Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mr Karzai comes to Washington ...

and the administration lays it on thick.

...the Americans are pulling out all the stops for Mr. Karzai as part of a new charm offensive. Mrs. Clinton, one of the few people in the administration with a good rapport with him, has invited him for a stroll through the grounds of a private enclave in Georgetown. Richard C. Holbrooke, the special representative to the region, was dispatched to Andrews Air Force Base at 7 a.m. on Monday to personally greet Mr. Karzai. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be Mr. Karzai's host for a private dinner at the vice president's mansion.

The new warmth is oozing all the way to the Oval Office. President Obama, in an unusual show of hospitality and presidential attention toward a visiting foreign delegation, will be host to Mr. Karzai and others in his government for almost a full day at the White House, including a lunch on Wednesday followed by a rare joint news conference.

New York Times, May 11, 2010

This guy would never have been in power if the U.S. hadn't backed him. (Doubt that? Check out Ahmed Rashid's Descent into Chaos which opens with the author and Karzai sitting around in Pakistan, wondering if 9/11 will get Karzai killed.)

But the Afghanistan war has become such a complete exercise in futility that the administration blows hot and cold with its own guy: sat by while he lost whatever idealism ever motivated his return to his country, observed him steal his recent election in plain view of international monitors, allowed his brother to become a thuggish drug lord (while on the CIA payroll), listened to Karzai threaten to join the Taliban because the U.S. keeps killing Afghan civilians -- and then has to suck up to its own creature because, as the Times describes an expert explaining, "we don’t have an alternative."

Obama's Afghan imperial adventure is out of control ... and skidding down the slippery slope toward absurdity. What was it we are we paying all that money and sending people to die for, Mr. President? I thought you famously didn't go for "dumb wars."

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