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Rep. Rohrabacher Responds to Karzai's Attacks on CNN; "I Will Not Apologize to Karzai or any other Corrupt Leader"


Location: Washington, DC

During a May 21st interview on CNN, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) of not showing "respect to the Afghan people" and said he would not be allowed to enter Afghanistan until he apologizes. Mr. Rohrabacher has issued the following statement in response:

"I will not apologize to Karzai or any other corrupt leader. Afghanistan is failing because Karzai and his corrupt clique are incompetent leaders, not because the U.S. hasn't pumped enough money or blood to help the brave people of Afghanistan. Karzai says that he resents a foreigner being involved in the issue of reforming the constitution. Let me remind President Karzai that the constitution was written by foreigners. He likes the current one so much because it was drafted by a Pashtun-American, Zalmay Khalilzad, who believes, like Karzai, that their ethnic groups should rule over the others, the Tajiks, Turkmen, Uzbeks, and Hazaras.

"It is Karzai who is ruling in a manner that does not fit Afghan society or culture. Afghanistan's ethnic leaders do not want all the power held centrally by one man. I've never advocated splitting the country, however a federated structure suggested by the Northern Alliance will bring the ethnically diverse people together as opposed to having one entity try to rule from Kabul by fiat, which is a recipe for continued violence.

"The structure of the current constitution is what has allowed Karzai and his family to enrich themselves off of American aid money Karzai has banned me from Afghanistan because he knows that I am leading an investigation into his stealing US funds meant to defeat terrorism and to aid the Afghan people." Karzai wants to muzzle any discussion about good governance in Afghanistan and the State Department has been quietly going along because they, like Karzai, hold the myopic view that only one ethnic group can rule Afghanistan.

"The irony is after 9/11 America forced Karzai on the people of Afghanistan. The State Department threatened to withhold all aid to rebuild Afghanistan unless Karzai was put in. This was done to placate the Pakistanis, which has been the motive behind many of the screw-ups we've made in south Asia over the last 30 years.

"I have deep respect for the Afghan people and proven it time and again whether it was organizing a coalition against the Taliban or in the battlefield with the mujahedeen fighting against the Russians. I don't remember seeing or hearing Karzai's name during that time period. Where was he?

"Right now, I'm more concerned with getting American troops out of there so they won't continue to needlessly die than I am getting myself into Afghanistan to meet with officials like Karzai who will be out of office before our troops are out of Afghanistan. Now is the perfect time to discuss what form of government and under whose leadership, we will leave behind as we withdraw."

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