Why Karzai Is Stonewalling A Security Agreement With US

John Glaser, December 02, 2013


Afghan President Hamid Karzai is being depicted in the media as an obstinate spoiler who is sabotaging America’s plans for a decade or more of continued U.S. military occupation of Afghanistan by refusing to sign a status of forces agreement (SOFA) governing future troop presence. Who knows, maybe he is an obstinate saboteur. But his stated reasons for thwarting a security deal in the lead up to the scheduled 2014 drawdown are substantive.

I’ve written before about how ironic it is that the sticking point on a SOFA is whether U.S. troops will be granted legal immunity from Afghan law, since it kind of implies expectations on both sides that U.S. soldiers will continue to commit crimes. And yes, the security deal does hinge on this question of legal jurisdiction, but there is a more literal reason to stall the agreement.

This ably reported piece in the Los Angeles Times puts Karzai’s reluctance to sign a deal in the context of continued civilian casualties caused by U.S. troops. A September drone strike, the article explains, killed 14 people who residents say were civilians and U.S. officials say were Taliban.

“There were pieces of my family all over the road,” said Jan, recalling the deadly Sept. 7 late afternoon incident in an interview last week. “I picked up those pieces from the road and from the truck and wrapped them in a sheet to bury them.

“Do the American people want to spend their money this way, on drones that kill our women and children?” he asked.

The repercussions of such strikes are felt far beyond the dark escarpments of Kunar province. The grief and rage of Jan and his relatives help explain the approval among some Afghans of President Hamid Karzai’s thus far non-negotiable demand that civilian casualties cease if he is to sign a proposed 10-year security agreement with the United States.

Karzai responded to the Kunar attack by accusing the United States of recklessness and callous disregard for innocent Afghans. After a child died in a drone strike Thursday in southern Afghanistan, Karzai suggested that the attack had ended any chance of an accord.

Civilian deaths at the hands of U.S. forces have long poisoned Karzai’s relationship with the United States. That antagonism has hardened this month into a vise that could abruptly end America’s 12-year, multibillion-dollar investment in Afghanistan, despite a decline in civilian casualties due to new safeguards by foreign forces.

Under current agreements, U.S. forces operate under the legal jurisdiction of the U.S. military, which makes it next to impossible for Afghans to seek recourse for operations that scatter their family’s body parts all over the road. And as the last decade of occupation has indisputably demonstrated, the U.S. typically has a rather blasé attitude about investigating and prosecuting crimes committed by American soldiers.

This has led the Obama administration to, once again, threaten a “zero option,” in which all U.S. troops are pulled out in 2014 as they were in Iraq in 2011. The administration quite clearly wants to avoid this, but they aren’t about to leave U.S. troops to the Afghan legal system. So, the zero option is a real possibility – a good thing for everyone, including Afghan civilians.

“The possibility of a military presence into 2024 is unacceptable,” says Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA). “There is no military solution in Afghanistan. After 13 years and more than $778 billion invested in an unstable country and the corrupt Karzai government, it’s time to bring our troops and tax dollars home.”

19 Responses to “Why Karzai Is Stonewalling A Security Agreement With US”

  1. The horror of finding loved ones spread across the landscape in pieces big and small is impossible to imagine, let alone having to pick up the mangled wreckage for burial. With drone technology in the hands of an increasing number of nations, not all of them friends or allies, Americans may find out what it feels like in the not very distant future.

    Let's hope Karzai has the intestinal fortitude to continue refusing to sign a SOFA that allows more such acts to be committed with impunity. I can't believe I find myself agreeing with California Democrat Barbara Lee, but she's right on this one.

  2. Karzai is offered a mafia contract, but the mafioso seems upset by being perceived exactly as that :) So they are laughable besides being dangerous and lying murderers.

  3. I'm sorry to say–Karzai's NATO handlers , are trying their best to keep him in office and or alive after election. Big lie is, to con the Afghanistan public in thinking that Karzai is their man , which always been groomed and appointed by America.

  4. Probably the one thing all the Afghan factions and warlords agree on is getting the Americans out. a completely self interested agreement but they all realize that the american presence will continue the war forever. so they play the Iraqi 09 game of not being able to agree and making unacceptable demands so sooner or later Washington will lose patience and leaves.

