The Wall Street Journal recounts John Kerry’s weekend with Hamid Karzai and their five meetings resulting in Karzai capitulation to the idea of a run off election;
According to one Western diplomat, the Afghan president was more comfortable dealing with Sen. Kerry than with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry or the administration’s special representative to the region, Richard Holbrooke. Mr. Holbrooke angered Mr. Karzai when he suggested shortly after the Aug. 20 election that a runoff might be needed.
“He and I are friends,” Sen. Kerry said of Mr. Karzai. “It was really trying to lay out the real interests that were at stake. … President Karzai was very attentive and thinks he won the election.”
I’d probably be more comfortable dealing with Kerry than Eikenberry, too, but it’s only because I think Eikenberry is a dick – and I’ve thought that about for about 34 years. While the Washington Times tells of a furious row between Karzai and Obama’s “most talented diplomats of his generation”, Richard Holbrooke, Kerry and Karzai seemed to hit it off;
“I said to President Karzai that if we could make further progress, I was willing to come back to Afghanistan,” Sen. Kerry said.
We all knew Robert Gates wouldn’t last the year as Obama’s Defense Secretary, so I wonder if they’re setting the stage for Kerry to take over since Obama doesn’t really want to think about Afghanistan much, anyway.
I’m sure within a few weeks Kerry would finally sign that Form 180.