Karzai Refuses To Sign Defense Pact With U.S. As He Tries To Establish Alliance With The Taliban

225px-hamid_karzai_2004-06-14Our erstwhile ally Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai is back reminding American citizens of the waste of thousands of dead and wounded U.S. soldiers and hundreds of billions of dollars. Karzai has refused to sign an agreement to keep a significant number of troops in the country for training and counter-insurgency operations — an agreement guaranteeing more U.S. losses in lives and treasure that the Obama Administration wants signed. Karzai however has been negotiating with the Taliban to force the U.S. out and return them to power in a sharing arrangement with this government. In the meantime, he is repeating his condemnations of the United States as a “colonial” power and alleged that insurgent attacks were actually staged by U.S. forces. I understand that the “enemy of our enemy is our friend” but what about the friend of our enemy?

We have been discussing the continuing gushing costs of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while we cut basic programs and services. I was happy to even see a member ask about the costs. Most politicians have refused to risk the political costs of being blamed for a withdrawal or a perceived defeat. As a result, our personnel were left in harm’s way, even as the country’s president called us “demons”, our allies denied basic rights to woman and religious minorities, and polls showed intense anti-American sentiments. Hundreds of billions were spent to provide political cover for leaders who needed to show that they were tough on terror. Of course, while calling the U.S. demons and liars, Karzai continued to demand billions in aid and bags full of cash delivered to his personal office.

While publicly suggesting that he has fought to end the war, the Obama Administration has been struggling to keep troops in the country with the promise of the continuation of huge amounts of aid in one of the most corrupt governments on Earth. Ironically, with their fortunes improving on the field, the Taliban do not appear that enthusiastic about teaming up with Karzai and he may be forced to sign the agreement. The Obama Administration will then have another foreign policy victory: an agreement with a man who declared us to be the enemy and tried to reach an alliance with the Taliban who has killed U.S. soldiers so that we can spend billions more to prop up his corrupt government.

In the meantime, U.S. citizens are being told of the need to cut environmental, scientific, and educations programs for lack of millions while we are fighting to given Karzai and his government billions more in support, military operations, and government contracts.

It reminds me of that great line in Three Days of the Condor when an intelligence officer (Higgins) speaks to the head of the agency about his storied career as they plot the death of an innocent former employee played by Robert Redford:

Mr. Wabash: I go even further back than that. Ten years after The Great War, as we used to call it. Before we knew enough to number them.
Higgins: You miss that kind of action, sir?
Mr. Wabash: No, I miss that kind of clarity.

Perhaps the thing I miss the most is not the loss of principle (which was abandoned by the Obama Administration years ago) but the clarity as to who exactly is the bad guy in this war.

Source: NY Times

47 thoughts on “Karzai Refuses To Sign Defense Pact With U.S. As He Tries To Establish Alliance With The Taliban”

  1. During the Vietnam War the media would show caskets being unloaded from planes back from Nam. Now this is Blacklisted by the all pervasive government. Snowden had an interview on German television last week and it was Blacklisted by our government. Pete Seeger died and news of this was Blacklisted from the media by our government. We have potholes in our roads that can not be fixed but we spend trillions for defense in Aghanistan and Billions in Tribute. We are defending our Freedom? What Freedom?

    We need to march on Washington to demand that the government shut down the war or we will shut down the government. We can enlist Christy in this because he is good at shutting down bridges. Don’t expect the youth to engage in this protest thing, they are too busy worrying about Justin Bieber. Don’t trust anyone under 30!

    Country Joe and the Fish are coming to a theatre near you.

    For its , one, two , three, What are we fightin for?
    Don’t ask me I don’t give a damn!
    Next stop is Viet Nam!
    And its five, six, seven, Open Up The Pearly Gates!
    Aint no time to wonder why…
    WHOOPEE we’re all gonna die.

