This WSJ editorial (hat tip: expat) points out once again that Obama seems to have a knack for making enemies of former friends, the latest being Hamid Karzai.
No one says Karzai’s an angel. But if Obama can figure out a better partner with whom to work in Afghanistan (and who has any chance of being elected and reforming the country), he has yet to indicate it. The WSJ piece observes that Obama has been critical of Karzai from nearly the day Obama took office, leaking criticism of him in a way that was intended to shame him.
At the time, I was put in mind of JFK and the disastrous end of South Vietnam’s Diem, although that seemed an extreme comparison. And yet some are making it now, reminding the history-challenged Obama that this may not be the best course to take.
The WSJ uses the same comparison:
This treatment of an ally eerily echoes the way the Kennedy Administration treated Ngo Dinh Diem, the President of South Vietnam in the early 1960s. On JFK’s orders, U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge refused to meet with Diem, and when U.S. officials got word of a coup against Diem they let it be known they would not interfere. Diem was executed, and South Vietnam never again had a stable government.
Karzai has reportedly retaliated by saying in a private meeting that, “if the Americans kept it up, he might join the Taliban.” Then yesterday the execrable Robert Gibbs subjected Karzai to what the WSJ aptly referred to as “schoolyard taunts” (somewhat a specialty of both Mr Gibbs and Obama, I’ve observed):
“We certainly would evaluate whatever continued or further remarks President Karzai makes, as to whether it is constructive to have that meeting,” said Mr. Gibbs, in a show of disdain he typically reserves for House Republicans.
Meanwhile, American military men and women fight, serve, and die in Afghanistan. And Obama continues his contemptible course of being kind to enemies and dismissive and even insulting to allies. We can speculate on whatever possible policy objectives he may be chasing by this type of behavior—I happen to think it is part of his destructive leftist agenda for America—but there is now every indication that, on a purely personal level, the man simply gets off on being a bully.
[NOTE: The article also made me think of the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud, killed by suicide bombers two days before 9/11 in preparation for the terrorist attack on the US. They realized that America might retaliate against the Afghan government for harboring Osama bin Laden, and knew that the strong and popular anti-Taliban fighter Massoud would be the obvious choice to head a new government there in the aftermath. So they killed him. Current developments indicate how prescient the terrorists were, since Karzai hasn't the same sort of broad support and respect---although I have little doubt that, had Massoud lived and been the present leader of Afghanistan, Obama would probably have found a way to pick a fight with him as well.]