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November 3rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Should U.S. put faith in Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

As President Obama weighs whether to send as many as 40,000 additional troops to Afghanistan - the government we're supporting over there continues to become more of a joke. President Hamid Karzai has been declared the winner in the disputed election; after his chief challenger Abdullah Abdullah dropped out of the runoff that would have happened Saturday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai addresses a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Kabul.

Abdullah was calling for the resignations of top election officials to avoid the kind of fraud that happened in the first election. Didn't happen.

Faced with a transparently phony situation, President Obama is calling for "a new chapter" of improved governance in Afghanistan now that Karzai's re-election is complete. He really doesn't have much of a choice.

Mr. Obama says that Karzai has to take on the rampant corruption and drug trade - which he hasn't done so far and has helped the Taliban make its comeback.

Fat chance... maybe Karzai's brother - a suspected player in Afghanistan's illegal opium business and also suspected of rigging those August elections - could head up the Afghan Ethics Committee.

With each new development our presence in Afghanistan looks more and more futile. And it's no surprise that Afghan political experts along with regular citizens there say the elections have undermined the people's faith in democracy.

Meanwhile President Karzai vows that he will stamp out corruption and work with the Taliban. But even the Taliban isn't buying that - calling the election a fraud manufactured by Washington. Just what we need as our troops continue to die in that godforsaken place and more of them could be going there soon.

Here’s my question to you: Should the U.S. place its faith in Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Greg from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania writes:
I wouldn’t. All the more reason to re-assign our combat troops to eradicate the poppy fields, help the farmers plant pomegranates and then work with the U.N. in providing aid to the REAL Afghan people. Helping the Afghan people is the way to success, sending more men to fight and die only pours more gas on the flames and helps the Taliban and al Qaeda to look like the good guys.

David writes:
No. He is a mindless, unethical, power grubbing mouse. He will turn his back on us as soon as we leave and we would have spent billions of dollars and thousands of lives for nothing. Level the place and leave! Tell them and the world that if you try to attack the U.S. again, your fate will be the same.

Darren writes:
How many corrupt governments is the U.S. going to prop up in the Middle East on their costly nation-building tour?

Gus from California writes:
Not really. First, remind him of the fate of Pres. Diem in Viet Nam, and that we have a history of standing aside for the assassination of corrupt and ineffective leaders. There is also no reason why we cannot manage the Afghan elections… You do not have to stand still for poor government when you are the only reason they can exist.

Scott writes:
Jack, I think we have little choice but to trust Karzai. We shouldn't give up on bringing bin Laden to justice. I'm always appalled when Americans say we should end the war and bring troops home. Should we just give al Qaeda a free pass? They continue today to plot, plan and execute another attack on American soil. Let’s just work with Karzai and hold Karzai accountable for making progress in Afghanistan.

Bernard writes:
Gather the 15 to 20 tribal leaders in Afghanistan together in a room and offer them a deal: either get rid of al Qaeda or we'll take some Agent Orange left over from Vietnam and destroy the entire poppy crop and your claim to fame and fortune.

Karl from San Francisco writes:
I have as much faith in Karzai cleaning up crime and corruption in Afghanistan as I would have had in Al Capone cleaning up crime and corruption in Chicago. He’s the problem, not the solution.


Filed under: Afghanistan • Hamid Karzai
soundoff (123 Responses)
  1. John ........... marlton, nj

    Why ? My feeling about Afghanistan is cares about them... If things gocrazy then the countriy's natural geographics work to our advantage... With high mountains and deep valleys, it will allow for nuclear blasts to blow upward and not spread outward ...

    Other than bleeding us for foreign financial aid and supplyig our junkies poppie based drugs.. what have they done for us ?

    November 3, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  2. Linda in Arizona

    "And it's no surprise that Afghan political experts along with regular citizens there say the elections have undermined the people's faith in democracy."

    What "faith in democracy"did the Afghan people allegedly have? Nobody in Afghanistan was crying out for democracy. And it's not "godforsaken" either. It's a beautiful place, and if people would leave it the hell alone for once, it might have a chance for self-determination. We need to wake up and settle for what we can get, which is probably a presence, but not a commanding one. Let's get over this ridiculous idea that every hostile situation is a war, and every war can be won. It's not true, and people are dying for this lie.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  3. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Faith plays a very minute part in seeing the right course of actions!

    November 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  4. Quincy- Richmond VA

    No... how could we trust a liar, a deciever, and a fake but then again we elected Bush twice.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  5. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    We (and our troops) cannot count on Karzai's weak, corrupt governance. It's time to give up on the fantasy of creating a Jeffersonian democracy over there, narrow our mission to special ops and drones, and bring most of our brave troops home.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  6. nwg6011

    We're damned if we do, and damned if we don't. If we support Karzai, we have to put up with his corrupt and ineffective government. If we don't support him, the Taliban will just fill the void and become stronger.

    Ether way, we lose, and they get to sell more heroin.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  7. Susan Frost

    Hell,no! We should get our troops and our money out of this neanderthal narco-state and fence the damn place off. There is no attainable goal in that country and it's past time to cut our losses and leave the Afghans in the Stone Age, where it appears they want to be.

    Susan
    Tuscaloosa AL

    November 3, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  8. a.c. of La.

