Hamid Karzai may be corrupt, but he’s no fool.
He knows it’s just a matter of time before we throw up our hands and pull out of his ungovernable country, so he’s following the time-honored script perfected by past U.S. clients: paying lip service until the last possible minute while secretly getting his affairs in order for his next act.
Afghanistan doesn’t have a history of being kind to its leaders when they retire—if they even get the chance to retire⎯and my guess is that Karzai is a keen student of history, specifically of figures like President Nguyen Van Thieu of Vietnam and the Philippines’ Ferdinand Marcos, who escaped the retribution of their people in planes loaded with looted gold bricks. Keep those engines warmed up, Hamid.
On another topic, I stumbled across this post and cartoon, which I wrote and drew on the eve of Barack Obama’s inauguration in January of 2009. What I predicted about our current national mood was so prescient that it surprised even me. I haven’t altered a word of it.