noor Mohammed Taraki, leader of the more radical Khalq faction of the P.D.P., who set himself up as President. But the alliance between the two...

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