    No we should not trust Hamid Karzai Do we never, never ever learn anything? Bring our troops home ASAP.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  9. Ted, Aloha, OR

    Seems to me both Bush and Carter had brothers of questionable repute. Karzai says he pledged to clean things up. Why not give him a chance to prove it. Besides that, we have no chouice in the matter. Afghanistan is a sovereign nation. It seems as though many people think its a US State and therefore subservient to America. When will we ever learn to mind our own #$%& business.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  10. Abel P. Ochoa, McAllen TX

    Should the U.S. place its faith in Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai? As an American, I will place as much faith in Afghanistan's President as I can throw a piano–zilch–zero. We'd be better off if we brought every American home.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  11. Gigi Oregon

    The U.S should worry about their own fate.
    When as little as 5% of the U.S. people have control of our government/people we are no better off than the peasants of Afghanistan. On CNN last night I learned that my four year old grandson will most likely grow up and be sent to continue the war efforts of a few. Corporate greed is running this country...not "We the People". The American dream of "We the People" was stolen away from us at some point in time and we are now just beginning to wake up to reality. Scary isn't. While Congress is playing games with health care they know that it will be corporate America that has the power to giveth and taketh away. We the people had better wake up and realize it is cooperate greed that has brought the U.S. down. And sadly they are using your money nearly interest free to do it. Have you noticed corporates pays very little taxes. And how much did you earn in interest this year on your investments.
    Jack I have read your blog tooo long. I'm getting as cynical as you are.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  12. Denny from Tacoma, WA

    We have put faith in many of our puppets before and have failed. Time will tell and hopefully we won't be wrong again.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  13. Mari Fernandez, Utah

    No, Jack, this man is a schmuck. Bush bought him and his brother. We can not import freedom nor democracy to Afghanistan, nor demand it.

    Freedom & democracy must be born in the hearts of the Afghan people!

    We need to end this senseless war!

    November 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  14. sohail

    Why Obama still stuck with Cheney's guy from Haliburton Mr Karzai????
    Maybe he is the guy India wants to be president as he has been delivering to RAW (Indian Spy Agency) good on all areas against Pakistan Diplomaticaly, extablishing 14 military offices on Pak-Afghan border in name of Indian Cosulate office (which country has even 10 consulate in Afghanistan... give me a break) and keeping supply line open for Talibans in Pakistan for arms stolen from US army depots... look at US accounting office for details about stolen arms and equipments... well done India and Karzai.. guess Obama's hands are tied-up by huge Indian lobby in washington

    November 3, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  15. sohail

    No – Never trust this guy.. he is from Haliburton.. Dick Cheney's appointee.. how long Bush installed puppets will serve for Obama?? Gates and Karzai both are from pages on "American Empire" by David Pearl and is no longer valid option for US for now

    November 3, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  16. Michael from Ft. Hood Texas

    FAITH!!! Are you kidding? Hamid Karzai is the Elmer Gantry of the political world and is about as corrupt as any other leader put into power by treachery and deceit. Tied to the opium trade and a number of other criminal enterprises, his name belongs in the same company as Noriega, Marcos, Kambala, Ali Azari, and others who have taken US taxpayer giveaways and lined their pockets.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  17. GWTripp, Mch'sburg, PA

    I wouldn’t. All the more reason to re-assign our combat troops to eradicate the poppy fields, help the farmers plant pomegranates and then work with the U.N. in providing aide to the REAL Afghan people. Helping the Afghan people is the way to success, sending more men to fight and die only pours more gas on the flames and helps the Taliban and Al-Qaida to look like the good guys.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  18. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    Expect more of the same. Karzai and his brother are going to do as they damn well please. I don't know what's this business about"Is the President going to send more troops to Afghanistan?" That decision has already been made. I have a nephew that enlisted and went through basic training,went to Disney and is scheduled to go to Afghanistan in December. Lets be TRANSPARENT here.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  19. Moses Malalah

    My view is that you should never start wars you don't intend to win, and if Mr. Obama recommits to Afghanistan only because he doesn't want to be seen to lose, he should tell everyone now and not waste another American life.

    Mr. Karzai's election should put to rest the doubts about his "legitimacy" heard in America's liberal media and in whispers from the Administration, even if it won't. He won that legitimacy by agreeing to a second round, once the official electoral commission invalidated enough of his votes to deprive him of a majority, in accordance with Afghan law.

    Moses Malalah
    Raleigh, NC

    November 3, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  20. Rosalie in Forsyth County, Georgia

    Regarding our country's relationship with Karzai, the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  21. Shirley Mesquite

    Why are we in Afghanistan? I mean really why are we there? Was this the Muskin's idea (Bush)? If there are no real reasons to be there then bring the troops home!!!

    November 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  22. Eric Steven - Sykesville, Md

    What I don't understand is why we find it our responsibility to liberate Afghanistan from Taliban and Al-Qaeda influence – yet we take no part in helping to ensure a fair election. Aren't fair elections a big part of reforming a war torn country? If we cannot stop fraudulent elections than it doesn't matter how many troops we send or how many bombs we drop.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  23. Russ in Johnston

    Duh! Just last week their Summer election was a fraud; ballot boxes stuffed, Karzai accused BY OUR GOVT that he ran a phony election and the White House & Congress demanding a run off election to make sure a valid Afghan govt partner will be there for us. Now, Abdullah Abdullah has dropped out, sighting this 2nd election will be a fraud, also. Karzai was not trusted last week; they are not holding a 2nd election......am I missing something about this news story or question?

