Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is expressing concerns about the announcement that the U.S. will begin withdrawing its troops in July of 2011. Mr. Obama didn’t say he was going to pull everybody out in July of 2011, he said he was going to start turning over the responsibility for the security of Afghanistan to the Afghans. In fact, the administration seems to be going to great pains to make the point that they are not going to leave Karazi hanging. Which could happen literally if we cut and run, which may be why he is so worried.
Appearing on the Amanpour program on CNN Karzai said, “We will try our best, but the international community must have also the patience with us and the realization of the realities in Afghanistan. If it takes longer, then they must be with us.”
Where has this guy been? We’ve had our troops in his country (which harbored the al Qaeda, remember them?) since October of 2001. It’s now December of 2009. Somebody run over to Barnes and Noble and get Hamid a calendar. Over much of the time we’ve been there the stated goal has been to help the Afghans manage their own security. Their progress in moving toward that goal has been abysmal while our people have continued to die. The coalition has lost 1535 troops. More than 900 of those fatalities were U.S. military. Then there’s the Afghan election, which much of the world is pretty sure Karzai stole. It appears that nearly a third of the votes were bogus.
There were plans for a second round of voting, but the Taliban was threatening terrorist attacks at the polls. Karzai’s opponent withdrew from the race and the second vote was scrapped. Karzai was simply declared the winner. The U.S. issued a statement saying: “We congratulate President Karzai on his victory in this historic election and look forward to working with him.”
From there it only gets better.
Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali, is allegedly connected to the country’s opium trade and according to the New York Times, is being paid off by the CIA for various services including arranging contacts with the Taliban and helping to run an Afghan paramilitary operation in Kandahar. So the CIA’s money, er, excuse me, U.S. tax dollars, are possibly going from Karzai’s brother to the Taliban and an Afghan paramilitary operation?
“If we are going to conduct a population-centric strategy in Afghanistan, and we are perceived as backing thugs, then we are just undermining ourselves,” said Maj. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, the senior American military intelligence official in Afghanistan.” -NY Times
So what are we left with? Our man in Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, hasn’t been able to get his country’s security together in the 5 years he’s served as president. A UN backed investigation indicates that his supporters rigged the last election. His brother is believed to be a possible player in the opium trade and is branded by a senior military intelligence official as being someone who deals with thugs on our behalf.
The BBC reports; “Some observers are saying Mr Karzai’s legitimacy is also in question, and ask whether his government can be effective.” Gee, think so?
And now Hamid Karzai, perceived by his own people as being corrupt, is on the tube expressing his concerns about our plan to start pulling out our troops in July of 2011.
Mr. Obama, it’s time to get the hell out of Dodge.