Karzai to White House: 'Give them my anger'

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai focused his “extreme anger” on the U.S. government in an interview with The Washington Post published late Sunday. 

“To the American people, give them my best wishes and my gratitude,” he said. “To the U.S. government, give them my anger, my extreme anger.”

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In the interview, Karzai said it would be good for the United States to negotiate and sign a bilateral security agreement (BSA) with the country after he leaves office. Karzai said he would not manipulate the presidential elections there, which are scheduled for April.

“It’s good for them to sign it with my successor,” Karzai said.

The agreement would allow a small number of U.S. forces to remain in the country after the withdrawal of troops later this year. But after a number of failed attempts to get an agreement, President Obama told Karzai in a phone call last month the United States would begin planning for full troop withdrawal. 

“We will leave open the possibility of concluding a BSA with Afghanistan later this year,” the White House said last month. “However, the longer we go without a BSA, the more challenging it will be to plan and execute any U.S. mission.” 

Karzai expressed anger over the decade-old conflict in which “Afghans died in a war that’s not ours.” He said that his vocal criticism of the United States was one of the few resources he had in getting the country to respond to concerns, including the high number of casualties and what he calls an insufficient focus on Pakistan.   

Karzai said the war is still too raw to determine if it was worth it. He said he goes back and forth between approval and disapproval for it. 

“Maybe I can give you an answer of yes or no two, three or five years from now, when my emotions have subsided. Right now, I’m full of emotions,” he said. 

Calling al Qaeda “more a myth than a reality,” the Afghan president said the war was based largely on “U.S. security and for the Western interest.”