After eight years governing the US-backed administration and as US officials lauded August’s election as a success despite over a million fraudulent votes cast on his behalf, one would think that Afghan President Hamid Karzai would be inexorably linked with the international forces in general and America in particular.
But with just two weeks left until a hotly contested runoff vote with Abdullah Abdullah and anti-US protesters taking to the streets of the capital city, the incumbent seems to once again be playing on the “rift” between him and the international forces.
With growing US questions about whether the Afghan government is anything resembling a legitimate partner in the endless war, Karzai issued a video today in which he slammed the US and said the real question was if America was a reliable partner for Afghanistan.
Incredibly enough, Karzai used similar rhetoric during his campaign for the first round, arguing that only he was a powerful enough leader to force changes in unpopular US tactics.
Abdullah gave an interview on CNN today arguing that he would be a more credible partner for America than Karzai, but this might inadvertently hurt his chances if he is seen by voters as cozying up to the US. Moreover the US seems to benefit from having a tense relationship with the Afghan government as it gives them a convenient scapegoat for wartime failures.