I assume that when the President of the United States lectures the President of Afghanistan about the need toroot out political corruption, end drug trafficking and its influence, and restore the rule of law by holding law-breakers accountable, he’s talking about their country and not ours.

But still, you’d think at least some Americans would be a little embarrassed to hear their government make these kinds of statements without looking in a mirror:

What he is seeking, Mr. Obama told reporters afterward, is “a sense on the part of President Karzai that, after some difficult years in which there has been some drift, that in fact he’s going to move boldly and forcefully forward and take advantage of the international community’s interest in his country to initiate reforms internally. That has to be one of our highest priorities.”

The administration wants Mr. Karzai and the Afghan government to put into place an anticorruption commission to establish strict accountability for government officials at the national and provincial levels, senior administration officials said Monday.

In addition, some American officials and their European counterparts would like at least a few arrests of what one administration official called “the more blatantly corrupt” people in the Afghan government.

Administration officials declined to provide the names of people they wanted to see arrested and acknowledged that such arrests were a long shot. The international community’s wish list of potential defendants includes Mr. Karzai’s brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade; Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, who is accused of involvement in the killings of thousands of Taliban prisoners of war early in the Afghan conflict; and one of Mr. Karzai’s running mates, Marshal Muhammad Qasim Fahim, a former defense minister who is also suspected of drug trafficking.

“A couple of high-profile heads on a platter would be nice,” said one European diplomat involved in Afghanistan. The diplomat, like other officials, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the matter.

I don’t recall the Afghans asking us our opinion, let alone inviting us to invade their country or demand they change their society as a condition for our willingness to continue occupying their country.

But it must strike the Afgans as a bit presumptuous to get lectures on drug-related corruption from a White House and US government that are awash in PhRMa secret deals and compaign donations, that kidnaps and tortures other countries’ citizens and then tells them they have no remedies in our courts, and that steadfastly refuses to prosecute any senior officials who authorized, condoned and engaged in egregious war crimes. And speaking of legitimacy, need we mention that a blatantly partisan Supreme Court determined the winner of our Presidential election?

If you have an extra mirror, send it to D.C., with instructions on where to look.

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