Is Hamid Karzai a junkie?
“I always keep a spare taste in my hat”
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission
A former U.N envoy to Afghanistan on has questioned the “mental stability” of Hamid Karzai and suggested the Afghan president may be using drugs.
In an interview on MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” Peter Galbraith described Karzai as “off-balance” and “emotional.” Galbraith also called for President Barack Obama to vastly limit Karzai’s power to appoint officials within the war-torn country until he proves himself a reliable partner to the U.S.
“He’s prone to tirades. He can be very emotional, act impulsively. In fact, some of the palace insiders say that he has a certain fondness for some of Afghanistan’s most profitable exports,” said Galbraith, in an apparent reference to opium or heroin.
When asked whether he meant Karzai has a substance abuse problem, Galbraith responded: “There are reports to that effect. But whatever the cause is, the reality is that he is — he can be very emotional…”
Galbraith was fired by the United Nations in September as the U.N.’s No. 2 official in Afghanistan after he openly accused his boss, Kai Eide, of concealing election fraud that benefited the campaign of the incumbent president. Eide angrily denied the accusation.
Karzai raised eyebrows most recently when he reportedly said at a closed meeting with selected Afghan lawmakers Saturday that he might quit the political process and join the Taliban if he continued to come under outside pressure to reform.
Karzai made the statement just days after he suggested foreigners were behind fraud in last year’s disputed elections. He even accused Galbraith, the deputy chief of the U.N. mission to Afghanistan before he was fired by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and Philippe Morrillon, a retired French military officer who headed an EU vote-monitoring mission, of rigging the election.
Maybe we’re just witnessing a few very political individuals coming apart under the stress of war.
Maybe we’re watching the truth within an unstable and corrupt relationship come to the surface. We haven’t been provided much more than grim platitudes from “official” sources over the course of U.S. nation-building in Afghanistan.