KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – In a practical joke that has been called 'tasteless' and 'vulgar' by senior American officials, Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently used the occasion of April Fools Day to sarcastically "thank" the American military for their sacrifices in Afghanistan.
After 13 years at war, the final American troops are preparing to withdraw from Afghanistan later this year, putting an end to the conflict popularly known in the United States as the "Huh? What? War" or "Wait, We're Still There?"
Surrounded by giggling officials at the Afghan presidential palace, Karzai attempted to keep a straight face as he read out a short speech thanking the United States military for its long commitment to Afghanistan and the billions of dollars it spent fighting the Taliban.
"We really appreciate everything you guys have done," Karzai said, attempting to maintain a deadpan tone, despite the multiple interruptions of snickering throughout his remarks. "My three villas in Dubai wouldn't have built themselves otherwise. And my friends in Quetta say thanks for all the target practice. No really, you guys are awesome."
"On behalf of the people of Afghanistan, feel free to stay for another ten years or until you finish building that microchip processing plant in Kunduz."
He was ultimately unable to finish his speech, turning beet red himself from laughter until he had to be helped from the podium by members of his American-financed security team into his American-bought diamond-encrusted Mercedes.
Karzai made his remarks shortly after issuing a formal endorsement of Russia's occupation of the Crimea and scheduling a high-level summit with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss better ties between Afghanistan and "our new best friend, Iran."
In conjunction with the speech, Karzai released a fake spreadsheet outlining his plan to use the proceeds from Afghanistan's newly reopened opium trade to repay the United States for everything it has invested in the country. He added that the Afghan Government would also be minting special medals for the hundreds of thousands of American service members who served in Operation Enduring Freedom, as soon as adequate stockpiles of ballonium were available.
Responding on behalf of the U.S, government, Secretary of the Army John McHugh described the prank as "an insult to the thousands of Americans who have died in Afghanistan justifying the Pentagon's budget and troop levels."