Karzai: Afghanistan would Side With Pakistan in War with US

Admiral Mike Mullen, outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, recently told Congress that the Haqqani Network, a guerrilla group accused of hitting the US embassy in Kabul, is an “arm” of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI). Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) immediately suggested that if the US military wanted to attack Pakistan, it would have support on the Hill.

The astonishing talk of US military action against its Pakistani ally has died down a bit, but it was noticed in the region. On Saturday, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan pledged that if the US did go to war against Pakistan, Afghanistan would take the side of Islamabad.

The film clip can be seen here.

It has long been apparent that Karzai, a putative American ally, has some sort of mental problem. He has been known to rant that he made a mistake in allying with the US against the Taliban, and should have backed the latter. Last year he told astonished visiting US congressmen that if the US pressured him too much, he would join the Taliban directly.

It would sort of be as though Prime Minister David Cameron, an ally of the US, should occasionally threaten to join al-Qaeda.

But then sometimes he praises the US and lambastes Pakistan for supporting Taliban

One of the big problems with the ‘counter-insurgency’ program of Gen. David Petraeus in Afghanistan is that counter-insurgency requires a reliable local partner. But the US only has Hamid Karzai, who stole his last presidential election and who micro-manages Kabul while letting much of the country go to hell, and he has now pledged a defense pact with Pakistan against his US ally.

It makes a person angry about the idea of US troops losing their lives to defend and stand up the Karzai government.

Below is a transcript of the relevant part of the Karzai interview on Geo, the Pakistani satellite channel, courtesy the USG Open Source Center:

‘ President Kazai Says Afghanistan To Stand by Pakistan in Case of Foreign Attack
Words and sentences in double slantlines in English
Geo News TV
Saturday, October 22, 2011 …
Document Type: OSC Translated Text…

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has said that Afghanistan would support Pakistan in case of an attack by India, the United States or any country. Talking to senior anchor person of Geo News, he said no country can give dictation to Afghans against Pakistan.

(Begin recording) (Karzai) God forbade, if any war took place between Pakistan and the United States. We will stand by Pakistan.

(Saleem Safi) Well, you will stand by Pakistan.

(Karzai) Yes, definitely. We are your brothers. The way Pakistan provided us shelter and the way Pakistan gave us homes considering us as brothers. And we remained there as refugees with great respect. In the same manner, God forbade if Pakistan is….

(Safi interrupts) This is a big claim. God forbade, if there is a war between Pakistan and India then?

(Karzai) No, if anyone attacked Pakistan. //If Pakistan is attacked and if the people of Pakistan needed Afghanistan’s help, Afghanistan will be there with you. Afghanistan is a brother. But please brother, stop using all methods that hurt us and are now hurting you. Let us engage from a different platform. The platform in which the two brothers only progress towards a better future in peace and harmony, and Afghanistan will be with you. So Afghanistan is not going to be dictated in any way by any country US or India or Russia or China or whoever. Afghanistan has its own policy, its own (word indistinct), its own clear view on things. And from that point of view, from that stance it is dealing with its brothers in Pakistan.// (end recording) ‘

43 Responses

  1. This could be a smokescreen

    When the US invades Iran, surely a more likely scenario than a US invasion of Pakistan; then Pakistan & Afghanistan won’t hesitate to allow the US to use their sea ports, air ports, roads etc to attack eastern cities of Iran such as Mashad, Bandar Abbas, Chabahar etc.

    Iraq & Turkey will probably baulk at allowing their territory to be used for the invasion of Iran. So the west front would be mounted out of Bahrain, Kuwait across the Gulf, KSA and its allies probably already have “assets” in Khuzestan to the east of Zagros mtns.

    • Don’t be so sure… if Persian Gulf countries do the mistake and let US use its base in those countries to attack Iran then they will give Iran the legal reason to attack all oil/gas facilities of those countries. In fact Iran WMD is to destroy all oil production capabilities in the region in case of an attack , it is not and has never been Nuke. Nukes are completely useless to Iran and Iran does not need them, However, iran has more than enough missile to destroy all oil facilities in the whole middle east and guess what in that event the world economy will collapse completely.

      • I assume US cruise missiles are already targeted to take out Iran missile launch sites – the US are pretty good at that.

        The US is basing anti-missile Aegis destroyers in Spain, the plan is to link them with the radar that’s going into Turkey; but if that’s not available they can get target acquisition data from airborne surveillance flown out of Diego Garcia – not as good as ground based radar but good enough.