  5. that is the tactic perferred, to illicit a responce of attack from any that may be other than serville & obedeint, pacification provoked then then the tamed geo political landscape is freed of any forecast speculations aka vandalism negatively effecting any possible future pipeline right of ways premuimns, margins yields market interest etc etc ad PUKE nauseum, this animal has a whole different diction, a term like “security” actually has more to do with what it doesn’t seek or what may be traditionally or custumaraly understood, the distorted minutia is actually the unspoken & unspeakable insinuated translations’ operational crypto code camophlauge. The true intent cliches of double RE or thunk tank knewz chat chit speak is itself~ disposable vehicle littered post usefullness as it was callously employed, immunity now thares a collection of alpha betacal characterised combinations, are words invented to serve pre determined allegories or evolved uncontrived. HERES ANOTHER, probably a lost acronymn now also its meaning lost, only its insinuation however ignareint of its root, prevades, “war” may be the most perversly abused in the book & W.o!o.W. only 3 numeric runnes to individually cite, from prmitive usage to contemporary utilazation, sounds pre italian latin/roman, set in a serial grouping or just grunted & moaned, no doubt as its accounting surely involved intricite subtles nuanced complexitions more detailed than numbered counts of cancelled homage due by exspired tribute unpaid so voids filled were deralyct marrooned, abandoned the entry in the ledger called rolls scriblets like IVXLCM, IF THEN SCROLLED to amend was well, wourr, the more things, change the more ? (covers up) Swear it looks like what goes on beaurocratically is evil rationalised logically for a machines stoney benefit concern, ka ching, the mathmatic language in dialect grunt moan pre archiac is what their contracts confuse with basic standard rights aka constitutional principal, fair & open douth freedom pursued chase proofs called natural fact, winds named & “cyclical” even an idiots muses circles a bit, once in a while the way from the beginnings start meet what the sounds talk about, like does no still mean no or just something less than knowing no means rong possibly, check it o!o

  6. election is coming up soon. all karzai trying to show is that he is the only candidate that have the gut to face up to the occupiers. part of puppet show guys.

  7. Do not rule out a sudden change in the Afghan government. If the USG believes that Karzai will not sign the agreement giving US troops immunity and the USG really wants a continued presence then they will find another Afghan pol who will sign – and then remove Karzai posthaste. Given that the USG has not planned for the zero-option (or so it's been reported) leads me to believe that they do not believe leaving is an option. The Fat Lady ain't singing, yet.

  8. Maybe he can find another foreign government that is willing ti aid his government, without being an occupier. Chinese, anyone?

  9. It's very dangerous for the leader of a small country to be seen as no longer useful to the US. Norriega, Sadam – it's a long list.

  10. I hope Karzai is working in the interest of his country and not only on his own interest. Hopefully Afghanistan will be a country of peace in some years.

  11. The US wants 100% FREE RANGE THUGGERY.

  12. It's amazing to me that 90% of the worlds Opium comes out of Afghanistan, and the more US troops there are in Afghanistan, the more dope comes out. Think about it. We have satellites in the sky mapping every square inch of Afghanistan…….heck, we have satellites orbiting Mars mapping every square inch of Mars, a billion miles away……they can see the tracks in the sand of the rover, for God's sake? Opium is a crop, just like corn or wheat. There is a planting season, a growing season, a harvesting season. How could they not possibly know where THE DOPE IS??????? Then all this drug money, Hundreds of Billions of dollars has to get laundered. Who has the capabilities to launder hundreds of billions of dollars of drug money? Meanwhile, we went into Afghanistan, never intending to leave. The whole terrorism thing is all a bunch off bull crap. FOLLOW THE. MONEY!!!

    We've been fighting "The Taliban" for twelve (count em) years, and have we defeated them? Think about this, The Taliban back in 2001 were a bunch of guys living in the Stone Age, and they've been fighting the most sophisticated military machine the world has ever known. If we cannot decisively defeat The Taliban in ten minutes, what chance do we have against the Chinese?? Does any of this even have the ring of truth to it? When things don't appear to make any sense, maybe the do make sense, just in some other way?