    November 3, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  24. SandH - Pekin, Il.

    Karzai is a Bush man, so what choice do we have, after all he was elected by his people more than once. I think we should leave both Iraq and Afghanistan. They cannot be tamed, as that is the way they have lived forever. Afgahn war should have been the only one being fought for six years. We should never have been in Iraq.

    November 3, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  25. Don (Ottawa)

    Faith in Karzai is like having faith that there is no such thing as global warming. The fact is, Afghanistan will be taken back by its original owners, the Taliban. Unfortuantely, the Afghan situation is America's biggest fear, a Vietnam all over again. I suspect Karzai knows that his time is limited so he and his brother will try to get as much money as possible outside the country and are probalby already planning their escape.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:04 pm |
  26. Gus from California

    Not really. First, remind him of the fate of Pres Diem in Viet Nam. That we have a history of standing aside for the assassination of corrupt and ineffective leaders. There is also no reason why we cannot manage Afghan elections just like we managed the elections in the Phils I have it on good authority that we paid Cardinal Sin, $7 mill to finance the poll watching by Catholic nuns. Just as a "fer instance". We can, and should, insure clean elections, but one artifice or another. We can, and should (all under wraps of course) finance the election of people we trust. (Magsaysay any one?). You do not have to stand still for poor government when you are the only reason they can exist.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  27. Thom Richer

    Not one iota until Karzai demonstrates by overt actions that he is taking steps to rid his country of opiates and terrorists without support of the U.S.. He has done nothing thus far and has had plenty of time to prove himself. There is no way in God's blue heaven that his government or ours do not know the whereabouts of bin Ladin and this fact alone dictates not putting our faith in him along with continued support of the drug trade and rigged elections. These countries are playing us, their own peoples and the U.S., like puppets on a string. Just like these contrived wars, "faith' has nothing to do with it. It is pure religion, politics and profits that keeps us in these countries.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    November 3, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  28. Barbara in NC

    Only after he PROVES himself trustworthy.

    One of the first things that should happen is to cut his brother out of the picture - our Taxes should NOT be paying him a salary. Bush/Cheney may have enjoyed it, but Obama needs to put a stop to it immediately.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  29. John, Fort Collins, CO

    President Obama should hold a press conference tomorrow gushing with praise for President Karzai, citing his strong leadership skills and honesty that finally make it possible for the U.S. to withdraw all of its troops from Afghanistan.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  30. Ann-Virginia

    No,we should take Scott Ritter's advice & get the hell out now.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  31. Elizabeth

    Karzai will continue to do as he wishes. Obama can hold discussions with Karzai as much as he want's; nothing will change.
    My continued prayers are for our brave men and women in the armed forces in that part of the world.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  32. Yousef El-amin

    No we should just leave the country and, let them handle they're own problems.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  33. Bruce - Delaware

    We have no choice – we backed the wrong guy – if we tick him off he threatens to disclose the really massive role that US troops have in the drug trade. And we can't have that level of honesty. Can we?

    November 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  34. Karl - San Francisco

    I have as much faith in Karzai cleaning up crime and corruption in Afghanistan as I would have had in Al Capone cleaning up crime and corruption in Chicago. He’s the problem, not the solution.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  35. David Bergstedt

    No.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  36. Annie, Atlanta

    Hell no! We need to bring our troops home as soon as possible. These people are still split up into tribes and hang out in caves for God’s sake. Ancient Egyptians were more civilized. And we’re asking our kids to die for them? Why?

    November 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  37. H.E.Ingraham

    I trust Karzai as much as I trust obama

    November 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  38. Judy, Exeter, Ca

    No! The guy is more crooked than my spine! I hope we pull out of that place and let them fight their own civil war.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  39. Moses Malalah

    Jack!
    The Obama Administration also hurt its own cause by preparing inadequately for the election, and by broadcasting so publicly its distaste for Mr. Karzai. The point seems to have been to show they could be tougher on Mr. Karzai than President Bush was. But the price of that pique is that they now have less influence as they press the Afghan to improve the competence of his government. However imperfect, Mr. Karzai is our man whether we like it or not.

    Moses Malalah
    Raleigh, NC

    November 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  40. Ken, DE

    No! karzai is corrupt., and his brother is an opium dealer so why are we still there in afghanistan spending billions. Stupid is stupid does.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  41. Rory Murray

    Jack!
    Americans should put its faith in the strength and resolve of the American people to get us out of our own mess. My parents were both 4 years old when the Great Depression hit America. It was THEIR GENERATION that put men on the MOON. But they weren't distracted by Jon & Kate, Paris Hilton, "Octo-mom", Michael Jackson or "Ballooon Boy".
    -Rory Murray
    San Bernardino, CA

    November 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  42. harry snodgress IV

    hell no-Jack. put our faith in a corrupt,worthless government. it's hard enough putting our faith towards our own govt. we should just bring our guys home and let that god-forsaken place implode.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  43. Pat Garlinghouse

    No, definitely not. They don't want us there, so let's get out. It makes me sick every time I hear of more deaths–for what? Whatever reason we are there makes absolutely no sense. No more troops!! Let them fix their own problems. Someone is making a bundle of money on this fiasco.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  44. Benard L

    Absolutely not! That whole place is trouble that can't be resolved without the Afghans being part of the process. As long as the elected government and the U.S continue policies in that country that don't involve the majority of Afghans, then we're doomed to fail.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  45. Juan Guapo

    "...let them handle they're own problems."