        Sure some oil assets will be taken out, but probably not more than 15-25%. If KSA thought Iran really had the capacity to destroy _all_ GCC oil facilities then KSA probably wouldn’t ask US to cut off the head of the snake.

        • Iran has mobilized its missiles for a long time so they could not targeted easily (Iran developed solid-fueled missile like Sejil which are highly mobile) . It has also use all kind of deceptions ( false targets …) to reduce the cost of any attack on its missile systems. Saudis want US do the job for them without any direct involvement. I think by considering the geography, this is the MAD policy played by Iran and it seems that it is working very well. US can not effort even a slight possibility of total destruction of the world economy. In event of a war Iran will be destroyed for sure but there is very good chance that world (economically) destroyed too. It will eventually lead to WWIII because of the resulted disaster.

  2. Well, I think, what he meant to say was a promise with the following implicit conditions set:

    1. Only if Afghanistan is not part of the attacking party
    2. Only when Pakistan has deep brotherly relations with Afghanistan.
    3. Only if it’s Karzai’s govt.
    4. Only if Afghans are asked for help

    compiling these 4 conditions collectively will yield what decision will Afghanistan take should Pakistan is attacked by anyone.

  3. Dear Professor Cole

    Isnt this the kind of signal General Elphinstone ignored in late 1841 and 1842?

    link to en.wikipedia.org

    The Commanding General will have an interesting problem figuring out a withdrawal route, if the passes to Pakistan arent available. The Salang pass and tunnel might offer a route out, if people can cope with the smirking from the Russian Officers.

    link to news.bbc.co.uk

    If MANPADs really have reached the opposition in Afghanistan, flying the US and UK troops out might become interesting.

    The French and Germans interestingly enough have already started heading for the exits. link to reuters.com

    link to nytimes.com

    Somehow, I am not sure I would volunteer for the Rearguard.

  4. I don’t understand your comment about Karzi having “mental problems”. His support for Pakistan, it seems to me, is not a sign of mental problems but rather a logical stand given his experience with US occupation, the region’s history and his location. Also, given his experience with the US occupation, I can understand his statement that he might have been better off supporting/working with the Taliban.

  5. Karzai has a mental problem because he regrets allying himself with the US does he? I won’t argue that he may have a mental problem, but I would hardly cite his regret for his US alliance as proof of it. The US allied itself with Ghadaffi, and with Mubarek, and you see how well that worked out for them. If I was a corrupt despot allied with the US at this point I would be seriously regretting that alliance myself.

    • Yeah but every other day he love the US and hates Pakistan, and goes on a Glenn Beck crying crying jag

      • Well, yes, there is that, and it would be better evidence than merely saying that he is nuts because he says he doesn’t trust the US.

  6. Karzai has been a disaster ever since the Bushies plucked him from the obscurity in exile he richly deserved and parachuted him into Afghanistan to be Washington’s proxy figurehead of the country.

    Not one more American soldier should give his or her life on behalf of this nutjob, nor should any US tax dollars be spent propping up his failed and corrupt regime. And yet we still see the parade of warmongers on the American right who gave us Karzai appearing on television or being quoted in MSM publications gnashing their teeth at the prospect of the US leaving in 2014.

    None of this would have been an issue if Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz and their cadre in power had not started the Iraq fiasco instead of actually dealing with the then-existent threat in Afghanistan.

  7. “It would sort of be as though Prime Minister David Cameron, an ally of the US, should occasionally threaten to join al-Qaeda.”

    Well, no. That is the bloomin point. It’s more like France telling the US it will stand with Germany in case the US attacks Germany, or – if you want to get all dramatic about it – like the UK saying it would stand with Germany under those conditions. Point is, we’re talking about the US attacking an ally, and what its subordinate neighbours might do. Karzai may be losing it, but siding with local powers over an unreliable, remote power is not exactly crazy.

      • One of these days the Americans are apt to be gone, perhaps only through economic collapse, and the Taliban will still be there, age without end. If Karzai would like to stay, it’s very sane for him to want to make a deal with the Taliban. Of course he could instead arrange to leave town – that’s my advice.

      • Karzai’s incompetent and corrupt, but not crazy – just another one of our useful idiots.

        Being incompetent, corrupt and an idiot doesn’t mean he’s not a nationalist who will try to do what he thinks is best for his people. The Afghans & Pakistanis are neighbours forever, and they are blood brothers – the Durand Line border bisects the Pashtun homeland – Karzai is Pashtun.

