April 2nd, 2010
06:23 PM ET

Around the Web: Karzai tries to explain caustic comments

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Friday about remarks he had made blaming election fraud in his country on the international community, according to CNN’s Elise Labott and Jill Dougherty.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Karzai called Clinton after meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry.

Karzai and Clinton talked for 25 minutes, according to State Department officials.

The United States was seeking clarification about comments Karzai made Thursday blaming the international community for widespread fraud in last year's election, which kept him in office.

Two State Department officials - who are not authorized to speak on the record but who had knowledge of the phone call - said the tone was "very constructive" and that the United States found it "useful" for Karzai to reach out to Clinton.

"We are happy with the call," one of the officials said. "We reached a good understanding. We pledged to move on and focus on the work ahead."      

The official added that Karzai "expressed surprise that his comments had caused a stir" in U.S. circles.

Some other news reports and perspectives:

- Steve Coll (The New Yorker): “Kandahar

- Yaroslav Trofimov (Wall Street Journal): “Taliban gag Kandahar's clerics to keep grip on city

- Dion Nassenbaum (McClatchy): “For Marines, Marjah market is battleground for Afghans' trust

- Karen Bruilliard (Washington Post): “Enduring army role in Swat spurs questions about Pakistan's civilian government

- Joe Klein (Time): “Harvesting democracy in Afghanistan

soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. anonymous 1

    Wow, Daniel, you clearly don't even know the status of your government. Isn't President Obama a Democrat and Congress majority Democrat? so how do you figure Karzai is answering to right wing thugs, when there are Democrats (not Republicans) running the majority of our government? Also, will everyone quit referring to this as the next Vietnam. Unlike in Vietnam, we're building and trying to provide a better life for these people without the tyrants known as the Taliban. Sure, Civilian casualties happen and Karzai has a right to speak out against those, but combatting corruption is not the Coalition Force's job, defeating the insurgency is. The local government should take it upon themselves to combat corruption and start thinking in the best interest of its people. One last note, you can't negotiate with evil people. Evil does exist in this world, and the clear fact that people think they can negotiate with with others who have no care for human life is ust absurd. Terrorists have not morals, no values and hide behind religion to justify their atrocious acts.

    April 13, 2010 at 8:20 am | Report abuse |
  2. RK-India

    In the end the Americans, CIA will end up dancing to Pakistan's ISI and Pakistan Army tunes. Surely it appears like another shortsighted efforts with lack of insight and understanding by the Americans who wanting to do good for the world end up messing up everything and then walk away. God help Karzai and the Americans.

    April 5, 2010 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. A. Smith, Oregon

    WOW! Afghanistan's President Karzi today threatened American and NATO forces with Karzi switching sides to JOIN THE TALIBAN!!!

    President Hamid Karzaii speaking today lashed out at his Western backers for the second time in three days, accusing the U.S. of interfering in Afghan affairs and saying the Taliban insurgency would become a legitimate resistance movement if the meddling doesn't stop.

    Mr. Karzai, whose government is propped up by billions of dollars in Western aid and nearly 100,000 American troops fighting a deadly war against the Taliban, made the comments during a private meeting with about 60 or 70 Afghan lawmakers Saturday.
    [KARZAI] Reuters

    At one point, Mr. Karzai suggested that he himself would be compelled to join the other side —that is, the Taliban—if the parliament didn't back his controversial attempt to take control of the country's electoral watchdog from the United Nations, according to three people who attended the meeting, including an ally of the president.

    Mr. Karzai blamed the lawmakers' resistance to his move on a foreign conspiracy, they said.

    This total breakdown appears to be further fall-out from the CIA busting up the UN and Karzai envoys engaged with Taliban commanders for a possible peace treaty.

    This Gen. McCrystal 'Shake and Bake' fast-food diplomacy appears to be a house of cards which is quickly falling apart in Afghanistan. With the CIA installed President threatening to switch sides to the Taliban before his country's Parliament, it's becoming clear that America needs to pull out its troops from Afghanistan and return home ASAP.

    April 4, 2010 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Iraq Paramedic

    May GOD have mercy on Clinton & Kharzi for their political ineptitude & spineless character. May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!

    April 3, 2010 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. A. Smith, Oregon

    When the CIA learned Karzi's envoys along with UN envoys were working out a peace treaty with the Taliban Commanders in Pakistan, the CIA rushed into bust it up. Undoubtedly Afghanistan President Karzi was wondering, 'what the hell', and the UN envoys seemed as shocked as well. Especially given President Obama's desire for a dialog between warring factions and nations, it seems to run entirely contrary to any Executive Order for the CIA to purposefully destroy a ongoing summit with Taliban operatives to begin a peace summit and settlement.

    With Karzi's own brother reportedly on the CIA pay-roll and reportedly one of Afghanistan's major Opium exporters, you'd think the CIA was pleased with their handpicked Afghanistan President.

    However, when a series of CIA midnight raids resulted in a mass slaughter of Afghanistan children and women, President Karzi began repeatedly voicing his unhappiness with his CIA masters. Apparently, the CIA is growing unhappy with Karzi and is likely grooming their handpicked replacement at this time.

    April 3, 2010 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Daniel

    What a surprise! I always thought that Hamid Karzai was no more than a puppet of the right-wing thugs in Washington.I just wish he'd break away and throw all the foreigners out of Afghanistan and just say no to those right-wing thugs.

    April 2, 2010 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carole Clarke

    While I am sure Karzai didn't actually mean what he said and was only speaking to calm his troubled domestic waters, he must be made aware that he can't have it both ways, even if that is the norm for his part of the world. You don't get to call us in to clean out a problem you helped create by your own greed and expect us to take casualties AND lying insults like these. No, no, fence-sitting is not part of our agreement. Our troops are not going into harm's way so his baby brother can be the drug kingpin of Kandahar. He shuts down the corruption or the troops and money dry up and he can explain himself to the Taliban and to the Pakistan gvt, which has also tried fence-sitting re the Taliban and been stung for it. We went down this road once before in Viet Nam and paid heavily for it – thought we'd learned from that experience but it looks like this generation is making the same mistakes mine did. Or as my Army Dad put it – "Crap or get off the pot."

    April 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Report abuse |