Californian Congressman Critical of Hamid Karzai Banned From Entering Afghanistan
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is making relations between the United States and Afghanistan a little more strained. The outspoken representative from Huntington Beach, who also serves as Republican chairman of the House foreign affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigation, has been barred from Afghanistan.
Rohrabacher, who was leading a delegation to the nation run by Hamid Karzai, was stopped in Dubai Friday on his way to Kabul, reports the Guardian. It seems Rohrabacher did not have a visa to enter Afghanistan, but the others did.
Karzai, of whom Rohrabacher has been outspokenly critical, sent a message relayed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: He's not welcome in Afghanistan.
In response, Rohrabacher "called the move a 'pretty desperate' attempt to prevent his views from being aired in front of the Afghan people," according to the Huffington Post.
Tara Olivia Setmayer, communications director for Rohrabacher, the Congressman had been a vocal critic of government corruption and "the US's failed strategy of foisting a western-style democracy from a central government in Kabul. He has advocated involving the former Northern Alliance factions in the government, much to the chagrin of Karzai."
That chagrin has just added fuel to an-already blazing fire between the nations.
On his website, Rohrabacher outlines his views on Afghanistan as follows:
In Afghanistan, which will never have the resources to pay us back, America cannot afford to continue with failed "nation building." Rep. Rohrabacher introduced H. Res. 423, which calls for an alternative strategy in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban and their al-Qaeda allies. The plan advocates shifting focus away from an effort to transform Afghanistan into a centrally controlled, Western-style democracy, to an effort working within the tribal and ethnic structures that already exist in Afghanistan. That's the only way to make sure any return of the Taliban or other radicals is thwarted. After 9/11, we utilized these factors and leveraged American airpower and Special Forces to drive out the Taliban. Now, after our brave Navy SEAL Team 6 has done such a courageous and magnificent job disposing of the murderous terrorist Osama bin Laden, we should declare victory in Afghanistan and bring our troops home immediately.