    Yeah, tear up their country, kill thousands of their citizens, turn popular support towards the Taliban, and then leave, because it's their own problem. Excellent world view...

    November 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  46. Stephen Cooper Austin, TX

    Jack, all of a sudden you've begun giving editorials–the kind we might expect from Lou Dobbs or Glen Beck–prior to asking your questions? Are you trying to get us to respond your way?
    Stephen
    Austin, TX

    November 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  47. Scott G.

    Jack,

    I think we have little choice but to trust Karzai. We shouldn't give up on bringing Osama Bin Ladin to justice. I'm always appalled when Americans say we should end the war and bring troops home. Should we just give Al Quaida a free pass? They continue today to plot, plan and execute another attack on American soil.
    Lets just work with Karzai and hold Karzai accountable for making progress in Afghanistan

    November 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  48. Ron Husein

    As a person who went to school in the North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan, I can say that the only solution to this problem is to have 4 Forts filled with drones, satellites tracking the area day and night, and if the Taliban come back, blow them up. But, protect our troops and stop wasting money sending more to die there. 20 years from now the next General will be saying that the last one did not know what he was doing and that he (the new General) has the correct answer to our Afghan problem.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  49. Bernard

    Gather the 15 – 20 Tribal leaders in Afganistan together in a room
    Offer them a deal
    Either get rid of Al Quida or we'll take some Agent Orange left over from Vietnam and destroy the entire poppy crop and your claim to fame and fortune

    November 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  50. Becky

    HAHA. ARE YOU JOKING?!? We are freaking America! Not Afganistan!
    Are we stil a baby country? Cause we need to stop acting like one.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  51. dave mcmanus

    jack
    when it comes to afghanistan it,s a messy deal but you can only use the cards you have been dealt.
    dave / toronto

    November 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  52. Sharon

    Faith in Afghanistan's President? When hell freezes over!

    November 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  53. Jim- New Jersey

    No. Why are we so gullible? Can we believe anything that comes out of the mideast leaders mouths? Bring all Americans home, arm all the mideast countries and let all the different religous factions fight it out. When the dust settles maybe someone credible will be left.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  54. Bruce Bongardt

    Jack, if the argument is that we can't trust an election with only one candidate, then perhaps we should take a better look at our system which seems to only have one plus one more candidates to choose from ... the other 200+ candidates just don't seem to get any face time with the you guys; being one of them last year, I know 1st hand that's the case!

    Bruce

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  55. kyle

    No. How can we. Politics aside, the opiate problem in this Country and around the world is out of control and getting worse. All that does is support and strengthen the Taliban. I support our Troops no matter where they are. I have issues with supporting Foreign Goverment that is in bed with the same people that our killing our Soldiers.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  56. Dennis_linville

    should we put faith in a drug dealer ?Jack I have come to expect better questions from you. But then again we have a president that left our troops in harms way while they made sure the drug dealer got elected.Now he says he wants to work with the taliban,is'nt that who our troops are fighting? So Obama wants a deal with the drug dealer and the taliban while our troops are being fired upon? I guess i can see why you were confused enough to ask that question.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  57. Ron Reddick

    Hi Jack
    I am an American who runs a mobile phone company in Afghanistan for the past 2 years. I have seen allot of changes over this time, not all for the better, but, the average Afghan wants peace and stability, send their kids to school, have a job, etc. We (the USA) cannot let the influence of the ISI in support of the Pakistan Taliban undermine what has been accomplished. It would be a world wide shame to let the country fall back into chaos because Obama wants to waffle. We have a chance to do something good for the people and the world as a whole. We need to stick it out and offer the right kind of support, put pressure on Pakistan, on Karzai to truly end the corruption across the board, and provide programs that provide real benefits, which to date non of the above have happened. Is he the right one, NO, but he is who we have to work with, and in this case steer him to do the right thing with a big stick.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  58. Ronald Holst

    Jack as you stated Do we have a choice after all It was the Bush Administration that Put him in office to begin with . When will we learn that We are terrible at nation building when ever we have tried it has so far to always come back and bite us in our Arse ..And Between Iran Iraq and now Afghanistan we don't have much left to bite .

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  59. Kathy Flanagan

    Hey what's the deffinition of Insanity? Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results but getting the same ones. Karzai is the insanity. This war is another Viet Nam and Karzai is a puppet President.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  60. bill orth, racine wi

    get every red blooded Amercian out of there asap, no more jfk,lbj war mentality, i believed in vietnam, still do, "scrounger," Long Binh,66'-67'

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  61. Kadenze

    Mr. President!
    WHAT are you waiting for!
    I voted for you for your commonsense!
    This is a no Brainer!!!!
    Corrupt government in Afghanistan!
    WHO just DROPS out of an election!?!
    PACK IT UP!
    Bring OUR troops home!!

    November 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  62. Ronald Holst

    Sorry , Ron In San Antonio .

