It’s a fair question. Has Karzai gone crackers?
Sample: “There was fraud in the presidential and provincial council elections - there is no doubt that there was very massive fraud, very massive, but not by Afghans. Foreigners carried out the fraud…”
Also from his April Fool’s Day speech carried by National TV: “The foreigners should understand that they are wrong with their arbitrary actions, by their standing against Afghanistan laws and by provoking disunity among the people of Afghanistan…”
And this reported claim to Afghan MP’s: “If I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban.”
(Extended excerpts of the Western-sponsored Afghan president’s televised tirade follow this article.)
For the past week, commentators around the world have weighed in on Karzai’s rants. They’re quick to point out that he doesn’t sound much like a man who owes his grip on power to the 120,000 foreign troops who are risking their lives in Afghanistan defending his regime from the Taleban and al Qaeda.
Then again, who are those foreign patrons to complain? Western politicians made Hamid Karzai.
Had George W. Bush not plucked him from well-earned obscurity, Karzai would still be a staffer in an NGO somewhere. And brothers Mahmoud, Qayoom and Ahmed Wali would still be slinging kababs in D.C. and the Bay Area, rather than looting the international aid effort.
Have the U.S. and its allies provided firm guidance to their client in Kabul? Not according to the evidence we’ve published in these web pages over the past three years.
When it counted most, the governments propping up Karzai’s clique with guns and tax dollars, and a steadily mounting toll in human life, chose not to take action over corruption and incompetence. Instead, they’ve spared no effort to cover up Karzai & Co.
One glaring example: Canada’s Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Thursday he was all in a lather over Karzai’s outbursts. “We have men and women who are over there putting their lives on the line to help the population in its struggle against the Taliban,” he told reporters.
“These remarks are not helpful and in the context of the dangerous work our people are doing, they are completely unacceptable to Canada and, I'm sure, the same is true for all of our allies.”
Where was Harper three years ago, when tough talk and tougher action might have stemmed the Afghan government's collapse of legitimacy?
He was dispatching placemen to stifle questions about the regime from Canadian diplomats, and from Skyreporter (see Top Canadian Officials Tipped In Afghan Abuse Cover Up, posted Nov. 19 of last year on page four of Recent Stories).
Where was Harper just months ago, when Karzai, scorning his post election promises to stem official criminality, appointed to the country's top counter-narcotics post the regime's disgraced former policing minister, whose name one British diplomat terms “a by-word for corruption"? (See Breaking News above.)
Harper was silent, Absent Without Leave and derelict in his duty.
Canada’s Harper government and its NATO allies can not have it both ways, taking umbrage over Karzai’s idiotic remarks while doing nothing effective about reforming the regime.
Still the bloodshed continues - especially among the Afghan civilian population. The Afghans have been betrayed by the great world powers who pledged repeatedly, throughout the post-9/11 era, that they would stabilize and help rebuild Afghanistan.
Even as Karzai was making his paranoid pronouncements, the U.N.’s human rights commissioner confirmed that two-thirds of the Afghan people live in poverty, despite $35 billion in non-military aid.
“Abuse of power is a key driver of poverty in Afghanistan,” the U.N. report states. “Vested interests frequently shape the public agenda, whether in relation to the law, policy, or the allocation of resources.”
All this after nine years on the West’s watch. Clearly, Afghanistan’s international friends would do well to restrain their expressions of resentment. Because however galling Karzai’s remarks seem to us, they are nothing less than devastating to honest Afghans.
The Afghan people are painfully aware that their futures are at the mercies of a pretender to the presidency, and his faithless foreign patrons.
Further excerpts from Karzai’s speech of April 1, 2010 as broadcast by state-owned television:
“…the elections were held in very difficult situation, a situation in which almost more than half of the provinces came under attack, election staff came under attack, difficulties and problems were compounded by extreme, deep and destructive foreign interference…
"So you held elections in such a situation, where not only terrorism, but extreme foreign intervention was threatening you. Not only you were facing threats, but also inducements…
"There was fraud in the presidential and provincial council elections - there is no doubt that there was very massive fraud, very massive, but not by Afghans. Foreigners carried out the fraud, Galbraith did it, Morillon did it, and embassies here did it. The votes of the Afghan nation were held hostage by an embassy.
"And the second question is why authority for the ballot boxes of the elections of the people of Afghanistan lay in the hands of a foreign embassy? The United Nations, the United Nations office of the deputy [UN representative] had become centre for fraud.
"Fraud was carried out there, organized there and then made available to CNN and the BBC, the New York Times, The Times of London and all their media, which were at their service to publish the fraud and accuse us of fraud.
"Why they were doing all this is a separate issue; they wanted a puppet government, a mercenary government or wanted to impose some sort of situation in our country, but Almighty Allah was kind and the nation was smart and the commission was patriotic! The commission, its leadership and its staff were patriots!
"Now, still these foreigners refer to me and say: Mr President! We have made a mistake and I may forgive them. The UN experts, who were in Kabul at that time, a woman and a man, his name was Carlos, wrote a formal letter, saying under such a daunting situation the presidential and provincial councils' elections were better in Afghanistan than in most countries in the world…
"Mr. Ludin (the former head of Karzai’s Independent Election Commission) has said that foreign interference was very extensive but we have national interests and we should preserve a balance. Our national interests will be violated [by foreign interference]. This is a reality…
"Our honour and zeal have been harmed and violated. As the president of this land, my honour and prestige are attacked every day. The New York Times and other newspapers know well that the election was just but every day they describe me as a president who won a rigged election.
"This is a means of pressure and they want to press us psychologically. However, we have interests. Our people have interests. We consider these interests more important than what is going with us and we work ! to preserve and strengthen these interests.
"Under such circumstances in our country, where there are 120,000 foreign troops stationed, with power, guns, planes and money, they can also launch conspiracies and they have the skills to do this, it is difficult to be patriotic.
Being patriotic requires sacrifices, it cannot be achieved easily. If one in this country behaves patriotically and stands against the foreigners, he will be accused and defamed.
"They do not want our parliamentary election to be held. They want to harm parliament the way they did to me so that I could be an illegitimate president and it could be an illegal parliament. This way, they want to continue this trend and unfortunately our parliament does not know about this reality and it rejected yesterday the law contrary to the 109th article of the constitution…
"The Western media damaged public opinion to the extent that I myself wondered whether I or members of my campaign had committed fraud.
In countries like Afghanistan, where there are more than 100,000 foreign troops, they [foreigners] also pursue their own interests. Simultaneously, a standing is taken against this [current] system.
"The Taleban and others are fighting here, saying the foreigners here are invaders and the current system is a puppet system. So, under such circumstances, a very thin curtain distinguishes between cooperation and assistance with the invasion.
"The foreigners should understand that they are wrong with their arbitrary actions, by their standing against Afghanistan laws and by provoking disunity among the people of Afghanistan and (the) country's entities.
"In the meantime, Afghanistan's government and system should understand that if we did not protect our independence and national integrity, any time there is a chance of an opposite deal so that the cooperation would be changed into invasion and rebellion and revolution would change into national resistance…"
(As translated from the broadcast of Afghanistan TV, April 1, 2010.)