Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-California) was in a plane on the tarmac in Dubai, ready to head to Afganistan as part of a congressional delegation, when U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called to request that he cancel his trip because Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai had threatened to deny the entire delegation entry if Rohrabacher stayed on the plane.
Rohrabacher, whose involvement in Afghanistan stretches back decades, told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that Secretary Clinton was respectful, but concerned that Rohrabacher’s presence would cause President Karzai to fan the tense fires of an already smoldering city, especially after recent reports of U.S. soldiers burning Korans, killing Afghan civilians, and urinating on dead bodies. Rohrabacher’s spokesperson, Tara Olivia Setmayer, told Politico.com that Rohrabacher “believes [Karzai’s] denial is based on [Rohrbacher’s] vocal opposition to Karzai,” as well as “Dana’s relationship with the former Northern Alliance leaders.”
Rohrabacher ceded to the request, but has expressed deep concern about the U.S. government “walking on eggshells” around President Karzai, as well as the Afghan government’s refusal to give members of Congress access, especially considering the fact that they represent the American people, whose tax dollars are being used by that same government.
Should Secretary Clinton have allowed Rohrabacher to continue on with the delegation? Should our tax money allow us open access to Afghan redevelopment?
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA’s 46th District (Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa), senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, denied entry into Afghanistan