On air: Do you trust the Afghan election result ?


afghan elex The Afghan Ambassador to the US Said Tayeb Jawad told the World Today programme that the recent elections were a success  … and that the real winners were the Afghan people. You can listen to the clip here:

This person — an Afghan election observer — is sharing some of that optimism – at least to a certain degree.  They say, “it is clear that Afghanistan is having significant issues with the way this election was conducted. But in one city, looking through one straw, it looked as if it went pretty well.”

But not everyone is feeling quite so sure. The Electoral Complaints Commission is probing more than 2,000 fraud claims after finding “clear-and-convincing evidence of fraud in a number of polling stations.” And this Afghan blogger had no faith in the election process — even before the first ballots were cast.

What do you think? Given the huge hurdles — the mind-bloggling logistics of reaching voters in remote mountain areas, and the intimidation and attacks from the Taliban — were the elections about as good as Afghanistan could hope for? Was a flawed election better than none at all? Are Afghan people the real winners?

And while we’re on the subject of Afghanistan, here are some other things to consider about the state of play ….

* A reporter for the New York Times has been freed in a military commando raid, after being held captive by militants in northern Afghanistan. His Afghan interpreter was killed during the rescue effort.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said a major summit on Afghanistan should be held this year.The British and German leaders said the meeting should focus on helping Afghanistan take on more responsibility.

* Merkel also rejects criticism over a Nato airstrike ordered by a German commander that is believed to have killed scores of civilians.

* A former Army major- now an MP and defence aide – recently resigned in protest at the British policy in Afghanistan.eric joyce pic

Eric Joyce in his resignation letter said :

“I do not think the public will accept for much longer that our losses can be justified by simply referring to the risk of greater terrorism on our streets”

and – in a swipe at some of Britain’s European neighbours : “For many, Britain fights, Germany pays, France calculates, Italy avoids

mcchrystal * Only last week, a top U.S general – Stanley McChrystal called  for a new U.S strategy in the country..

“The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort”

BUT poppy cultivation and opium production has been reduced, says the UN.. 


71 Responses to “On air: Do you trust the Afghan election result ?”

  1. 1 Solomon
    September 4, 2009 at 11:31

    I guess weapons have taken enough time to ensure peace ( in the Afghan). It should not be like let all “bad” people die to guarantee tranquility.
    How about dialogue?
    The world needs to get to the details of their (afghans) concerns.

  2. 2 Roberto
    September 4, 2009 at 12:17

    RE “” “What’s the end game in Afghanistan ?” “”

    —————— Depends on what your station in life is.

    If you’re a US/British/Nato/Afghan politician, the end game is taking credit for success whilst deferring responsibility for losses.

    If you’re the average global citizen, it’s Afghaniwho? as you struggle to find work in the global depression.

    If you’re an Afghan citizen, it’s surviving whomever you are in conflict today.

    If you’re a US/British/Nato soldier, it’s how best do I carry out these orders.

    If you’re an Afghan soldier, it’s whatever works best for your tribe.

  3. 3 Steve in Boston
    September 4, 2009 at 12:50

    What happened to all the anti-war protesters? I guess they don’t actually mind war, it was George W. Bush they hated. Bigotry against people with Texas drawls.

    • 4 Sohail Gill
      September 9, 2009 at 08:39

      Its ridiculous,why cant NATO / US admit that war on terror in AFPAK is NOWIN other than defeat except continued homicde / innocent killings.The only excuse to intrude into Afghanistan , during BUSH era has been proved a mere farce , coz they have not been able to capture neither OBL (most probably dead)nor Mullah Omar/ AlQaida.President Obama must now come out with bold declaration to accept the falsified elections & cease useless support to the already failed Karazai and chart out a devised strategy in order to flinch away alongwith allied forces & let Aghans leave alone to decide their future but do not forget to placate them with reconstruction unlike past blunder (creation of Taleban) to nip the root cause of terrorism “deprivation”!

