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News and Views

Letter to the Editor

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is no puppet of the U.S.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When Eugene Robinson suggested in his June 18 op-ed column, "Our must-keep deadline," that Afghan President Hamid Karzai does not know how to behave like a U.S. puppet,
Mr. Robinson clearly showed an ignorance of facts and history.

Mr. Karzai is not a puppet -- he is a U.S. ally and a democratically elected leader with a clear mandate to serve the best interests of Afghanistan, which coincide with the security interests of our international partners.

Moreover, calling Mr. Karzai's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, the elected president of the provincial council, "thuggish" and "corrupt" -- without providing any evidence -- is pure character assassination. As confirmed by U.S. officials, Ahmed Wali Karzai has put his life on the line repeatedly for Americans and Afghans since 2001 and has survived eight assassination attempts by suicide bombers.

Our government is fighting alongside American troops, and our president has effectively mobilized the people of Kandahar to support the upcoming NATO operation there. To show him the truth, I invite Mr. Robinson to visit Kabul or Kandahar and talk to our officials to see if he would make the same statements subsequently. He would not.

Ambassador Said T. Jawad, Washington DC


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