Karzai Slams West, Threatens to Join Insurgency

Karzai Slams West, Threatens to Join Insurgency | Tries to play anti-West card in Kandahar visit

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has often resorted to playing the “anti-West” card in speeches when his popularity seems to be flagging, as an effort to distance himself from the international occupation forces which keep him in power. But after what could charitably be called a “cool” reception in Kandahar, a city his family and tribal affiliates dominate, the attempts are starting to whif of desperation.

Greeted by tribal elders (again, largely allied with his family) chastizing him for failing to do anything about the almost ridiculous levels of corruption and bribery in Kandahar (whose province is dominated by President Karzai’s half-brother, Wali), Hamid delivered a speech to local parliamentarians chastising the US for “interference” in Afghanistan’s politics.

The speech appears to have centered chiefly on attacking the US and its NATO allies, and parliament itself, warning that if they didn’t assent to his takeover of the Electoral Complaints Commission it would give the impression that Afghanistan was Western dominated and grant legitimacy to the Taliban. The MPs present say that Karzai even threatened to join the insurgency at one point.

One Afghan official called Karzai’s comments “shocking,” and US officials, still irked by Karzai’s claims last week that the massive vote fraud in his favor was a Western conspiracy against him, are complaining that the Afghan president is becoming increasing erratic and difficult to work with.

But though there is speculation that this may mean Karzai is on the outs with the Obama Administration, one mustn’t forget that twice already in the 15 months since Obama took office there were reports that he was ready to oust Karzai. Yet when push came to shove in the August elections the Obama Administration shrugged off over a million fraudulent votes cast on Karzai’s behalf and even praised the election as a success, championing Karzai’s legitimacy at a time when many Western nations and perhaps more importantly, a large chunk of the Afghan public, were outraged at the disastrous vote.

Karzai’s public antics may be embarrassing for the Obama Administration, but the latest outburst came less than 24 hours after he made a phone call to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assuring her of his continued support for the US. His public persona seems to be wearing thin domestically, and has long since warn thin internationally, but with the US having just backed his latest five year term it will be exceedingly inconvenient to turn against him now, and a few boisterous speeches are unlikely to be enough of a pretext to do so.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • This latest incident by Karzai should cause Prez "O" to do a reality check for himself and us……..

  • NavyBrat

    "….the Afghan president is becoming increasing erratic and difficult to work with."
    I remember the same thing being said about Vietnamese President Diem in the fall of 1963,
    just before a CIA-backed coup assassinated him in early November …..
    Stay tuned!

  • The Great Obama will have to give this weasel Karzai a little friendly tour, just to show him how concrete overshoes are used in Chicagoland.

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  • augustus818

    Wonderful Andrewp111, while this sad "This how we do in Retardland BOY!!!!" is terribly unoriginal, its makes for good/more grist for my entertainment mill . Keep it coming.

  • Paul H

    What an ungrateful vassal this Karzai.

  • Jim

    Andrewp111, it's always good to know that the good old American ways have not been forgotten. But, for Pete's sake, after your rant, how the hell do you want us to believe in your claims of America the beacon of democracy or American troops the liberators/protectors of the oppressed.

  • E. A. Costa

    "China cannot stay oblivious of the Afghan issue. The chaos caused by the war in Afghanistan is threatening security in China's northwestern region…"

    Sun Zhuangzhi China Daily March 23, 2010.

    The US and NATO are being invited out.

  • Bianca

    Another ditzy article. The number of adjectives piled up to make a point that Karzai is really, really, really a bad guy, only matches the number of words in quotation marks.

    Karzai did not have to perpetrate "massive fraud" (good use of quotes) to win election. His opponent, Abdullah Abdullah had no prayer of winning. The problem that Obama has is, frankly, Mr. Holbrooke. He is the one who had the brilliant schema to force Karzai to strike a politcal compromise and accept Abdullah into his administration. Karazai called the bluff by accepting a runoff.

    As for the corruption. Massive, enourmous, gargantuan, supercalifragilous… Sounds good, except that the money goes though the foreign channels that decide who will get what, not Karzai.

    Much of it goes to the poppy-cultivating druglords to keep them away from insurgency. And once the poppies are cultivated, somebody has to protect thousands of labs that produce heroin, and hundreds of transport vehicles to take it outside the country for an estimated 65 billion annual profit.

  • Henry_Clemens

    "Karzai Slams West, Threatens to Join Insurgency." Go ahead, make my day.

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  • Slamming the west? Karzai must be out of his mind!