Who we are backing; who our soldiers die to protect
Mr. Karzai, whose government is propped up by billions of dollars in Western aid and nearly 100,000 American troops fighting a deadly war against the Taliban, made the comments during a private meeting with about 60 or 70 Afghan lawmakers Saturday.Karzai's earlier remarks, during a speech on Thursday, heightened an ongoing political power struggle between Karzai and an increasingly independent-minded parliament, which has refused to confirm nearly half of his Cabinet nominees because they were allegedly incompetent, corrupt or too weak to resist pressure from powerful people.
At one point, Mr. Karzai suggested that he himself would be compelled to join the other side -- that is, the Taliban -- if the parliament did not back his controversial attempt to take control of the country's electoral watchdog from the United Nations, according to three of those who attended the meeting, including a close ally of the president.
During the speech, Karzai lashed out against the U.N. and the international community, accusing them of perpetrating a "vast fraud" in last year's presidential election as part of a conspiracy to deny him re-election or tarnish his victory. [AP]