As U.S. missiles rain down on Afghanistan, Hillary Clinton tries to defuse Hamid Karzai's paranoia
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was recently in Afghanistan, calling the Central Asian country a "major non-NATO ally" of the U.S. government.
This puts the Hamid Karzai regime in the same company as Israel, Japan, the Philippines, Pakistan, and a few other countries that receive greater military cooperation.
The announcement may be designed to placate Karzai, who has become increasingly paranoid, according to a new book by veteran Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid.
Rashid reports in Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan that Karzai believed that U.S. president Barack Obama wanted him replaced before the 2009 Afghan election.
"Acute mistrust and dislike of the Americans was widespread, which made it morally much easier for Karkai's supporters to rig the election," Rashid writes.
Later, the author adds: "His paranoia, fed by his aides and his brothers, led to astonishing conspiracy theories about evil U.S. and British intentions to rig the vote, making Karzai's supporters determined to ensure that the president won on the first ballot."
It's too early to say if Clinton's recent announcement will placate the Afghan president.
In the meantime, U.S. military forces continue raining Hellfire missiles on Afghanistan. The video below was posted on the Live Leak site, indicating that a U.S. pilot was singing "Bye Bye Ms American Pie" before blowing up farmers planting poppy seeds in the middle of a road.
You can hear the song at 1:39 of the video.
This is what the U.S. can do for a major non-NATO ally.
Follow Charlie Smith on Twitter at twitter.com/csmithstraight.