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  63. MelissaF

    Karzai is the President of Afghanistan by default. Can you trust that? HELL NO! He was put in by the Bush Administration as one of their flunkees. If I was Obama I wouldn't touch him with a 10 foot pole and don't give him legitamacy until he has proven himself by bringing stability to the region. With so much chaos going on in Afghanistan and Pakistan people wonder why Obama hasn't sent more troops. Well he did and now we wait and see before putting more brave young men and women into harms way. Get It? Doubtful..

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  64. dave savage

    I would far sooner put my faith in God.And I'm an atheist!.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  65. Jasse

    NO, bring our troops home and let Afgans/Pakistans go at it. Leave
    a few spies to help protect our borders.

    Jack, you mentioned yesterday re: John King's ability to draw a nice
    circle....he was using his LEFT hand, today he used his RIGHT hand.
    The ole boy is ambidextrously talented at the board!! j

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  66. Bob Taylor

    No. What was needed years ago was a James Bond who could have killed Bin Laden. Not the U.S. trying to civilize a tribal society.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  67. K. O. williamson

    Jack, I lived and worked for years in the middle east including much time in Iran. You never have faith in any agreement there. You watch, wait, connive, scheme and hope what you have negotiated, signed and sealed will happen. That's just the way it is.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  68. Tim, Mountain View, CA

    Are you kidding? Any American official working with Karzai better make sure he still has all of his gold crowns in his mouth when it's over.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  69. eric

    If Obama really wants to get a result out of afghanistan, instead of sending more troops he should send in more educational technology i.e University teachers, army trainers, law enforcement specialist.Afghans must be brained washed from voilannce into peace support.We are not fighting an organized army of Taliban what they do is ambushes and guerrila warfare which means one suicide attacker can take upto 10 of our soldiers.Obama has to redesign the war and name it as the war against lack of education.Afghans know thier country but our soldiers dont, we have to put afghans forward by training them more not on war but also in education and law enforcement with tech. Thanks
    We must show afghan what a real peaceful life is once they know they will automatically fight the voilance.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  70. A. Smith

    Jack, American citizens should have no respect for the CIA hand-picked puppet President of Afghanistan. Karzai is one of the reasons that cheap and readily available Heroin is literally flooding the world today.

    Precisely like the Russians whose KGB installed a puppet President in Afghanistan during their 10 year war, the moment they pulled out, the Taliban and citizens of Afghanistan shot and killed their puppet.

    The CIA forcing a puppet president on another country is a cold war relic function whose time has long passed. American citizens need to stand up and denounce such a deplorable practice.

    A. Smith
    Oregon

    November 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  71. Ken in NC

    We can put a world of faith in him Jack. Money and Trust? not one bit. On second thought we put our faith in Bush and (Darth Vader) Cheney and look what that got us. I think I would give him his country back and bring our boys home.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  72. david in chicago

    absolutely not...trouble is who else did dick cheney and co leave us TO trust. we forget we started blowing the deal in afghanistan about 20 minutes after the soviets walked out.

    we had afghanistan in as controlled a space as it was going to be right after that and then again, although less so, right after we retaliated for 9/11.

    focusing on george and dick's money grab in iran let afghanistan slip to where it is today, pakistan included, leaving obama to clean up this, among their many other historic messes.

    So, better the devil you know for the time being?

    you can't trust karzai...clearly he's a thief, and likely worse.

    ok...and plan "B" would be......?

    November 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  73. Richard McKinney, Texas

    Jack believing in Karsai is like believing in the tooth fairy. The money that goes under the pillow comes from the United States. Unfortunately the United States is having to borrow that money from China.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  74. Ray Victory

    Vero Beach, FL
    The unfortunate circumstances surrounding the Afghan election have demolished Karzai's credibility both internally and internationally. The Afghans will now have to build democracy (or not) on their own.
    We still have a security interest in the country but that can be monitored from outside the country with incursions of Army special forces, SEALS and Marines to accomplish specific objectives with help form Navy air forces as needed.
    This is not what we want to see but it is what is and we must face the reality in this world that we cannot dictate the contents of the hearts and minds everywhere. We can and must however strike effectively where our security interests are threatened. The Israelis have used this strategy effectively for more than half a century. We can do the same.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  75. Dolph

    Why yes Jack...The International Oil Companies placed an ex-oil company employee, Karzai, in office. So, you will place your faith in him because the USA is owned by "Oil money" and the oil money is owned by the "Fractional Reserve Bankers." Got it? I doubt if you do, or if you'll air this comment.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  76. Flyingwolf, Manchester NH

    Karzai was originally elected in the era of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield , Scooter Libby & Karl Rove. With those people as examples, he probably thinks of himself as a Boy Scout. And that's what we have to deal with in Afghanistan–we basically have to dance with the one we brung.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  77. Eric - Pennsylvania

    Karzai is just a tip of the iceberg. We are dedicating valuable resources to something with little to no chance to turn out the way our leaders are wanting us to have faith in. Enough bloodshed has resulted from a false hope of a invaluable asset and ally in the area. As a special operations officer, I have the passion and duty to succeed in any military operation our commander in chief orders, but it helps to have an attainable goal and know what exactly we are fighting for... these days anyways...

