History repeats itself: Afghanistan President Karzai portraying himself as the only candidate willing to stand up to the dictates of U.S.
A little over 24 hours after the polls closed, President Obama stepped out on the White House South Lawn last week to pronounce the Afghanistan presidential elections something of a success.
But now, as reports mount of widespread fraud in the balloting, including allegations that supporters of the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, illegally stuffed ballot boxes in the south and ripped up ballots cast for his opponents, Mr. Obama’s early praise may soon come back to haunt him.
[Obama administration] officials have made no secret of their growing disenchantment with Mr. Karzai, who is viewed by the West as having so compromised himself to try to get elected — including striking deals with accused drug dealers and warlords for political gain — that he will be a hindrance to international efforts to get the country on track after the election.
But Mr. Karzai, in a feat of political shrewdness that has surprised some in the Obama administration, has managed to turn that disenchantment to an advantage, portraying himself at home as the only political candidate willing to stand up to the dictates of the United States, according to Western officials.