Friday, January 10, 2014

Gates Blows the Whistle on U.S. Attempt to Manipulate Afghan Election

Former US defense secretary Robert Gates' tell-all book reveals that the Americans tried to engineer a coup in 2009 against Afghan president, Hamid Karzai.

The US government tried to oust the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, by manipulating elections in 2009, in what amounted to a "clumsy and failed putsch", the former defence secretary Robert Gates has been quoted as writing in his memoirs.

Karzai has long claimed that the US tried to manipulate the poll to remove him from office, while Washington insisted it was an impartial supporter of democracy. The revelations in Gates's account of his years in power, which is published next week and covers the war in Afghanistan, appear to vindicate the Afghan leader's suspicions.

The top US diplomat Richard Holbrooke supported Karzai's rivals in the hope of pushing the poll to a second round that the incumbent would lose, Foreign Policy magazine reported.
"It was all ugly: our partner, the president of Afghanistan, was tainted, and our hands were dirty as well," Gates is quoted writing.

Karzai has cited concerns about foreign interference in a vote to choose his successor later this year as one reason for the delay in signing a long-term security pact with Washington to keep troops in the country after their combat mission ends later this year.

In his book, Gates also claims that the Bush/Cheney war of choice against Iraq severely undermined America's military campaign in Afghanistan.  Do tell.


LeDaro said...

Regime change is common practice by Americans. They did that in 1950s when Reza Shah was installed in Iran. Later on JFK openly admitted that such a policy existed. It is a sad state of affairs.

I am no fan of Karzai but still they should not intervene. I believe they did that in Iraq.

The Mound of Sound said...

What I cannot grasp, LD, is why America is so insistent on remaining in Afghanistan after it has so poisoned the well?

Purple library guy said...

Of course they installed Karzai in the first place, and the handwringing about him being "tainted" is disingenuous at best. If he hadn't been "tainted" they wouldn't have let him in office. The reason they tried to oust him is presumably that he kept showing signs of indepdendence, signs I attribute to ignoble motives like "Wanting to live for more than ten seconds after the last US plane leaves".

LeDaro said...

Mound, I understand it is about some gas pipeline from one of these states: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Then through Afghanistan and Pakistan to Indian Ocean so that it can be shipped to U.S.

The Mound of Sound said...

I think you're referring to the TAPI line, LD. That was Cheney's big venture before he got picked as Bush's VP running mate. Cheney even tried to get the Taliban regime off Washington's shit list back then.

The line was to move oil and gas out of the Caspian Basin out of Russian reach. It was supposed to cross Afghanistan go on into Pakistan and then India.

PLG - I've always thought Karzai's desk has a Makarov pistol in the middle drawer, bank books in the left drawer and a stack of first class airline tickets to Europe in the right drawer.