It must be great to be popular. I wouldn’t know. You see I am an American.
As further fodder in the continuing question “why do they hate us?” Afghan President Hamid Karzai said yesterday that Americans and Taliban share the goal of destabilizing the nation of Afghanistan in order to justify an American presence.
It is possible that Karzai is feeling the heat after being humiliated by the United States. After a promise to hand over Bagram Prison to the Afghan government, the US reneged at the last moment making clear to everyone that the President is not really in charge of his own country so long as Americans are there.
Bagram Prison was run by the United States with CIA influence. It is widely believed in Afghanistan that the United States was abusing prisoners there. Karzai, trusting promises from the Obama administration, had announced in his inaugural address that Afghans would be put in charge of the prison. Obviously, he was humiliated publically when the US did not come through.
The Afghan people see news reports from the US predicting chaos after the Americans leave. Recent bombing by the Taliban would seem evidence in that direction. The President looking helpless in front of his own people cannot help public confidence.
“His prestige as president was degraded in the eyes of the public by the Americans’ refusal to hand over responsibility of the prison to the Afghans,” said Atiqullah Amarkhel, a former Afghan Army general and a military analyst. “I think it drives him crazy when he sees it’s not happening.”
Mr. Amarkhel added: “It also shows a deep sense of distrust between two onetime allies. To the public, it means all the power is with foreigners.”