        Many Americans, eg Ted Kennedy, donated money to Gaddafi to supply weapons and explosives to the IRA – so Cameron & al-Qaeda may not be as far fetched as you imagine.

  8. I don’t want to sound like Crazed with Anger American Guy but listening to that buffoon pop off makes me sound like Crazed with Anger American Guy.

    One would hope that the 2012 debate would focus on when we can finally wind down our presence over there. We got Bin Laden and we’ve decimated his band of bastards. It’s time to say adios Afghanistan. Karzai and his corrupt crew of Diem-like incompetents are just sucking us dry while valuable young American lives are lost each week.

    We’re getting out of Iraq. Make room on the transports to pick up the rest of our troops in Afghanistan. And if Karzai, left to the tender mercies of the Taliban, winds up like Najibullah, swinging from a tree, well, that’s his problem.

    • I think Najibullah is a good analogy. He couldn’t rule outside of Kabul, he was only supported by a tiny secular faction there, and he was too beholden to an unpopular superpower and its alien ideology. Pakistan’s role, oddly enough, hasn’t changed much since then; it still wants its own puppet in Kabul and keeps finding that some annoying superpower has gotten there instead. So time to train up some terrorists and bleed the country until it all goes to a negotiating table.

      Let Russia have this mess back and see if Putin can break the pattern.

      • According to this report it looks like its going to be up to China to “sort out” Afghanistan.

        Very interesting perspective from Loretta Napoleoni – author of Terrorism and the Economy: How the War on Terror is Bankrupting the World, and Terror Incorporated: Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks.

        Terrorism financing, drugs and China – link to abc.net.au

        Audio link link to mpegmedia.abc.net.au

        First part of interview is about links between AQ in Mahgreb with Central American Drug cartels, second half is about Taliban/AQ & Heroin.

        Taliban are now targeting China with their heroin, note heroin; they have opium refineries. Napoleoni suggests China will do whatever it takes to destroy Taliban, presumably when US/NATO withdraws. I would guess with assist from other Shanghai Cooperation Organisation members + Pakistan & Iran.

        Napoleoni also suggest the Chinese wont worry about being PC or HR issues. And they’ll leave Afghanistan to who ever wants it – as long as its not a narco state.

  9. Let’s see — reports say Gaddafi has stashed $200 billion in stolen wealth, here, there and everywhere outside his “country.” link to aljazeerah.info

    Any estimate on how much Karzai has squirreled away? link to guardian.co.uk

    Do we forget the Iraqi “defense minister” who flew off in a private jet bought with stolen US “war funds,” “retiring,” apparently without consequence of any sort, to some undisclosed location? link to iraq-businessnews.com

    How about them big brave Nazi “leaders” who, toward the end of that “war” thing, took off for Central and South America with Europe’s art treasures, bank vault contents and the gold from the teeth of millions of burned and buried carcasses?

    And of course in more recent times, you have Yasser Arafat “doing business” with some Israelis, sweeping in huge sums from various Western governments, and stowing it all in banks in countries where concealing stolen wealth and blood money is a principal business model. For anyone wanting a long read that so very nicely lays out the likely model that Karzai is following, you might glance at the Atlantic’s long article, “In A Ruined Country,” that paints, exhaustively, the picture of how “leaders” go about raping the “countries” they prey upon. link to theatlantic.com.

    Re Pakistan, the diagnosis is the same: “Institutions are weak whereas individuals are powerful.” The speaker, the Punjab Chief Minister, calls it “the dengue [fever] of corruption.” link to nation.com.pk

    And one would have to be pretty blind not to recognize the huge disconnect between the shallow “Game of RISK!” level of understanding and analysis of “relations between nations” and the nature of various justifications for that idiot enterprise called “war,” and the reality of huge grabs of wealth for personal aggrandizement and pleasure.

    There’s a class of humans that is connected and wired to pull this endless scam on the rest of us. I have no idea if they communicate with one another, a la “interlocking directorates” that were one path to past kleptocratic successes like the Great Depression, but the parallels are obvious.

    This cancerous and parasitic set seems to be an endemic infestation. A blessing on anyone (or anyones) who can figure out a way to significantly limit the quantum of debilitation caused by Baksheesh and its cousins and bastard children to a level that does not threaten the survival of the species…

    • I would think Karzai’s dead brother in law the drug gangster would have the real money, because Afghanistan’s opium is worth more than the foreign aid Karzai steals. Hope bro left Hamid the Swiss account numbers in his will.