    November 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  78. nadine houston dalo

    Jack- No – we should not put any faith in Karzai – we should put our faith in our president to do the right thing and NOT put any more troops in and start pulling our soldiers out. No winners in war-especially this one! Let GOD sort it all out!
    Peace
    NHD-Boston, MA.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  79. Helen Canada

    Reading all the comments I do agree,Afganistan will be an other vietnam war.
    Obama is in a very difficult situation. What if he does withdrawn back the army and something happens? Then if he does sends the soldiers how people will accepted? Could it be an other Irak?
    Is not only your Soldiers are dying ours are dying as well 131 of them one is comming home tomorrow.
    I would not want to have Barack's job and make a decition.
    But what ever he does I wish him luck for the sake of our dying Soldiers and the safety of our Countries.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  80. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    Jack, I would normally say that there are no dumb question, but this one is! When you have an election cheat, and his drug deal brother running the country, and when the U.S. will not burn the poppy fields that supplies the Taliban with money, you should not even have to ask if the U.S. should trust this corrupt government and President of Afghanistan! The U.S. should turn it's back on this crook, and abandon the oil pipeline. If we deal with corrupt people, guess what we are corrupt too!

    November 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  81. dbecker6@gmail.com

    we should get out now, PERIOD, What is up with our Government, Vietnam, LIES, Iraq,LIES, and now maybe another 20 year rat hole in Afganistan to pour billions into. END our involvement, and pay for health care, fix the infrastructure and schools, and STILL have money left over!
    Kill the WAR MACHINE, to quote Pogo, "we has seen the emunie, and they is US"

    November 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  82. Allen Blackwel

    No, We have not put enough pressure on him the past several years and it is obvious that now that he has a new term he will not have the need to change anything. Now that Obama has made this his war, which was not his but Bush's, he will suffer because there will be an increase in troops, an increase in troop deaths, an increase in corruption and an increase in US frustration among voters which will not be good for Obama and the Democrats in 2010.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  83. Chuck Wright, Georgia

    Hi Jack,
    We can train foreign troops in the US for the cost. We can provide experienced individuals in Commercial and Governance and Judicial for the cost. We can share information from comparable programs in the US for the basics of food, shelter, education, health, energy, and ecology. If they have no interest, we can sit off shore and lob in destruction of training camps and say we are sorry, and block all Afgahn visitors to the US. Same with Pakistan.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  84. Aric, El Cerrito CA

    Jack,
    No we shouldn't trust him at all, but what choice do we have. We need to use his country as a base to launch our troops and to continue the fight against terror. I would like to see us bring the troops home but we need them there, again what choice do we have.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  85. Anvar

    I think that Mr. Obama does not have any other choices at this point.
    Afganistan does not have a major tribe that represents the country. It will take a while to develop a new local leader. Mr. Karzai is a transitional head of state until all will settle.
    The main problem is that Afganistan does not have infrastructure, economy and social system. It will take years and years to develop them.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  86. ed harvey

    Karzai is sort of like Bernie Madoff. He promisses the US government that he can accomplish so much more if we would only send a few more billions. He hasn't been able to deliver anything for five years and $8-$10 billion or so. Why should we expect anything different this time?

    We have troops over there supposedly training a new Afhan army. Weren't the Afghans the same people that ran the Russian army ragged for 10 years? Maybe they should be training us.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  87. Ken in NC

    Jack we don't need to put anything in Karzai. Let the Chinese have him and his copper. It's their turn now Jack.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  88. Jack Bruns

    With the nation split in so many ways Karsi does not even have one small piece but a lot of opposition. The Taliban can pull the country togeter and we need to let them and get our service people out of there.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  89. Carolyn, Pensacola, FL

    Yes, we should. About as much faith as we did in the bushrovecheney faction.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  90. Chris, West Virginia

    Reality check; regardless of our faith or lack thereof, Karzai has been re-elected to lead a country where there is so much at stake for the United States and for the Afghan people. We must find more effective ways to work with him to succeed rather than question whether or not we should trust him.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  91. Mike

    Karzai will at least give the appearance of an aly. We should end our persecution of thye taliban and recruit them to assist us in ridding area of Al Queda. Considering the fact that Al Queda is not in the favor of the taliban. I believe that with the taliban we could end or reduce the influence of the radical Al Queda. With their ( Taliban's ) assistance the al queda factions could be all but destroyed. The taliban could then be allowed to assist Karzai and add stability to the region.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  92. SandH - Pekin, Il.

    This is a man that Bush and Cheney praised very highly. He was elected more than once, so the people there must like him. Who is to say it is voter fraud? We have had that in this country in 2000 and 2004. I do say get out of both Iraq and Afghanistan and let them handle their own country's.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  93. Jim CXhamberlain

    What other choich do we have? If we pull out we will probably turn the country over to the Taliban although some think the Talibanwill fade away or that a deal will be struck with them. Howecer,we have already said we are not going to withdraw,so let's send 40,000 troops or more to crush the Taliban

    November 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  94. Jackie in Dallas

    I just love how CNN loses all my posts...

    Why should we trust him...he certainly, and with good reason, doesn't trust us. This is my belief for why President Obama has not made a decision on Afghanistan yet. We went into Afghanistan with a good reason, and support around the world. We were going to take out the Taliban who supported al Qaeda, and we were going to take out al Qaeda bases. Check, check. Time to get out.

    We cannot nation build, create a democracy, where the people do not know what it means, much less want it. They allowed the Taliban in (by the way, with US support), then lost what progress they had made. It is time we remember that our philosophy is SELF DETERMINATION. Let them decide for themselves, fight among themselves.