  2. There are some very good comments about this caped crusader. I have made the quip before here that Obama should pull out now like his father should have. Karzai is the devil. A friend of the devil is a friend of mine. Or so said the Grateful Dead. I don’t agree. Here are the lyrics from the Grateful Dead.

    “Friend Of The Devil”

    I lit out from Reno, I was trailed by twenty hounds
    Didn’t get to sleep last night ’till the morning came around.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time
    A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

    Ran into the devil, babe, he loaned me twenty bills
    I spent the night in Utah in a cave up in the hills.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time, a friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

    I ran down to the levee but the devil caught me there
    He took my twenty dollar bill and vanished in the air.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time
    A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

    Got two reasons why I cry away each lonely night,
    The first one’s named Sweet Anne Marie, and she’s my hearts delight.
    The second one is prison, babe, the sheriff’s on my trail,
    And if he catches up with me, I’ll spend my life in jail.

    Got a wife in Chino, babe, and one in Cherokee
    The first one says she’s got my child, but it don’t look like me.

    Set out runnin’ but I take my time,
    A friend of the devil is a friend of mine,
    If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

  3. The 50th Anniversary Edition of William Appleman Williams, “The Tragedy of American Diplomacy” seems to be in print and readily purchasable.

    What is it about the “nature” of “human nature” that appears, to me–if to no one else, to lead supposed sociocultural leaders into playing transactional variations of the childish game of “king of the mountain” in apparent pursuit of unstinted efforts of holding their purported subjects as forms of chattel?

    The late psychoanalyst, Dr. Martin Cooperman, wrote that, at least in psychotherapy (and everywhere to me) reciprocal retaliation is a defeating process.

    Except that it seems to me to be self-annihilating, I inescapably find that escalating reciprocal retaliation drives its true believers ineluctably into annihilating processes.

    “Where have all the flowers gone?” (Here mentioned in memory of Pete Seeger and everyone else who has died while trying to live.)

  4. Prairie Rose

    Regarding the heroin, do you think our desire to stay in Afghanistan is anything like the cocaine mixed up with the Iran/Contra affair?

    The surveillance state has at times allegedly resorted to drug smuggling to supplement their classified “budget.”

    Wikipedia: “Allegations of CIA Drug Trafficking

  5. Prairie Rose

    Regarding the heroin, do you think our desire to stay in Afghanistan is anything like the cocaine mixed up with the Iran/Contra affair?

    The surveillance state has at times allegedly resorted to drug smuggling to supplement their classified “budget.”

    Wikipedia: “Allegations of CIA Drug Trafficking

  6. What are you appologising for Smiling Atheist? Your first post shown apologises for a post not posted or never extant.

  7. It’s strange is it not.
    Hundreds of thousands of civillians in the ME are killed and injured. Weddings, funerals, village councils, schools get zapped. The people who arrive to help the injured get zapped. Homes of innocent families are raided. Innocent people are tortured and murdered or imprisoned indefinitely.
    This is just Collateral Damage – so it’s not really a big deal.

    The 3000-odd killed in 9/11 were not the targets. The twin symbols of US power were the target. The dead were just collateral damage.

    And yet 9/11 was the excuse for all sorts of infamy – as well as the junking of the Constitution.
    If the ME reacted to collateral damage in proportion to the US reaction to collateral damage, things would get really messy for the US.

    It’s just as well that the people of the ME don’t hate the US for the damage done and being done to them.
    They seem to be admirably restrained.

    If they hate the US, it’s only because “They Hate Our Freedoms” (TM)

  8. issac

    The bottom line from the beginning was to root out and destroy those who attacked the US on 9/11.

    Don’t confuse Afgan caves with Saudi Arabian palaces.

  9. With people like Karzai, you can see why Rand Paul is being taken seriously as GOP nominee.

  10. Karzai’s bank accounts are now so bulging, he is running out of space to put our money. Time to make peace with the Taliban. Even a temporary one. Then, scoot to Switzerland.

