Karzai Points Finger at West

After months of fraud accusations and on the heels of a legislative defeat in parliament, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has hit Western political forces with the blame for the messy elections, saying, “There is no doubt that the fraud was very widespread, but this fraud was not committed by Afghans, it was committed by foreigners. This fraud was committed by [United Nations special representative to Afghanistan Peter] Galbraith, this fraud was committed by [chief election observer for the European Union Philippe] Morillon and this fraud was committed by embassies.” The comments came as part of a 50-minute speech and two days after Barack Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan, during which he criticized Karzai for his lax efforts on election reform. For his part, Galbraith was dismissive of the critique, calling Karzai’s speech “so absurd that I considered it an April Fool's Day joke,” and saying it “underscores how totally unreliable this guy is as an ally.” The American Embassy and the United Nations have both declined to comment on the speech at this time.