Reporters and columnists often wait until Friday for the White House to do things that it does not want covered extensively in the press. This Friday’s news dump was the firing of Maj. Gen. Peter Fuller for saying what most everyone is saying about our ally, Afghan President Hamid Karzai — he is nuts. Remarkably, Fuller said if much more nicely, expressing concern whether Karzai is “isolated from reality.” My own disappointment is that Fuller did not add that Karzai’s family is little more than a criminal enterprise fostering corruption and drug trafficking.
Fuller was deputy commander of the NATO training mission in Afghanistan and was reacting to the same story that we discussed where Karzai said that he was prepared to fight the United States if Pakistan goes to war with us. Karzai previously announced that he wished that he had supported the Taliban over the United States. Even with billions of dollars disappearing (including huge sums reportedly seized by the Karzai family).
Calling Karzai’s statements “erratic,” Fuller asked “Why don’t you just poke me in the eye with a needle! You’ve got to be kidding me … I’m sorry, we just gave you $11.6 billion and now you’re telling me, ‘I don’t really care’?”
Good question, but it is a question the Obama Administration (like the Bush Administration) does not want asked. They are okay, of course, with sticking Fuller with any size stick or needle. However, President Obama has kept the country in Afghanistan at the cost of billions of dollars and untold lives.
Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), stated the Administration’s position that “These unfortunate comments are neither indicative of our current solid relationship with the government of Afghanistan, its leadership, or our joint commitment to prevail here in Afghanistan. The Afghan people are an honorable people, and comments such as these will not keep us from accomplishing our most critical and shared mission-bringing about a stable, peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan.”
Of course it is “not indicative of our current solid relationship.” That relationship is built on our continuing to funnel billions of dollars to Karzai — including billions stolen by his government — while he denounces us and praises those who would kill our soldiers (who are busy protecting his life).
Fuller clearly had reached his limit over demands by Karzai and his aides: “You can teach a man how to fish, or you can give them a fish,. We’re giving them fish while they’re learning, and they want more fish! [They say,] ‘I like swordfish, how come you’re giving me cod?’ Guess what? Cod’s on the menu today.”
I understand that no president can have military leaders making public comments in opposition to policies and political figures. However, the real problem is that Fuller was right. I have spoken with people who have interviewed Karzai and watched him in Afghanistan. They uniformly view him as unbalanced and delusional. Moreover, the Administration (with the help of allies in Congress) is dampening down stories about the billions lost in Afghanistan and the massive private wealth collected by the Karzai family and top aides.
Karzai has become like our crazy Uncle Hamid, who we are not allowed to mention is a nut case. Of course, this crazy uncle is talking about killing us and stealing much of what comes before him. That does not matter. We are expected only to refer to our “solid relationship” with Uncle Karzai and his government. I don’t blame Obama for firing Fuller. I believe Fuller decided to speak out for many others in the military — at the cost of his own career. Rather, I blame Obama for continuing this war and this relationship to preserve the fallacy that we are winning the hearts and minds of Afghans.
Source: New York Times