    • 5 NSC London
      September 10, 2009 at 14:49

      There are still loads of anti-war protesters, what are you even talking about dude?

  4. 6 Dennis Junior
    September 4, 2009 at 12:51

    I don’t honestly that the sides, don’t have an end game to the Afghan Situation…..

    =Dennis Junior=

  5. 7 Mick
    September 4, 2009 at 13:00

    Like the Taliban want to talk? These are the people that exploded 5 car bombs simultaneously in Kandahar City, killing over 100 (including someone I knew). The same people who get others to strap on suicide vests and blow themselves (and many, many other innocent people) up. If it is so good on the other side, why don’t they show everyone and blow themselves up?

    • 8 Sam
      September 9, 2009 at 16:52

      i notice that most opposition parties these days do very little by way of campaign, they just sit back and claim victory even before the election results are released, and sometimes, they resort to violence because they know they would be heard when lives are lost. This trend must be checked. The question is, would the opposition have won if the elections were not rigged?

  6. 9 Michel Norman
    September 4, 2009 at 13:19

    Judging by the official British reaction to our defensive wall, which was dsigned specifically to stop real and not imageinery suicide bombings which took the lives of one thousand of our people, and which has been extremely successful in achieving that aim, against a very real and present threat, then sending your troops thousands of miles to fight a percieved threat seems nebulous in the extreme. Britain was unable to subdue Afghanistan when it has an empire covering a quarter of the world’s population, so there is very little reason to beleive that Britain’s small army will be able to achieve this now. Perhaps the billions that are being invested would be better invested stopping the plague of racist extremist muslim videos readily available on the streets of Great Britain, and in rooting out your domestically produced terrorists – the only bombs to go off in Britain were not placed by Afghanis.

  7. 10 gary
    September 4, 2009 at 13:49

    A discussion of an end game in Afghanistan presumes the folks with whom we are contending are Afghanis and that they will end hostilities if we do. While I believe a real war is being waged by those we call “ terrorists”, I do not believe terror is its ultimate goal, nor that the organizing principle has a particular country, nor that it is inspired by religious motives. While there are many questions that need answering, killing civilians in the hills of Afghanistan, even really peevish ones helping the tall man, isn’t going to provide them.
    People cannot keep secrets and the West mustn’t forget the more important part of communication is listening.

  8. 11 patti in cape coral
    September 4, 2009 at 14:06

    I agree with Roberto.

  9. 12 SUE
    September 4, 2009 at 15:27

    It is a quagmire and we don’t belong there. Both Brown and Obama are holding the deadly baby that was left with them by the previous administrations, and they don’t know how to free themselves from it.

  10. 13 Dave in Florida
    September 4, 2009 at 16:13

    “What happened to all the anti-war protesters? I guess they don’t actually mind war, it was George W. Bush they hated. Bigotry against people with Texas drawls.”

    No, today’s protesters are just the Bush supporters who once supported the war, and called protesters “Un-American” and “traitors.” Funny how something that was so popular to conservatives only when a republican was leading the charge can become so disgusting when a democrat suddenly inherits the helm.

    And yes, you’re right. What did happen to the former protesters?

  11. 14 surender pal
    September 4, 2009 at 17:09

    i think Pakistan is fuming truble in afganistan so that afganistan remains a destable state.Pakistan is geting huge aid from americans which it is using for strenthening its militray might that can be used against india. A tight vigil should be kept on the aid being provided to pakistan so that it can be channeled in right direction i.e. against taliban and not india

  12. 15 David
    September 4, 2009 at 17:41

    SUE ou made a good summary of it all

    “It is a quagmire and we don’t belong there. Both Brown and Obama are holding the deadly baby that was left with them by the previous administrations, and they don’t know how to free themselves from it”.

    In my view, one innocent death is far too many.

  13. 16 Anthony
    September 4, 2009 at 18:10

    Unfortunatly the only way we can end the drama there is the same way we ended our WWII conflict with Japan. I’m not saying that we should, but that’s how we can end it.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  14. 17 Jim Newman
    September 4, 2009 at 18:58

    Hello again
    I’ve got a brilliant idea. How about all foreign armies getting out of Afghanistan.

