IT'S ABOUT TIME – AT 9:48 P.M. ET: Afghan President Hamid Karzai presides over a corrupt regime in a mess of a country.
(CNSNews.com) – The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan warned Sunday that the American people are growing weary of being viewed as “occupiers” by the leaders of a country where so much American blood has been spilled.
Karl Eikenberry’s candid and impassioned remarks came a day after President Hamid Karzai in a televised speech accused U.S.-led foreign troops of being in the country “for their own national interests.”
On Sunday, Karzai met with Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi – on the first ever official visit by Iran’s top defense official – and the two discussed problems arising from “the presence of foreign forces” in Afghanistan, according to reports in Iranian state media. Last week Karzai held talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of a Eurasian summit in Kazakhstan, and similar sentiments were expressed.
Without mentioning Karzai by name, Eikenberry took aim Sunday at the increasingly harsh anti-coalition rhetoric emanating from the president, calling it “hurtful and inappropriate.” The ambassador, who will leave his post over the summer, made the remarks at the end of a speech on the future of U.S.-Afghan relations, delivered to several hundred students at Herat University.
“When Americans, who are serving in your country at great cost in terms of lives and treasure, when they hear themselves compared with occupiers, told that they’re only here to advance their own interest, and likened to the brutal enemies of the Afghan people, my people in turn are filled with confusion and they grow weary of our effort here,” Eikenberry said.
COMMENT: It's about time an American official took on Karzai, an absolute ingrate and egotist. Early in the war on terror he was a darling of the college commencement-address circuit in the U.S. He basked in the glow. Now he meets with reps of the Iranian thug regime, which murders its own people in the streets, and lectures us.
President Obama will announce this week preliminary plans for troop withdrawals from Afghanistan. Our effort there still requires important levels of forces, but no one can expect the American people to be very enthusiastic if the president of the nation we're helping behaves the way Karzai has.
June 20, 2011