      Hard to believe that there was $200,000,000,000 to be gotten out of Libya, but then Mubarak stole $40 billion and Egypt hardly has any oil. If I’d stolen that much, I would have fled early on to buy an entire government in sub-Saharan Africa, then plot my return from there, but I guess Gadafy had too much of an ego. Good thing the rebels killed several of his sons too, because that money is going to be used for something bad unless it all gets tracked down and seized.

      The only large success against entrenched non-Western corruption has been violent Communist revolutions, and they just reset the clock to start all over again. One could argue that “corruption” is simply the result of attempting to superimpose Western administrative-bureaucratic norms on societies that were quite comfortable with ruling families and nepotism. So under the bourgeoise order the corruption is resented and blamed, but in their hearts people still expect to get bribes and do favors for relatives. The Communist revolution in turn gets caught in an even more hypocritical contradiction. For a counter-example, look at how Japan has continued those feudal norms under bourgeoise structures; corruption has become normalized, ritualized and more or less stays under control. Perhaps this is because above all the corrupt loyaties that Japanese officials and businessmen have, they are loyal to the idea of Japan as a single blood tribe, and it restrains their corruption in ways that are not norms for elites in Russia, China, India, Africa, etc. Sharing your success with your undeserving (as defined by market norms) countrymen is the ultimate nepotism, the one great virtue of America’s robber barons as opposed to the mindlessly acquisitive corporations that replaced them.

      • According to the US DoE Libya earned $44bn from oil in 2010, so that $200b is equivalent of 4.5 years earnings at 2010 prices.

        I don’t know how much of the Gaddafi Fund was seized, I think the US, UK, Switzerland & Austria locked some up – but not sure about the French, Spanish & Italians. The impression I have is that the Gaddafi Fund wasn’t that secret because they did things with it on the open market – properties in London, France etc,and the Russian Aluminium deal that Tony Bliar stitched up for JP Morgan/Chase.

  10. Okay, I know that this is just ignorant. However, it seems to me as if the United States, before withdrawing from Afghanistan, ought to take steps to see that Karzai is replaced with someone more representative and accountable to the Afghans.

    We come in and shoot up their country for a decade plus, then leave them under the heel of a corrupt dictator. Sure, I know it’s our tradition – but I’d also welcome a change.

    • Massoud is dead. There is no one else. Massoud’s legitimacy as a pan-tribal leader came from the wars against the Russians and the Taliban. How would one establish that legitimacy now, when the only native coalitions that can form are at the behest of Karzai’s regime, and the grand strategy of the war is under NATO? Even the existence of democratic political parties seems to break down into ethnic factions.

      • I don’t think the Pashtun would have ever accepted a Tajik as their leader, even Massoud. Nor in the end was he much liked by the Uzbeks (Doston) or the Persians (Ismael Khan).

      • “Massoud is dead.”

        Well, I wasn’t thinking about installing yet another strongman or “eliminating” Karzai. My vague thoughts were more on the order of ensuring fair elections, via education and stringent observations.

        Perhaps I don’t understand why ethnic factions are a barrier to democracy? Making sure that all factions are adequately represented would seem to be a priority, and that representatives are accountable to the people they represent.

        I realize that none of this is a “military capability” – the State Department would be better suited.

  11. !. Karzai is reassuring the Pakistani’s he is first and foremost their ally it is important for him to do, because Pakistan could make his more life difficult if they felt threatened.

    2. Regarding the Taliban Karzai is trying to negotiate with the Taliban, so why wouldn’t he make a comment like that.

    3. America has not exactly done a great job in reconstructing Afghanistan. Example we paid for a truck from an American supplier, who in turn went to the Russians and bought an second hand soviet era truck that never worked and sent to Afghanistan.

    People who express themselves in word one may not like, does not mean they are insane.

    Karzai may not be insane,but being a typical politician.

  12. My guess is that since Iraq is practically a satellite of Iran its leaders would give the same answer to this question.

  13. Mental problem? Let us say the same thing about almost any leader whose country besieged by two fanatics: one being US led invading force the other religious zealot -namely Taliban/Haqani led movement. Some times puppets react to make themselves independent, but the main reason I believe why he is thrown conflicting statement is because he knows the US is leaving.

    • I would dearly love for some actually knowledgeable person to critique “the Taliban” as a reification of What We Believe We Know Or Want To Believe About An Amorphous Bunch of Afghanis.

