Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said Monday Afghan president Hamid Karzai “needs to be called out” for comments he made over the weekend that if the United States went to war with Pakistan, Afghanistan would side with the Pakistanis.
“Well, this statement is obviously outrageous, and a whole lot of U.S. officials — from the secretary of state on down — ought to be having conversations with President Karzai to express that,” Bolton told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum. “But you know, back in the day, an American politician could say one thing in the Northeast, another thing in the South, another thing in the West and get it away with it — that obviously doesn’t happen today — within 24 hours, an inconsistency is being pointed out.
“But in other cultures, they’re just not used to that. You’re speaking in — I don’t know, Urdu or Pashtu, whatever President Karzai was speaking in to some Pakistani radio station — and if you get found out, you say: Well, I was quoted out of context or you’ve got the interpretation wrong,” Bolton said. “Unfortunately, he got caught in duplicity and double dealing. And he needs to be called out for it very severely in private.”
Bolton noted that Karzai flip-flopping on statements is a fundamental part of the Afghan culture and one of the reasons that any United States mission to change the way Afghanis do business is probably doomed to fail.
“I think this is part of the culture that he can say one thing to another person and the precise opposite to another and believe that he can get away with it,” Bolton said, “It’s one reason why we, the United States, are not going to reform Afghanistan, its culture or its government in our lifetime and that shouldn’t be our objective — we shouldn’t think we're going to fundamentally change the country.
“But even more importantly, to understand: We’re not there to benefit Hamid Karzai. A lot of people say: Oh, how can he be so ungrateful after all the help we’ve given him. It’s true we’ve benefited him and the Afghan people, but this is a fundamental political point,” he said. “We’re there to protect American interests — as an incident of that, we may benefit the Afghans, but we’re not there to make them a better people, a happier place to live — we’re there to advance our own interests, and that’s why President Karzai really needs to have his hat handed to him.”
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.