    • 18 Leo goki, NIGERIA
      September 4, 2009 at 19:05

      Jim Newman doing that will send Afganistan into a civil war, America and her allies are the only thing holding that country in some sembulance of order.

      • 19 Jim Newman
        September 5, 2009 at 12:33

        Hello again
        And hello Leo. Afghanistan is already in a civil war provoked by the presence of foreign troops. And the same can be said of Iraq.
        In fact most civil wars are caused by foreigners having interests in a country that go against the interests of the inhabitants. This was the case in most South American countries where the USA put collaborationist dictators in power to forward USA business interests. Columbia is a current example.
        Sorry to disillusion you.

      • 20 tkoller
        September 9, 2009 at 22:18

        Jim, will ignoring it will make it better? The Afghan issue started with Russia and there has been no good choice since. Now in the Middle East, the only way to have any semblance of order is a strong military presence. What is important now is to carefully watch what they do. There is no clear answer, but I would suggest in both Iraq and Afghanistan is to recreate the old borders of about 1880. This would stop much of the internal political conflict that allows others to exert influence.

        As for South America, it is very different. That is CIA, not the military. They have been documented in the subversion of several democratic revolutions and governments for money. No disillusionment here and no ethics from the CIA.

  15. 21 Leo goki, NIGERIA
    September 4, 2009 at 19:02

    I agree with David both Obama and Brown are left with the problems of thier predecessors there is no end game plan for these present administrations because they did’nt start this war.
    Even if by some remote chance there is an end game i think it is to keep fighting untill some miracle happens and you win because right now there is no chance the colition forces in Afganistan can subdue the Taliban for because you are fighting angainst an idea and you can’t fight an idea with guns and missels.

  16. 22 Tan Boon Tee
    September 5, 2009 at 04:35

    If the end game in is to eliminate the Taliban in total, it will not be achieved.

    Can anyone imagine how many people present themselves as normal Afghans during the day and jump into the Taliban wagon at night?

    Whatever the strategies are, whatever the improved ones will be, the bottom line is the coalition forces have been involved in a futile, fruitless if not absolutely stupid war.

  17. 23 scmehta
    September 5, 2009 at 05:58

    The idea of Britain’s participation/involvement in Afghanistan, to fight against the cult of terror, is as big as THE IDEA itself. In such kind of wars, one has to persevere and persist to make sure that THE IDEA has been given a proper and a lasting shape.
    Mr. Eric’s remarks are regrettable but understandable; after all, now in his present roll, he is more of a politician than a soldier, whereas, when in the Army, he would have held a different opinion.

  18. 25 Dennis Junior
    September 7, 2009 at 00:53

    At least, Mr. Joyce did the best thing in his conscience and resigned his post; to be outspoken on the British Involvement in Afghanistan.


  19. 26 anu_d
    September 7, 2009 at 10:37

    Afganistan is a “stuck in the throat” situation….can’t swallow it…can’t spit it.

    In times of strain on the economy these Afganistan budgets would be much more welcome doing things at home.

    But the NATO alliance cannot be seen either dumping Afgans without stabilizing them.

    Therefore a settlement would have to be worked out however notional and superficial…..to show peace and stability and make an exit in a face saving way. I thin an exit plan will be worked out by end of this year and phased withdrawls by end of 2010.

    NATO alliance should consider outsourcing the military presence to the Indian armies…next door in abundance with cultural and terrain familiarity

  20. 27 Dinka Aliap Chawul-Kampala,Uganda
    September 7, 2009 at 12:45

    The imperialism had totally failed Afghans,and now NATO must leave Aghanistan4Afghans,otherwise they’ll depart on Soviet style in 2013/4 or give-up to Taliban now!