    Lastly, if they lied to you about The weapons of mass dustructuon in Iraq, why would you believe anything these people havevto tell you about Afghanistan??? The American people are so dumb.

  13. […] Why Karzai Is Stonewalling A Security Agreement With US […]

  14. Whatever gave the usa the right to kill members of the group; Taliban? If Bin laden is dead and if you believe the bs that binny was behind 911 then the Americans have absolutely no right to be in Afghanistan anymore. Unless they discovered Afghanistan 'natural resources' to the tune of a few trillion in metals,gas and oil and have renamed them; us 'national interests'…

  15. kinda like what happened in Vietnam eh? the usa got their asses kicked by freedom fighters who fought for a cause; their homes, their country, their families….

  16. Read the fourth paragraph of this article and compare it to the fifth stanza of this poem…

  17. Dulce Et Decorum Est III & A Taste of Armageddon
    (or the empire has no clothes but a disposition matrix)

    In due homage to Horace, Owen and Mikhail i humbly nod
    for how sweet & glorious it must be to kill or die for God & country by pompous duty with dishonor
    so c'mon kiddies, any up for good jingo sport?
    who’s hungry & poor, who wants to play the hubris 'anything for profit' killing game?

    As newspapers rah rah their pied pier patriotism with journalistic integrity & objectivity ha ha!
    as a new battle lies just around the corner & armed forces day just weeks away hooray!
    rally loyal citizens to whitewash warm innocuous blood off disgraced musket & sullied polluted flag
    strike up the marching parade manifested by destiny down main street usa hey hey!

    Awaken & open thine eyes chauvinistic folk, come & see your overseas deeds of nefarious brutality
    since your liable for this appalling tax-paid violence you've exported to hamlets & villages on human beings
    assaulting families who've never did you any harm in lands you've never heard of, or care less for
    so step on up, one & all, since everyone here is accountable & responsible for this odious debacle

    Take a trip to the overflowing morgues filled with small smashed bodies, once toddlers full of laughter & life
    deeply inhale the rancid stench of scorched flesh crispy burnt to a black bubbly mass by phosphorus
    gaze into doll dead eyes frozen forever by shock & awe renditioned via your God blessed terror from above
    from atop a cold gurney a stiff finger of a tiny hand amidst a pile of mangled flesh pointing at you war supporters

    Watch as grief-stricken fathers zombie-wander in shattered silence
    sifting through ragged debris & devastating destruction searching for lost sons & missing daughters
    discovering ripped wet mangled body parts strewn out as pieces of a human jig-saw puzzle
    taking home the ear, the hand, the foot to be quietly buried while 6000 miles away heroes giggle & call this 'bugsplat'

    Harken to the heart-piercing shrieks as soul-torn asunder mothers wail like howling wild animals
    as they find their loves buried, broken & bloody in the rubble of your glorious works
    then if you can, please explain to the unresponsive moaning neonatal orphan
    why your armed forces just murdered his parents…by accident, then wave a condolence payment in his face

    Celebrate as your special op-forces silently & quickly dig our bullets from civilian bodies
    to cover their tracks from being at the wrong address, again
    declare as a holiday murdered women at a bridal shower or when 4 kids are droned to smithereens while tending sheep
    rejoice in exported evil exploits as great american victories for which your war crimes always are

    Trust flim-flam, the PR propaganda spin
    praise your taxes which finances anglo-terrorism through illegal & immoral aggressive violence
    raise your false flag ever higher to cover the rising pile where the butchered lie
    however dear good christian citizens, no civic rag could ever soar over the sick slaying of the innocent

    Consider Fallujha surrounded & caged, then the cowering cringing unarmed civilian inhabitants
    shot, burned & barbequed like slaughtered sitting ducks in a ‘free-fire zone’ shooting gallery
    ponder upon your sanctimonious attack at a school in Bajour where 69 children are massacred by joystick
    this is Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, My Lai, Haditha, & other mass-media contorted & distorted great triumphs
    which to no doubt in my mind, the next war crime called a ‘battle’ will be anointed too, of course, ta! ta!

  18. Why Karzai Is Stonewalling A Security Agreement With US?

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