abuses are being carried out
by Afghan forces that are seen as acting in Mr.
Karzai‟s name despite
Taliban insist, “America‟s chief puppet.”
“President Karzai would like to portray himself as a national hero,” said Malek
“He is kind of taking an anti
-foreigners policy, and many ordinary people inAfghanistan like this. But he does not understand how he, and his government, is
totally dependent on the international community economically, and he doesn‟tunderstand the impact of his speeches on the relationship.”
Still, Mr. Sitez added, if Mr. Ka
rzai cannot be remembered as a hero, “he wouldlike to be remembered as a victim of a crowd of international strategies.”
“He doesn‟t want to be remembered as a defeated politician,” Mr. Sitez said.“So he wants to remind people that he‟s a nationalist —
he kicked out
Many here see an echo in the last chapter of Najibullah‟s rule, when, after the
Russians decided to withdraw, the president took an increasingly nationaliststand and even told the Russians to go and just leave the financing for themilitary. That is very much the message Mr. Karzai has sent to the Americans andthe world,
Mr. Sitez said.For Afghans at a more grass-roots level, there is little faith in either the Afghangovernment or the Americans.
is trying to deceive people that he sympathizes with the Afghan
people, and also he is trying to show the Taliban that „now I am independentfrom the Americans,‟
” said Hajji
-Abdul Majeed Khan, a tribal elder fromArghistan, a district in Kandahar Province where Mr. Karzai has had support.
I don‟t think that Karzai and Americans have disputes at all —
they both are
playing a double game to throw dust in people‟s eyes and bring another stooge
government to Afghanistan
,” he added.
One elder in Khost Province, in southeastern Afghanistan, suggested that Mr.
Karzai‟s negative comments were much more personal than universal. “AllAfghans do not share his views and ideas,” said the elder, Yusuf Entezar. “Let‟s
not forget that for a long time there has been a lot of disagreement betweenKarzai and the Americans on one hand. And he has failed to strengthen the rule