Afghan Results

Afghan results appear mixed. Much criticism (as in our newspaper’s political cartoons) has been directed at potential violence. Apparently, that was not a problem. (Another dog that didn’t bark but whose absence is not likely to be noted.) On the other hand, the ink that marked someone as having voted washed off too easily and some may have voted repeatedly. Links:

Fox; Instapundit ; Jericho . All with pictures. An intro to the issues: Norvell.

The problems appear similar to those expected in Dailey’s Chicago and Johnson’s south Texas. This may well be simple incompetence; if it is venality, it is venality rather than violence. That does seem to indicate a real step toward democracy. Still, with several of the candidates boycotting, the election will not have the authority we would like. (Snarky moment: I wonder what Carter will do – perhaps he could bless it with a Venzuelean validition? Or, perhap not, since the project was undertaken under Republican leadership.) Frankly, it is hard to be snarky and look at the pictures; these are moving. I hope it proves, finally, a fair election.

5 thoughts on “Afghan Results”

  1. (I was posting formerly as “A Dogwasher”)

    I checked some Afghan sites/radio shows and the election seems to have been overwhelmingly popular. Even in the lawless areas of Paktia where Taliban are still popular, “jirgas” (tribal councils … a primitive form of democracy) were held and tribal leaders proclaimed that regardless of the outcome they were going to accept the will of the nation. In Kandahar, the homeland of Taliban, women lined up to vote and peaceful rallies were held while the tri-color Afghan flag – not the black religious Taliban flag – was flying everywhere. The music and the tone of poetry in Afghan shows are very upbeat and optimistic. An Afghan intellectual in Kabul compared the whole enterprise as lightening of a candle in darkness and asked rhetorically what would happen should every individual in the country turns on a candle. Meanwhile, in Iran, where Afghan refugees voted, the mullahs have taken note and are most probably worried that soon their own people might be asking for the same right. Ditto for Pakistan, sandwitched between a democratic India and and an emerging Afghanistan. Former Soviet republics of Central Asia where the ruling communists converted to nationalists in early 1990s are also probably watching this very closely. I also checked Al-Jazeera and they seem to have trouble coming up with conspiracy theories. Perhaps the best way to isolate the guerillas/jihardists from the general population in Iraq is to move towards an election and development of democratic institutions as soon as possible.

    I repeat what I was arguing couple of days ago on this site — defense of American values abroad, rather than narrow American interests, is the best way forward to a secure America.

  2. Thanks for posting and giving us your insights. It is good to not only hear your perspective but I am trapped with my one language. Mostly, I don’t mind – I like English. But there are times when it narrows my world. Your ability to really understand both cultures gives people like me a window. And I appreciate it.

    This is the best news of a good weekend- with Howard, etc.

  3. I would add only that if President Karzai is as talented as Daley the Elder, or even LBJ, Afghanistan is in for some striking improvements, though occasionally in ways that we find uncomfortable. ;)

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