    We should, however, drop a serious herbicide on all the poppy fields on our way out!

    November 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  95. don staub

    Of course we can...after all did we not install him in the first place, after he fled afghanistan to work for American oil? If we can not trust him, we should throw his opium lord brother off the CIA payroll...

    November 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  96. Richard, Kankakee, IL.

    First Russia and the U.S., will lose in this quagmire! We just love repeating history! Didn't Rome repeat the same mistakes of the past, and we know how that country fell from it's glory days!

    November 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  97. Jamie in St. Louis

    No we should not put our faith in the Afghan government. They'll never stop the opium trade until they have something else to export and the Karzai government is corrupt. We should send the troops and make sure the country is secure and free to have legal, honest elections.

    If we leave now then we'll have allowed our troops to die for nothing, left our allies in the lurch, and once again Afghanistan will become a safe haven for terrorists. We'll be right back where we were pre-9/11.

    People need to realize that it's an age old problem and isn't an easy fix. We need to commit 100% and get the job done. The current LBJ Vietnam strategy is going to accomplish the same thing it did in Vietnam.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  98. Rebecca

    No, we have lost enough of our men in Wars that are headed nowhere, and the last thing we need is to look like we are supporting
    a government that is totally disorganized, corruptive influences playing a part ..To quote Matthew Hoh, a highly decorated Marine who recently resigned after being brought to Kabul and offered a position on Holbrookes senior embassy staff; in the end Hoh changed his mind and could not accept the postion. in his words "But many Afghans, he wrote in his resignation letter, are fighting the United States largely because its troops are there - a growing military presence in villages and valleys where outsiders, including other Afghans, are not welcome and where the corrupt, U.S.-backed national government is rejected. While the Taliban is a malign presence, and Pakistan-based al-Qaeda needs to be confronted, he said, the United States is asking its troops to die in Afghanistan for what is essentially a far-off civil war."

    November 3, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  99. george

    NO we shouldent ,Karazi's a leftover from the last administration and should be treated as such.
    He and his crew reek of the kind of corruption we just voted out a year ago.
    To use your words Jack the only thing more futile than our efforts in this country is the country of Afghanistan and the people itself.
    That srite,I dont belive in this mission anymore than the people who originaly drew it up in the first place.
    The Afghan people have got to want democracy for themselves and sending our people off to die in an effort to obtain something for someone else who realy dosent want it just seems stupid to me.
    The excuse of keeping me safe crutch just dosent cut it anymore and never realy did
    george
    chester,ct

    November 3, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  100. Ron from Oklahoma

    If "put faith" means accept – recognize – tolerate – then yes. Over many years, we have recognized outright dictatorships many times. This situation is a case of election fraud during country-wide elections. The government of Afghanistan did not invade the U.S. during the obvious fraud involved in our 2000 elections. Had they, we would have been irate – and rightfully so. Just because we have a huge financial investment there does not mean we can dictate who their leaders must be. If that were so, China would dictate who OUR leaders would be. Sure, we have thousands of troops there (hopefully that will change soon) , with thousands of our soldiers killed there. But that has never been an excuse (recently at least) for determining the leaders of a sovereign nation. We must accept the results and base our actions on them. That is our choice.

    Ron

    November 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  101. International view

    Course not. Its a mess. Obviously the US should leave...Wait, then what? Guess u forgot to mention what would happen then.
    On that point its great that the press just causes conterversy like this by possing obvious questions like this to shake the pot.
    Sad that Americans bite and might state the obvious without thinking it through.
    America is a fish bowl and this situation is a great example as other countries are involved risking their young men and women, just like the US, based solely on your lead/request. So to all those who think its fine to just leave cause its hard, way to think for about 5 seconds on this issue. From the fishbowk to the goldfish I guess.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  102. Mike Carloni

    Wooow is this a loaded question! Without sounding like a conspiracy nut does anyone remember Afganistan's role pre-9/11?
    Karzai was the Carlyle Group's point man ion the ground for their investment for oil pipelines. Both Bush's (41 and 43)
    were both heavily involved in the planning and lobbying for the Carlyle group.
    That's why were still there and Karzai is our guy.
    Oil and profit "UBER ALLES"

    November 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  103. Mike Armstrong

    Jack,

    You continue to do what liberals do. Run with a popular perception, to make your point, while ignoring the facts. The guy won the election. Even when removing the fraudulent votes, he still won by a large margin. If the other guy thought he had half a chance, he would not have dropped out. It's time to move on. This is a very clear election result for a country like Afganistan.

    Mike From Michigan

    November 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  104. patricia

    Years ago, while travelling and waiting in an airport in Charlotte, North Carolina an Afghani woman saw my Kerry political sticker on my purse and asked if I was campaigning for Kerry. She then asked if I had any extra Kerry sticker and could she have one. I found one. I asked her if she liked Karzi and she looked me straight in the eyes and said he was a terrible man and the people in afghanistan didn't like him and trust him. She said he was a bought man for President Bush and the oil companies, apparently his brother was bought too by our CIA. We both had to leave for our destinations, she placed her hands on my wrists and said, I hope Kerry wins for your country and mine. Well, here we are, years later and questioning whether the US should place its faith in Hamid Karzai, for my afghani friend in the airport, I say NO.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  105. Bruce Bongardt

    Why ask SHOULD WE when the really question is HOW CAN WE ...

