(March 03, 2014)
Outgoing Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai angrily criticized the U.S. government for its conduct of the war in that country, which he described as being "for the U.S. security and for the Western interests."(emphasis added)
In an interview with The Washington Post published late Sunday, Karzai said that President Barack Obama told him last week that the U.S. would accept having the winner of Afghanistan's April 5 presidential election sign a long-term security pact that would keep some American troops in Afghanistan past the end of this year. Karzai negotiated the agreement with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry this past fall and the deal was ratified by an assembly of Afghan elders known as the loya jirga. Nevertheless, Karzai has refused to sign the deal and made new demands in exchange for putting pen to paper.
Karzai told The Post that he feels "betrayed" by what he says are insufficient efforts by the U.S. to target Taliban strongholds in Pakistan. He also criticized the U.S. for inflicting civilian casualties in various military operation, saying "Afghans died in a war that’s not ours."
" ... war that's not ours."
humm ... let us think about this.
American troops fought *and died* in Afghanistan in a determined effort to oust the Taliban .. and were ultimately successful, but as a cost which came close to ousting an American president.
This, after months of accusations that President Bush was paying too much attention to Iraq, which (according to the Liberal Press) constituted little or no threat to American Sovereignty. And Osama wasn't in Iraq! As a consequence, President Bush directed American forces to emphasize operations in Afghanistan, rather than in Iran.
After ... literally .... YEARS of effort, American forces succeeded in their Mission Goal, and ousted the Taliban from Afghanistan and helped to install a National Government in Afghanistan, headed by a popular politician named ... oh, WHAT was his name?
Oh, yeah. Hamid Karzai .
Then Barack Obama was elected to the office of President of the United States of America, under the platform that ... since Stupid Old Bush was waging war where he wasn't wanted, Obama would stop the war.
After being elected President of the United Stated of America, president Obama directed American forces to continue operations in Afghanistan under, basically, the exact same standards a the preceding president.
Meanwhile, American troops continued to die in a war that "wasn't their war" .. but Obama had conveniently forgotten that relatively minor detail.
And President Karza was perfectly happy to watch American troop die in their effort to free Afghanistan from the political gridlock of the Taliban, and those who would preferentially continue their scorched-earth policies.
Today, for reasons which are poignantly political, rather than being driven by the continuing need to provide security to the people of his country, (outgoing) President Hamid Karzai has decided that (forgive me if I have lost track of the original theme ... it's not really all that obvious) America's continuing military presence in Afghanistan is, somehow, inimical to the leadership and sovereignty of Afghanistan.
He has conveniently forgotten that, sans the American troops in his country, he would be either a political prisoner or a corpse, at the hands of the Taliban.
It's difficult to criticize Hamid Karzai for his determination to "take back his country". After all, that was the original goal, as agreed to by both Afghanistanis and Americans. Politically, we should be neither surprised nor disappointed by this announcement. It was bound to happen .. it HAD to happen, that at some point Afghanistan would announce its independence from no only the Taliban, but America, as well.
One would have wished that the blind date had ended with a handshake, if not a kiss. But that's not the way for a President to kiss off a former ally.
No, the only way is for the President to AGGRESSIVELY declare his independence from his former ally. If he can take advantage of the moment to make it seem that his erst-while ally is "part of the problem", then his political quotient is ;
"Perfidious Americans! They want to run our country, but never fear. I, Hamid Karzai will chase the rascals out and recover our national sovereignty!"
The American response will be (predictably):
Oh-kay, Dude. If that's what it takes for you to appear as a successful symbol of your country's independence, we'll just melt back to the west. Good luck, God Bless, and don't let them Taliban
Frankly, if this IS the American response .. I can't blame them. It seems only reasonable to me.
On the other hand, if Hamid Karzai is not quite as strong as he seems (or his successor is weak), then his country will be (once again) taken over by a sect of religious extremists, and America has to start all over again from the very first approach to get back to where they were "today".
I can only state that I am VERY happy that I am past the age when I am likely to be called up for Active Duty.
Been there, done that, got the shirt. And the mug. And I'm convinced that if the Afghani's don't want us messing with them, there's absolutely nothing we can do to change their minds,
We still, however, question the wisdom of the Afghani Leader to reject support from his friends.