Afghan President Hamid Karzai has returned to the Mideast, after his stop here in the Midwest was the finale of his 4-day U.S. tour this week. He talked about his visit to a farm 60 miles northwest of Council Bluffs, during an appearance last night at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, home of the Center For Afghanistan Studies. He says jovially that he was on a horse. “I liked it, it was a good horse,” and he goes on to say he checked the cattle and they were all healthy.Karzai achnowledged many Afghan farmers grow poppies to sell for opium, but said they’d be more successful farmers if they learned the technology and methods that make Midwestern farmers so productive. At the Omaha event Karzai was given an honorary doctorate of humane letters but his praise was for Tom Gouttierre, who’s headed UNO’s Center for Afghan Studies for three decades now. Karzai praised Nebraska for being the U.S. state that’s closest to his nation. Tom Gouttierre is the man who’s done that,” Karzai says. “Sometimes we call him the son of America — and most of the time we call him a son of Afghanistan,” he adds. Afterwards he returned to Offutt Air Force Base and flew back to Afghanistan.
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