The White House Is A Wimp When Dealing With Karzai

Posted: Apr 07, 2010 1:19 PM
President Obama was slated to meet with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai in May, but now, the White House is reconsidering that meeting. That's a good move, given the completely outrageous statements Karzai has made in recent weeks about the U.S. -- you know, the people responsible for his ascent to power. But canceling the meeting doesn't go nearly far enough in sending a message to this corrupt authoritarian.

Here's a short list of what Karzai has said recently:
  • Karzai ridiculously claimed that the U.S. was responsible for election fraud in Afghanistan.
  • Karzai threatened to join forces with the Taliban after the U.S. criticized him for being too lax on corruption
  • Karzai decreed that foreigners were not allowed to intervene in Afghanistan elections, effectively prohibiting the U.S. from certifying free and fair elections in the country.
In today's White House press briefing, spokesman Robert Gibbs couldn't even bring himself to call Karzai an ally. That's a significant rhetoric shift from just a few weeks ago, though, nothing close to what needs to be done.

Obama is undobtedly worried that the U.S has invested too many resources in the country at this point to jump ship. Obama has certainly spent enough time campaigning on the issue to make any meaningful policy shift in the region. Harsh condemnations are simply not possible when a major campaign issue is at stake.

Unfortunately, the bad guys usually win when the best campaign strategy takes precedence over the best foreign policy strategy.