Karzai Calls Out to ‘Taliban Brothers’ in Victory Speech

Karzai Calls Out to ‘Taliban Brothers’ in Victory Speech | Urges Taliban to help him forge ‘strategic relationship’ with US

Following the rather messy business of consolidating power after a particularly scandalous August election and a suddenly cancelled runoff vote, Afghan President Hamid Karzai appears set to move on to the very serious business of attempting to reconcile with the Taliban.

In his acceptance speech Karzai promised a more inclusive government and called on his “Taliban brothers” to come home and embrace his new government. Karzai has frequently talked about reconciling with members of the Taliban.

Karzai said the primary goal of his government was “national unity” and said that with the help of the Taliban and others they could strengthen their “strategic relationship,” particularly with America.

Officials have expressed hope that the Afghan government could eventually peel off some of the less ideological Taliban members, given sufficient effort and sufficient US cash. So far, however, this effort has been futile and Karzai’s dubious victory is likely to only add questions about the government’s legitimacy. Taliban leadership has ruled out any reconciliation until international forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • BBFmail

    Karzai another CIA tool. From Sam Smith's http://www.ProRev.com:

    KARZAI: THE STORY THE MEDIA DOESN'T TELL YOU

    Wayne Madsen, 2002

    According to Afghan, Iranian, and Turkish government sources, Hamid Karzai, the interim Prime Minister of Afghanistan, was a top adviser to the El Segundo, California-based UNOCAL Corporation which was negotiating with the Taliban to construct a Central Asia Gas (CentGas) pipeline from Turkmenistan through western Afghanistan to Pakistan. Karzai, the leader of the southern Afghan Pashtun Durrani tribe, was a member of the mujaheddin that fought the Soviets during the 1980s. He was a top contact for the CIA and maintained close relations with CIA Director William Casey, Vice President George Bush, and their Pakistani Inter Service Intelligence Service interlocutors.

    Later, Karzai and a number of his brothers moved to the United States under the auspices of the CIA. Karzai continued to serve the agency's interests, as well as those of the Bush Family and their oil friends in negotiating the CentGas deal, according to Middle East and South Asian sources. When one peers beyond all of the rhetoric of the White House and Pentagon concerning the Taliban, a clear pattern emerges showing that construction of the trans-Afghan pipeline was a top priority of the Bush administration from the outset. Although UNOCAL claims it abandoned the pipeline project in December 1998, the series of meetings held between U.S., Pakistani, and Taliban officials after 1998, indicates the project was never off the table.

    During the late 1990s, Karzai worked with an Afghani-American, Zalmay Khalilzad, on the CentGas project. Khalilzad is President Bush's Special National Security Assistant and recently named presidential Special Envoy for Afghanistan. Interestingly, in the White House press release naming Khalilzad special envoy, no mention was made of his past work for UNOCAL. Khalilzad has worked on Afghan issues under National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, a former member of the board of Chevron, itself no innocent bystander in the future CentGas deal . . . Khalilzad's efforts complemented those of the Enron Corporation, a major political contributor to the Bush campaign. Enron, which recently filed for bankruptcy in the single biggest corporate collapse in the nation's history, conducted the feasibility study for the CentGas deal . . . A chief benefactor in the CentGas deal would have been Halliburton, the huge oil pipeline construction firm that also had its eye on the Central Asian oil reserves. At the time, Halliburton was headed by Dick Cheney. After Cheney's selection as Bush's Vice Presidential candidate, Halliburton also pumped a huge amount of cash into the Bush-Cheney campaign coffers. And like oil cash cow Enron, there were Wall Street rumors in late December that Halliburton, which suffered a forty per cent drop in share value, might follow Enron into bankruptcy court.

    Bill Gertz, Geostrategy, 2001 – U.S. officials said Afghanistan's new interim leader, Hamid Karzai, has a long history of contacts with both the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence service, known as ISI. The connections are said to be the reason Karzai was the candidate most acceptable to the United States and Pakistan. Karzai will head the new government over the next six months. Karzai and several brothers own a chain of restauraunts in Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Baltimore. They have residences in Quetta, Islamabad and Peshawar . . . Karzai met the late CIA Director Bill Casey when Casey made one of his numerous trips to Pakistan during the U.S. covert operation to back mujahideen rebels against the Soviet Union during the 1980s. His ties to ISI are based on connections to former ISI Director Akhtar Abdur Rahman Khan and date to the early 1980s. Karzai, a moderate Msulim, and his father, Abdul Ahad Karzai, were befriended by ISI in the early 1980s.

    Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun, 2001 – – Last week's much-ballyhooed Afghan "unity" conference in Germany produced precisely what this column predicted: a sham "coalition" government run by the Northern Alliance. One of the CIA's Pashtun "assets," Hamid Karzai, who represents no one but himself, was named prime minister. There was no other real Pashtun representation, though they comprise half the population . . .

    • Shaun

      The Taliban will never take orders from this guy. Or even "share power" with him.

  • BBFmail
    • That's a funny joke but while it was slobbing McCrystal's knob it left out some little details, like his heroic whitewashing of Pat Tilman's death and his Patriotic Death Squads. Finding a way to add those funny facts would have made that joke funnier.

    • i never really thought of assassination as a "leader ship skill"