Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Peter Galbraith Saga Continues ...

From today's New York Times:

U.N. Officials Say American Aide Plotted to Replace Karzai

By JAMES GLANZ and RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr.
Published: December 16, 2009

As widespread fraud in the Afghanistan presidential election was becoming clear three months ago, the No. 2 United Nations official in the country, the American Peter W. Galbraith, proposed enlisting the White House in a plan to replace the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, according to two senior United Nations officials.... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/17/world/asia/17galbraith.html

NOTE: I've known Peter for, oh, almost 20 years, crossing paths with him in Abu Dhabi, Zagreb and elsewhere, and while we don't always agree, I've always admired his guts and his determination to stand up for what he thinks is the right policy, even if it goes against -- or slides around -- official policy. He was a passionate supporter of the Kurds before and after the 1991 gulf war, and then after the fall of Saddam a dozen years later. As US ambassador to Croatia in the mid-1990s, he quietly encouraged Iranian arms shipments to the Bosnians, much to the consternation of the CIA station chief. His actions helped bring that long brutal Balkan war, at last, to an end. In recent weeks there have been allegations that Peter profited from his relations with the Kurds by getting a share in a major -- and controversial -- deal with a Norwegian company. But at the time he was acting as private citizen, and, as he told the Times, somewhat archly,"while I may have had interests, I see no conflict."
Peter may not always be a good diplomat, but he's almost always good copy.
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