May 12, 2010

Quotes of the Day

"I hold the key to five provinces. I am the top person, and I deliver. I am the most successful person here... I can be away for the next five years and, when there is an election, I will just call and say, 'Here, I am elected' - and they will vote for me. This is how it is. It's a tribal system."

- Ahmed Wali Karzai

"I think it's in our best interest to figure out how to harness that leadership potential that he has. I think that's a lot simpler and more productive for us than to continue to try and find the smoking gun. People have talked about it for years. Nobody has turned up anything. I'm not so naive to say he's not involved in anything, but, without that, the president is right to say, 'Come up with evidence or quit bad-mouthing my brother.'”

- US Brig. Gen. Ben Hodges, director of NATO operations in southern Afghanistan

"If they send one million soldiers to Kandahar and Ahmed Wali is still here, it will not improve the security situation.”

- Retired teacher in Kandahar who, “like most Afghans interviewed about the president's half-brother, agreed to talk only if their identities were kept secret out of fears that Ahmed Wali Karzai would try to punish his critics.”

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