    November 3, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  106. TERRY DELOUGHARY

    When Bush was illegally appointed President in 2000 by the supreme court, and when Rove fudged the Deibolt Black Boxes for him so he got 7% more votes than exit polls in 2004 we trusted him and look how wonderfully it worked for us. Why shouldn't we trust him and his brother to deliver our supply of heroin and protect Osama Bin Laden?
    Terry DeLoughary
    Bark River, Michigan

    November 3, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  107. miles from pa

    Dear Jack, He probably has no chioce at this point but it might be a good time to find out what Hamid Zarzai goals may be.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  108. International view

    If the US leaves the Taliban will regroup and be at your door, again. Remember, that IS WHERE THE PEOPLE WHO ATTACKED THE US were from. I guess its easy to forget after electing Bush back to back and attacking other countries without International support. At least the world knoew what Bush was about. Pretty tough to bail from Afganastan now that the world is behind u. Make up your mind the world is dying to love America stop making it so hard

    November 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  109. craig

    No, the failure of american diplomacy has shaped the the afgan political culture in all the wrong ways, we have to do the best with what we got

    November 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  110. Allen L Wenger

    Nobody has any faith in this guy. The problem is that there isn't anyone in Afghanistan who can solve their problems. It's a country with a drug habit, a foreign occupation, a civlil war, no infrustructure, and 1,000 years behind the times. Why are we still there?

    Mountain Home ID

    November 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  111. bill louis

    No, the US should not waste our money and blood on a war that we cannot win without a reliable, functioning partner. Obama inherited this
    mess and, politically, he may not have a choice. At least he's using all the leverage available to get Karzai to reform.

    Bill Louis
    Richmond, VA

    November 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  112. catia

    Sure not. How's that: Karzai's POLITICAL Faith

    Brainerd, MN

    November 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  113. Ken-Long Island

    Trust Hamid Karzai? Let's put it this way, I'd rather appoint Dan Senor as Secretary of the Treasury and Ari Fleisher as head of the Federal Reserve.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:38 pm |
  114. Kevin R

    No. Karzai was reputed to be corrupt before the recent election. He was reputed to have defrauded the election results. And he "won" the second election because he refused to remove the election commissioners accused of committing the first election fraud and the other candidate refused to be defrauded a second time. Where is the credibility? Was there EVER any credibility with him?

    It's a shame that we - or any other nation - have to try to deal with these kinds of situations in order to remove the threat of terrorism emulating from a foreign country.

    Is there some other way we can effectively "work around" this situation to meet our anti-terrorism goal?

    November 3, 2009 at 6:39 pm |
  115. miles

    Jack If I was backing Hamid Karzai I would probably would want to know what his goals are opposed to what our goals are,hopfuly they would cover some common ground

    November 3, 2009 at 6:40 pm |
  116. Joey from Indianapolis

    Sometime the only way to get the job done is to make a deal with the devil.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:41 pm |
  117. rbs

    no.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  118. george mahan

    Absolutely not! It's amazing that we can't elect a President that has enough courage to QUICKLY change the direction of our policies, when most people understand the need to stop pursuing ill-conceived ventures. Get out of Irag and Afganistan .. .....NOW! We are allowing our young soliders to die. We lost 58,000 in Vietnam, only to repeat the same mistakes once again. Bush hurt the country with his ineptness. Now Obama is continuing to cause further harm because he can't make a decision to get out. Shame on us. Retired Sergeant Major

    November 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  119. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – The United States should never put "faith" in any political leader in any foreign country – we have interests, not friendships, with nations, not leaders. The more we interfere in local pollitics and culture the less success we will have. Afghans regard strong central government as tyranny – so let's forget about trying to strengthen the central government. Afghans depend on opium and cannabis as the only cash crops that will grow in their climate, so let's outbid everyone else and buy the dope instead of trying to suppress it. Afghans follow the leaders who bring in the cash, so let's just give US aid directly to tribal leaders to spend as they see fit on the welfarte of their people. Let's stop chasing the enemy around in the impassible terrain and go help the villagers rebuild from the Soviet era destruction and help defend what is rebuilt from Taliban bombing and murder. If we are unwilling to change our paradigms to match local culture, we WILL lose, as every empire before us did that also tried to change Afghanistan..

    November 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  120. dave savage

    An old british soldiers term for a toilet was a karsi,from the Indian brigades.That's just where he should be.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  121. Jeremy in Albuquerque

    Despite the pointless debates over whether or not we should be there at all, we really have no choice. Oh, I mean unless we want to pull out on the Pakistani's AGAIN and allow Al Quaeda's organization to rebuild from the devastating beating we've been handing them for the last 9 years.

    Either we support Karzai, or the Taliban takes it back. However, having said that I'd also like to say: Last chance Karzai, there are a lot more eyes on you now.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:50 pm |
  122. perry jones

    i place no trust in any one or any nation that hold all there fath in any religin muchless one religin
    perry jones
    council bluffs iowa

    November 3, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  123. Alex in Seattle

    Go figure! We are having problems with the puppet government we imposed on Afghanistan. Although the Afghan people deserve better, we should abandon the corrupt Karzai brothers to their fate and bring our troops home.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:54 pm |