Afghan President Karzai today on the notion that the Iraq war has "fueled terror growth around the world":
KARZAI: Ma'am, before I go to the remarks by my brother, President Musharraf, terrorism was hurting us way before Iraq or September 11. The president mentioned some examples of it.
These extremist forces were killing people in Afghanistan and around for years, closing schools, burning mosques, killing children, uprooting vineyards with vine trees, grapes hanging on them, forcing populations to poverty and misery.
They came to America on September 11, but they were attacking you before September 11 in other parts of the world.
We are a witness in Afghanistan as to what they are and how they can hurt. You are a witness in New York.
Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high?
Who did that? And where are they now? And how do we fight them, how do we get rid of them, other than going after them? Should we wait for them to come and kill us again?
That's why we need more action around the world, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, to get them defeated. Extremism, their allies, terrorists and the likes of them.
On the remarks of my brother, President Musharraf, Afghanistan is a country that is emerging out of so many years of war and destruction and occupation by terrorism and misery that they brought to us.
We lost almost two generations to the lack of education. And those who were educated before that are now older.
We know our problems. We have difficulties. But Afghanistan also knows where the problem is, in extremism, in madrassas preaching hatred, places by the name of madrassas preaching hatred. That's what we should do together, to stop.
The United States, as an ally, is helping both countries. And I think it is very important that we have more dedication and more intense work, with sincerity, all of us, to get rid of the problems that we have around the world.
"Do you forget people jumping off the 80th floor or 70th floor when the planes hit them? Can you imagine what it will be for a man or a woman to jump off that high?"
I know I haven't forgotten. Extremists were with us long before Iraq and will be with us long after unless there is a miracle of some sort. If they don't use Iraq as an excuse they will use the Pope, or cartoons, or simply the existence of secularists or Christians or Jews. I quite frankly don't give a damn about the sensibilities of some screwed-up barbarian in Waziristan or Riyadh or Gaza or Anbar. They fight against the duly elected governments of Afghanistan and Iraq, governments that are strongly supported by the people. That should be enough by itself, but sadly isn't for some people.
I support the Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan who are on the front lines against those extremists/barbarians. You don't have to support them, but shame on you if you don't.