  21. 28 Ibrahim in UK
    September 7, 2009 at 13:04

    The end game for NATO is to have a stable pro-Western government in Afghanistan capable of repelling anti-Western forces.
    For that to succeed, the overwhelming majority have to become pro-Western.
    As long as NATO forces occupy Afghanistan, any casualties (whether from air-strike or suicide bomber) will be blamed on the occupation.
    Karzai’s rule barely stretches to the boundaries of Kabul despite the money and men being pumped into it. He has to somehow govern an Eastern people but playing by Western rules. The Taleban in the periphery is “out-governing” the Karzai government since they can respond directly to the needs of the people without the shackles of Western expectations and demands.
    There probably needs to be an alternative to Karzai who is independent and can act as the middle-man between the opposing factions and work out a solution.

  22. 29 anu_d
    September 7, 2009 at 13:42

    Karzai has gone from a “part of the solution” to the “part of the problem” in the eyes of western alliances…..and I agree with the western opinion of Karzai this time.

    Karzai has pardoned the Drug Lords, approved Shariya type laws curbing women’s freedom, rigged elections…and instead of propogating the meritorious parts of western values…..he has shown signs to imbibe some of the evils of Taliban values.

    Can’t leave it in the hands of Karzai is another of allies probelem

  23. September 7, 2009 at 16:54

    Supersaturate the entire country with civil action people to establish schools, good agricultural projects. Create good roads and infastructure for people to get their products to market. Then really establish a reinforced security force with Afghans from familiar tribes.

    Atop that obvious activity we need to computer plot all human heat signatures in the mountainous, remote areas where the militants migrate to and from staging areas.

    When they are plotted and identified then systematically drop in cordon teams and via parachute teams with great supporting arms and have these people find close and destroy the enemy. Use the 2 million American prisoners to massively invade the enemies of allah.

    If the enemies of allah gradually never show up again at their homes and families the people will eventually tire of waiting for their people to come back and perhaps the younger family members will tire of leaving home never to return.

    Never announce what is happening to the militants…..just let it all remain a mystery. People everywhere is tired of hearing about the war, so gradually it will all be lost in time, but the society of Afghanistan will grow strong and offer a worthwhile life to its non miliants who are just absent.

    troop on the Oregon Coast.

  24. September 7, 2009 at 16:58

    Last sentence should read that non militants, will just not see any of the militants attacking their schools, destroying their infastructure, or throwing acid in the faces of their young girls. The bad guys will just be gone.

    troop in Oregon

  25. September 7, 2009 at 17:14

    Afghanistan will never be calm and peaceful. NATO and American forces are finding out the hard way. What they want may not be what Iranians, Saudis or Pakistanis want.
    We must dispel the notion of a civilized, capable, self-sufficient Afghan government, because it’s not true.
    The elections have been a shamble, but Karzai is the best choice because he knows what concessions to make to chieftains, drug lords, Taliban and al-Qaeda in order to stay in power.

    September 7, 2009 at 21:00

    For good or bad and whether we like or not, there should be a compromise with the Taleban. These people are the only ones that show any pains of Afghanistan. The rest are just investors after profit and joy riders.

    Consider this. Afghanistan was still having a civil war were it not for having harbored the outlawed Bin Laden’s. The current administration was the other warring party. Even with outside arms and personnel assistance, they still cannot stand on their own foot. As far back as Clinton’s administration days, it was quite clear that the real training of ground of terrorists was in Pakistan (a highly educated society which had a well grounded footing in the west)..

    What the generals are saying should have been implemented years ago before mistrust of foreigners was entrenched alongside endless troop surges. The message is clear. DON’T RUN AWAY FROM AFGHANISTAN BEFORE CORRECTING YOUR MISTAKES. True the strategy has to be revised even if it will through swallowing back part of the pride. The generals are almost saying this.

  27. 34 T
    September 8, 2009 at 02:12

    What’s one consistent error that supporters of this war make? They interchange the Taliban and Al-Queda. The Taliban attacked the States on 9/11. No they didn’t. But, they’re banking on many people not knowing the difference. And if someone does call them on this, they conveniently go to Al-Queda instead. Because they’re all terrorists anyway. So what difference does it make, as long we kill all of them?

