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Hamid Karzai Admits to Taking Bribes from Iran

Afghanistan's president was accused of accepting bags of cash from Iran and then stupidly tried to justify the bribery.

by
Josh Shahryar

Bio

October 27, 2010 - 12:00 am
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But you know, one thing that I’ve learned in the past nine years is that Karzai is not insane. Sure, he may lack the ability to run a country or to conduct his diplomatic duties. But in Persian, we have a saying: “Even a crazy man knows how to make a personal gain.” And he does. He’s been taking cash from both the U.S. and Iran for years without anyone noticing it.

What’s outrageous is what is to follow. The White House, instead of taking actions to stop the flow of these slush funds, will quietly condemn the act, then, resume business as usual. It’s what they have been doing for years when it comes to Afghanistan and they will continue to do so.

The reason is simple: there is no real working strategy on how to deal with Karzai or the Afghan government in case of gaffes like this. President Karzai and his power-hungry, gaffe-prone, and strategy-deficient team have given the Afghan people nothing but disappointments and the West headaches. This has been the single most important reason why the Taliban have not been rooted out. The alternative to them is a man who doesn’t even know when to shut up.

If the fight against the Taliban is to be won, this needs to change. President Karzai needs to be back in Fremont, California, running his restaurant, and someone sensible and smart needs to be running Afghanistan. But Washington’s too busy staving off a big loss in less than two weeks and then, it’ll be two years of presidential campaigns by Obama to keep his job. Karzai, the man who is supposed to replace the Taliban but needs replacing, will remain in power.

Get ready for another of those big disappointments.

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Josh Shahryar is a National Security Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. A journalist and human rights activist, he covers ongoing conflicts as well as human rights issues for various media organizations.
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