Bush's puppet. Afghanistan leader Karzai says he may consider joining the Taliban. No, really.
– Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened over the weekend to quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform, several members of parliament said Monday.
Karzai made the unusual statement at a closed-door meeting Saturday with selected lawmakers — just days after kicking up a diplomatic controversy with remarks alleging foreigners were behind fraud in last year's disputed elections.
Lawmakers dismissed the latest comment as hyperbole, but it will add to the impression the president — who relies on tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces to fight the insurgency and prop up his government — is growing increasingly erratic and unable to exert authority without attacking his foreign backers.
"He said that 'if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban'," said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar.
"He said rebelling would change to resistance," Marenai said — apparently suggesting that the militant movement would then be redefined as one of resistance against a foreign occupation rather than a rebellion against an elected government.
Marenai said Karzai appeared nervous and repeatedly demanded to know why parliament last week had rejected legal reforms that would have strengthened the president's authority over the country's electoral institutions.
Two other lawmakers said Karzai twice raised the threat to join the insurgency.
The White House is not very happy at his remarks. I mean we're spilling a lot of blood and treasure at the expense of this war and the American public already hates it so what does he think he's accomplishing by saying this?
The lawmakers, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of political repercussions, said Karzai also dismissed concerns over possible damage his comments had caused to relations with the United States. He told them he had already explained himself in a telephone conversation Saturday with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that came after the White House described his comments last week as troubling.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said reports Karzai threatened to abandon the political process and join the Taliban insurgency if he continued to receive pressure from Western backers to reform his government are troubling.
"On behalf of the American people, we're frustrated with the remarks," Gibbs told reporters.
The lawmakers said they felt Karzai was pandering to hard-line or pro-Taliban members of parliament and had no real intention of joining the insurgency.
Peter Galbraith, the former US Ambassador to Afghanistan hinted that Karzai was partaking in Afghanistan's vast drug business.
Former U.N. envoy to Afghanistan Peter Galbraith on MSNBC's Daily Rundown this morning charged that Afghan President Hamid Karzai's "continued tirade raises questions about his mental stability." He then added, "In fact, some of the palace insiders say that he has a certain fondness for some of Afghanistan's most profitable exports." Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of the world's opium from poppy -- used for heroin production.
He certainly is acting erratically. If you know anything about Afghanistan and their immense drug trade then you have to figure that a good portion of the people there are probably stoned out on drugs.
Spencer Ackerman, in tweet, says that Galbraith is not being serious:
Dear Entire Media Landscape: Peter Galbraith is not being serious re Karzai being on drugs. Read this int & calm down http://bit.ly/aziYoW