  11. Not excusing Karzai, but the U.S. government is really bad at foreign policy since at least the Korean War.

    It may not affect the outcome in this situation, but we bully, arm-twist, coerce and even remove leaders of “sovereign” nations we don’t like. We continue to use failed “economic sanctions” that even when they rarely work, aren’t worth the cost. We embargoed Cuba for 50 years and never harmed the real tyrants like Castro but did great harm to innocent Cubans and U.S. Taxpayers.

    Maybe we should treat sovereign nations like “sovereign” nations – equals not subjects! If we torture or kill the wrong people – apologize! Superpowers should be leading by example!

  12. “stop the spigot of money to Mr. K.”
    Without resorting to hyperbole, I would say stop the dam burst of money to Mr. K.

  13. Perhaps Isaac will change his tune when his family is blown up by “mistake” when the Mexican government blows up his neighbors house because they “thought” they were drug dealers.

    I know, it’s totally different. The United States is right and the rest of the world is wrong. Sheeesh!

  14. Well said, Mike Appleton. The problem with which we are faced is that there are too many people in power with the same attitude that Issac articulates. How like the United States! We are now over in Afghanistan fighting the very people to whom we gave weapons and training in the hopes of keeping the Soviet Union out. Now that Karzai no longer wishes to dance to our tune, we attack him. We have done the same thing with each of our puppets; Noriaiga, Saddam, Bautista, Qaddafi, the list goes on and on. That each of the dictators mentioned was a horrible person doesn’t negate the fact that it was the U.S. that supported them.

  15. issac:

    Why is this so difficult to understand? Drone bases, armed bases from which to launch attacks where ever and when ever the enemy is located should not have to have anything to do with the people of Afghanistan.


    The Taliban menbers who pose an actual threat to US soil and interests wear special high-viz-material turbans that make them unmistakable from the air.
    This as distinct from male tribemen of military age who might be carring sticks or guns (unremarkable in tribal areas) or just hanging around in groups.
    Drone operators always wait until the guy(s) in high-viz turbans are well separated from the non-high-viz people before firing the missiles.

    It NEVER happens that innocent poeple get killed or injured.
    it NEVER happens that drones will fire on first responders to a drone strike on the basis that some of the first responders might be the enemy as opposed to neighbors digging the victims out. Drone opertors don’t even do this if they see one or more high-viz turbans in the crowd.
    It NEVER happens that drones will fire at anything other than isolated high-viz turbans.

    If it did happen, we’d see it on the TV news. The ME is smothered in TV journalists who can get to isolated tribal valleys in minutes flat.

    No innocent people are ever killed or even inconvenienced. It just never happens.

    These bases could be self-sufficient, totally protected, and in areas where they do not impact the population.
    They could be built in places so desolate and barren that nobody wants to live anywhere near there.
    They could grow their own food and make water from ….eh… stuff. Solar power baby! It’s often sunny in those places.
    If they ever needed to move people or supplies in and out, they could have special stealth long-range helicopters that can fly really, really high out of missile range and drop down from a great altitude and take off to a great altitude really really fast to avoid missiles. Their whooshes would be way faster than enemy whooshes. The people in them would just have to wear g-suits and kidney belts is all.

    There is an issue that drones can only be used in areas where the US has unrestricted command of the airspace. They are sitting ducks if a fighter went after them. They are also wide open to air-defence missile systems such as would be available to a state but not to a few tribesmen.
    The same apples even to really really fast stealth helicopters.

    This would be a problem if the base were in Country.X and the goverment of Country.X had objections. Country.X would have to be attacked. All of it’s air force and missile systems would have to be destroyed.

    It all kinda works against the (fantasy) concept of just having secure bases that never bother anyone but a few guys in high-viz turbans.

  16. Karzai is on his way out, he cannot stand for reelection again. He wants the US to negotiate with his successor, as should the US. Since the Taliban is there to stay, they must be part of a ruling coalition, whether we like it or not. Some things cannot be “fixed”, even by the world’s remaining superpower™.

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