      There’s all kinds of Really Deep Policy Analysis And Public Pronouncements that’s seemingly developed around the notion that “the Taliban” is a monolithic entity with “religious zealotry” (with the overtones of “Satanic Evil Muslim Extremism”) at its immutable, incorrigible, simplistic core. And the wonderful neosimplistic magical conjunction of “Taliban/Haqani,” that with an instantaneous keyboard /slash, makes a mental mountain out of two tiny molehills that threaten “us,” and “World Peace and Order,” just how, exactly?

      Sure seems to this observer that the narco warlords in Mexico pose a bigger danger to “us” than any of the crap that “our” involvement in Notagainistan has catalyzed, but then I have not a tiny fraction of the perspective of a Juan Cole on this point. Yet it seems pretty clear that those who are scrambling for a “logical” peg on which to hang the profitable dream of staying the course of worldwide, all-continents Networked Battlespace “deployment” of US troops and paras and war toys.

      I hope the energies and maybe the seemingly deep, native wisdom that apparently drive the Occupy group mind will apply a little attention to that other fraud, that deeply economically and socially and politically destructive fraud, the one labeled “military-industrial-political solutions to every problem.” Or at least that the whole monolithic MIC culture, that parasitic excrescence, is nothing but a really sick front for an enormous theft and transfer of wealth from production to destruction by way of the worst possible form of consumption.

      So what, pray tell, is “the Taliban,” again? Please distinguish between what it is convenient to believe, or comforting to those whose relations to their world requires them to have an “enemy” onto which to project their own worst traits and natures by way of distinguishing themselves as “better,” or at least “different,” and the best informed observation of the reality, which obviously requires some distillation but hopefully not to the point of logical fallacy.

  14. Karzai’s words are neither empty rhetoric,nor the ranting of an imnalanced person, notwithstanding the fact that he was picked up from obscurity & installed to fulfil American agenda. Which third world country in the World would accept, say, like 3.3 Million refugees with grace which Pakistan did from Afghanistan, (Iran took in 1 Million). In 2011, there are still 1.7 Million Afghan Nationals in Pakistan. (link to en.wikipedia.org)
    The Afghans were bombed to smithereens, just for one fault of theirs. They did not hand over a guest to the Americans- The Bin Laden. This is Pathan culture & character. A “Mehmaan” is a “Mehmaan” is a “Mehmaan”. Period.
    These Afghan refugees in Pakistan, incidently are now integrated into Pakistan’s civilian life. They live, bring up their families, earn their livelihood, marry, work, and what not.
    So what does one expect Karzai, or for that matter, any Afghan to say?
    Without the perpetual bombings and drone attacks, a large number of US soldiers who return from Iraq suffer from mental illnesses. The Afghan people who have been in a living hell for 30/40 years, created by the Americans, if they are even able to act and speak coherently and normally, is a tribute to their tenacity and hardiness.

  15. Karzai is not mad.As a former Unocal executive, he is as sharp as anyone out there. Rabbani’s assassination might have unhinged him temporarily but he is jut testing his options. He is willing to get cozy with Pakistan now while his earlier statements were quite hostile. That is jut an expedient politician at work.

    Taliban’s alleged public statements categorically deny any chance of talks while ISAF boots are still on the ground. Communication on back channels notwithstanding, I don’t see why a rationale mind would not want to keep a post-invasion insurance when that prerogative seems to lie in the hands of ISI.

  16. Can anyone think of an American politician that would do a better job than Karzai? Any of the Republican candidates strike your fancy? Obama have the kind of backbone it would take? How about the Wall Streeters and the big bank executives? Maybe a four star general – oops, we already tried that a few times.

    Afghanistan is a snake pit we helped to dig and populate. I’m not sure God could do a better job than Karzai. If he’s stashing money,then he’s just betting against the US plans for his country, like Goldman Sachs bet against the mortgage boom it helped build.

  17. Can anyone think of an American politician that would do a better job than Karzai?

    Jesse Jackson

  18. There’s a Sicilian idiom for a person who rises further than his/her capability or who overestimates his/her position in a power struggle: “He took a step longer than his foot.”

    Hamid Karzai has walked a mile longer than his foot.

    I remember as though yesterday the complacent way that the US betrayed the position of Dr. Abdullah, the man cheated out of a runoff election against Karzai. Abdullah is an accomplished, cultivated, above all capable man. Our slovenly acceptance of Karzai as the ‘evil we know’ was bound to cause trouble in the long run. The long run is now.

  19. Someone should inform Senator Graham that it makes no difference (legally, morally) what the military wants. We live in a democracy, and the military’s job is to take orders. If he wants to let the military make policy, then perhaps he should resign from a position obviously beyond his competence.

