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Shove It, Karzai!

Author: Leslie H. Gelb, President Emeritus and Board Senior Fellow
June 20, 2011
Daily Beast


Ambassador Karl Eikenberry spoke for all Americans, hawks and doves, in publicly slamming President Karzai last weekend. Soon to depart Kabul, the ambassador couldn't stand another minute of Karzai's gratuitous attacks on an America that is bleeding itself in lives and dollars for Afghanistan's freedom. So, he had a few undiplomatic words for the Afghan leader he has long despised in private. Eikenberry's unmistakable point was this: If Karzai persists in trashing the United States, he will succeed only in convincing more and more Americans to say “enough,” let's get out of Karzai's hell hole as quickly as possible. Indeed, if Americans were to hear Karzai's ingratitude as often as they were exposed to Anthony Weiner's private parts, U.S. troops would be on their way out of Afghanistan next week.

While the U.S. media focus almost exclusively on the impending announcement of the first U.S. troop withdrawals, here's a taste of the rhetoric in Afghanistan. America's best friend, Hamid Karzai, continues to say thank you to the United States in his special way. Last Saturday, he charged that NATO coalition forces are “here for their own purposes, for their own goals, and they're using our soil for that.” Imagine that. America is fighting in Afghanistan for its own interests. (I wish that we were.) And a few weeks ago he uttered this bon mot: “If [NATO] does not stop airstrikes on Afghan homes, their presence in Afghanistan will be considered that of an occupying force.” He added, “History has shown how Afghans deal with occupiers.”

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