The on again, off again antics of President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan confuse western leaders but there might be logic in his irrational stance. During the past few weeks, Karzai has blasted US/NATO forces for night operations that result in death for Afghan civilians. ON the other hand he wants western forces to drive out the Taliban. He has demanded an end to private security forces in his country and claimed billions of dollars were wasted by western companies in the reconstruction of his country. Days before an important meeting to discuss the future of operations in Afghanistan he blasted away at his allies. Apparently, he did meet in private with General Petaeus where he agreed to night time operations.
Perhaps, the West does not grasp that Karzai is a master politician. He might even be audtioning for a spot as leader of Afghanistan under a joint Taliban-Karzai government. After all, he poses as the defender of Afghans against the violence of western troops, he insists all problems in his country derive from western private companies, and he cetainly has not endeared himself to western leaders. What better candidate as leader of Afghanistan?
Of course, a cynic might argue that by blasting at corruption of western companies it diverts attention from corruption by his buddies in government. As one NATO official put it: “I don’t have a window into the soul of other men.” I have a hunch we do have a window into the soul fo Hamid Karzai– all for me, whatever the price!