    On the broader issue of how to clean up the Afghan mess, however, I have this question: Can a positive-sum outcome to the endless mess in the Pakistani-Afghan theater be negotiated?

    The core U.S. goal in Afghanistan is, presumably, to avoid a terrorist attack on the U.S. The second most important U.S. goal should arguably be constraining heroin exports and the third escaping with the shirt on our backs. These goals constitute minimal U.S. interests.

    Putting these three modest and non-threatening goals on the table as U.S. requirements while offering to negotiate everything else, might Washington be able to entice cooperation out of Kabul, New Delhi, Islamabad, Tehran, and the Taliban? That group is probably the smallest set of negotiating partners that will have to be included to achieve a workable compromise, with success being premised above all on convincing them that the U.S. will truly be willing to walk away in return for some measure of local peace and justice–giving up control, military bases, and oil rights.

    This minimal goal set should reassure all the many who fear U.S. imperialism, the irritation of U.S. troops on the ground, heavy-handed U.S. efforts to remake the world in its own image whether the recipients want such help or not, etc. This goal set would open the door to serious consideration of how the conflicting interests of the other parties might be redefined. How that can be accomplished is not clear, and the U.S. role should perhaps focus simply on encouraging them all to get together and define a smooth exit strategy for the U.S. (keeping in mind that al Qua’ida may well focus on preventing the U.S. from escaping).

    Three points seem unavoidable: 1) the frame of mind that all the above-mentioned negotiating partners have legitimate interests that will require consideration, 2) that all will need to be included in the dialogue, and 3) that the U.S., as the outsider, should expect to gain the least (a degree of modesty not common in superpowers). The first step is to set the tone by adopting the perspective that attempts to achieve one-sided (zero-sum) victory must give way to a positive-sum outcome.

    • “The core U.S. goal in Afghanistan is, presumably, to avoid a terrorist attack on the U.S.”

      Sure seems to me like this is kindly meant but wishful thinking, springboarding off the Narrative. Sure looks to me like the “core US goal,” if there is one, is simply to continue to operate and, in the capitalist lexicon, to “grow” the grand enterprise called War, along the lines pioneered by one Lieutenant Milo Minderbinder.

      There are lots of little complex vortices that spin off the violent, profitable “corium,” link to en.wikipedia.org, of that enterprise, of course — gives Great Game players excuses to steal operating funds and engage in practice drills and hone their joystick skills and line up private, unaccountable “assets” out of the cynical and perverse cast-offs and opt-outs who learn their trades at American public expense, pretending to play a game called Spreading Democracy and the Benefits of Western-Style Business and Government Practices, while setting up huge piles of palletized money, conveniently delivered by C-5 or C-7 or C-117 to a loading dock near their operating areas.

      Sure seems to me like the Byzantium that “we” foster and fund Over There, and the Creature From The Black-Ops Warroom that we have disturbed into motion, are as far beyond any simple game theory or interest analysis as that lately Hubble-sighted “most distant radiating body in the universe” is beyond the nearest Walmart…

      But I truly do wish to be wrong about that, and it would be so nice if all the players and their facilitators and components and opponents would line up and play nice.

      By the way — any word from Fukushima, lately? Too bad the Powers That Be are nowhere half as good at covering up a spewing reactor as they are (with our tacit turning away) at covering up the scope of another industrial disaster.

      Oh heck, who cares any more?

    • Please explain how/why the US ‘couldn’t do anything about it.’ We’re footing a great deal of the bill with many people on the ground.

  20. The fact that Afghanistan (and Karzai’s Afghanistan really doesn’t cover more than what? 1-2% of the entire country? by territory or population) can’t really do a thing for itself right now, much less cover Pakistan’s back from the US, NATO or India sort of does imply he’s not really in tune with the real time situation.

    It sounds more like he’s really trying hard to give the impression he’s got more control than everyone involved knows he has. And maybe he believes it. I have no doubts he probably regrets he crawled into the sack with the US but, if he hadn’t he’d be what? More or less nothing. That is probably not something the head of any puppet government likes contemplating in the best of times but, this guy is really between several rocks and hard places. If he manages to survive the next few years he’ll probably make the war lords look like an amateur act.

  21. “It makes a person angry about the idea of US troops losing their lives…”

    I’ve been angry about this, as well as the lives they’ve taken and endangered, for 10 years.
    Not because of Karzai specifically. The whole misadventure is maddening through and through.

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