February 27th, 2009
09:46 AM ET

'Don't hammer us too much'

The Obama Administration recently approved deploying 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

The Obama Administration recently approved deploying 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Elise Labott
State Department Producer

It was an intense week of meetings with US, Afghan and Pakistani officials. They were reviewing U.S. policy to stabilize Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, a region now affectionately known to policy wonks as "Afpak."

But Pakistani Ambassador Husain Haqqani added a little levity to the urgent issues at hand Thursday night at a rare reception hosted jointly by the Afghan and Pakistani delegations. Haqqani toasted his guests by quoting the legendary speaker of the House, Texan Sam Rayburn who once said; "Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes carpenters to build a one."

" We have had our fair share of jackasses in our region," Haqqani told the group of hundreds of Washington's movers and shakers.

Turning to his Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi Qureshi, Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin D. Spanta and Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, the new administration czar for the region, Haqqani said, "This room is full of carpenters who are now going to build something in our region."

But he had one plea to the formidable Holbrooke: "please don't hammer us too much."

Filed under: Afghanistan • Elise Labott • Global 360°
soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Art

    How much money have we given those two country's?? What have we got in return?? Where's Bin Laden??

    February 27, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  2. Bill

    I am a born-again Republican in deep distress. Are we serious about Bobby Jindal, Sarah Pallin, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell et al, as our leaders. Do we really beleive that "Russ the mouth and Sean Hannity speak for the party. I voted for the past president twice. In return, his poor leadership melted my eggs nest by one third.
    Our economy will never get better as long as the "Chicken Littles" in the media and in congress keep telling us that the sky is falling. If we have 8 percent unemployment, duh We have 92 percent either employed or don't want to work. Bring us the bad news, but don't forget that there may be some not so bad news. Herbert Hoover was a nice man, but he didn't realize that you can only spend your way out of a recession. FDR got the message. Tax cuts are not the only answer. Bill

    February 27, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  3. vincent albregts

    re the revamping of our financial system.
    I have not been notified of ANY changes with reference to Equifax, TransUnion and those other Powers that be that. inorder to really revamp we also need to revamp those huge roadblocks. i.e. i dont owe anyone any thing of real substance, yet my fico score because of that is dismal but utterly dismal and i am trying to buy my first house at the age of 52 and live in california, a state which illegally and fraudulently misapproiate public funds, dare to write iou's on state income tax-refunds . i mean the comptroller mr chung, should be arrested. we still pay our salestax but when one revolts nothing happens and where does that leave mr obama's ambitions.
    signed: vincent f.a. albregts, san clemente, california

    February 27, 2009 at 11:18 am |
  4. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    I think tha Afgan and Pakistan needs to come up with more carpenters--the US will supply the hammers.

    February 27, 2009 at 10:43 am |

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