The political circles in Washington have been abuzz the past few days over news that President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan has been accepting money from Iran’s government. Well, this just in: he did. And we didn’t learn this from inside sources or powerful NATO officials who never seem to have the courage to give out their names.
Karzai admitted it himself.
The New York Times, which first reported the story, quoted President Karzai saying this week that “once or twice a year Iran gives his office $700,000 to $975,000 for official presidential expenses.” The Associated Press adds:
Karzai told reporters Monday that he had instructed [Umar] Daudzai, a former Afghan ambassador to Iran, to accept the money from Tehran. “It is official and by my order,” Karzai said.
Karzai added that he gets “bags of cash” from Washington as well and that the money is badly needed in the country. But hold on a second. If you’re taking money from the U.S., shouldn’t you not be taking money from Iran because um … Iran is the U.S.’s sworn enemy? Apparently, Karzai doesn’t have the smarts to figure that one out.
At least the Iranian embassy in Kabul had people with enough brains to quickly refute the president’s claims, but it’s a little too late. The question now isn’t whether he is accepting bribes from the Iranian government in return for favors. The question is, why is America putting up with this man?
I understand their reluctance to pull out their support from under his feet when he’s bribing everyone to keep himself in power. I also understand it when they put up with his tantrums as his personal antics nearly jeopardize the entire U.S. mission and the international fight against terrorism. But the folks in the White House must be kidding.
I was outraged enough when I heard the allegations of Karzai accepting money from Iran. I would have been further outraged if Iran had confirmed those allegations. But I’m unable to express myself about a man who doesn’t understand that accepting these charges of bribery and then attempting to legitimize them is absolutely inane.