Friday, January 25, 2008

Karzai: You can call me U.S. puppet

Every once in a while, politicians let the truth slip out.

DAVOS, Switzerland (CNN)
-- Unless more is done to tackle growing extremism in countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan could once again fall into terrorist hands with dire consequence for the region and the world, the country's president warned Friday.

Hamid Karzai addresses the opening session of the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

Hamid Karzai said "misguided policy objectives" of unnamed countries or organizations were continuing to fuel violence in Afghanistan, although he was confident al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was no longer within its borders.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with CNN on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Karzai also reluctantly accepted his image as "a puppet of America" but he shied away from accepting reported U.S. doubts that NATO troops lacked the training to combat the Taliban.


On his perceived image as an impotent leader in thrall to the U.S. administration, Karzai, said he was willing to shoulder insults in return for U.S. assistance.

"Me a puppet? My God.

"Anyway, Americans have helped Afghanistan tremendously. The American people have a feeling for Afghanistan a very, very great feeling.

"The U.S administration has helped Afghanistan and if we are called puppets, or if I am called a puppet because we are grateful to America, then let that be my nickname.

"The truth is that without the United States in Afghanistan, Afghanistan would be a very poor, miserable country, occupied by neighbors and al Qaeda and terrorists."

Does anybody actually think that Karzai runs that country? Given how "the U.S. administration" largely abandoned Afghanistan in favor of its capers in Iraq, I would think the tone Karzai would take would be a little less gushing. Besides that, the rest of the article is largely a bunch of observations which anybody who reads Al Jazeera could see.

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