  28. 35 Miriam
    September 8, 2009 at 02:14

    The islamic sunni ummah has no inclination to live peacefully with or allow any infidel on their soil; this is reinforced by the pakistan’s spy agency for the talebans. Another islamic principle is that infidels need to pay jizya – infidel tax either to the pakistanis or to the afghans – preferably to both.

    The Indians have been sucked dry paying such tax to this day. I read a report that farmers in UP are selling their wives; this is absolutely shocking humanitarian crisis
    that no NGO or UN is attending to. For long, farmers have been committing suicide too yet no one cares. Indians who helped us in both WW-I , -II and Boxer war need more financial help than islamic theocracies. We didnt help them even for tsunami.
    What a shame..

  29. 36 Tan Boon Tee
    September 8, 2009 at 04:15

    With this kind of ruthless and blind massacre, does anyone still want to talk about winning the mind and heart of the Afghans?

    Whatever new strategy there is, it has been wiped off completely in a single stroke of rash act.

  30. 37 anu_d
    September 8, 2009 at 06:14


    There is a saying in many languages “it’s but in the nature of scorpion to bite”.

    Regardless of love affections, humanity, equality, empathy, dialogue, freedom and other attributes of humanity you shower on Taliban….they will still bit…it’s in their nature.

    The only solution of Taliban is to crush them

      September 9, 2009 at 13:25

      @ Anu

      Thank you my dear for your gesture. I will definitely keep your memento and honestly I appreciate that saying. I will take it to my people to enrich our lore and believe me I will tell them who it was from God bless you.

      As for the said scorpion, it is surely a two headed one and only the Taliban one of them that is really showing any appetite. Our side is not doing a good biting job because of the wild and strong political monsoon winds clouding our vision of reality. Don’t lose patience with me. Afghanistan will morning be peaceful as long as the generals keep keep us in the know.

      Please Anu, here is my gift to you

      “…. and what are wars but politics
      Transformed from chronic to acute and bloody?
      Don’t let the things I say against myself
      Betray you into taking sides against me
      Or it might get you into trouble with me.
      I’m not afraid to prophesy the future,
      And be judged by the outcomes, ….
      Listen and I will take my dearest risk.
      At present from a cosmical dilation
      We’re so much out that the odds are against
      Our ever getting in again.
      But inside in is where we’ve got to get.”


  31. 39 Tan Boon Tee
    September 9, 2009 at 10:02

    You are not joking, WHYS. How on earth could Afghans be real winners when they are practically at the mercy of the Taliban as well as the foreigh forces?

    The west wanted to nab Osama desperately, they have failed miserably after almost eight years. They are all out to eliminate Omar, yet the Taliban leader is still in strong command. As a result, they brought carnage to the Afghans, mostly innocent and hapless.

    In Afghanistan, everyone is a loser. So who can be the winners?

    This inexplicably harsh world.

  32. 40 Rolly-polly
    September 9, 2009 at 11:24

    If this is ‘winning’ – I’d hate to see how losing is defined in Afghanistan.

    …always look on the bright side of life…

  33. 41 Nigel
    September 9, 2009 at 12:10

    Their country is occupied by foreign forces, their government is corrupt and not really functioning, more civilians than soldiers are dying and no one is sure how and when this will end. How can the Afghan people be winners in these circumstances.

  34. 42 VictorK
    September 9, 2009 at 13:14

    *Not at all. A fraudulent election with stuffed ballots & bloc votes delivered by bribed tribal leaders. A Vichy administration (whoever wins) that requires an army of occupation for its continued existence. A populace without the cultural background to make democracy work. The Taliban resurgent and confident of victory in a war that’s as pointless as it’s unwinnable for the West. And our futile attempts to plant democracy in hostile soil earning us – as usual – the hatred & terrorist aggression of the entire Muslim world. Everyone’s a loser.
    *The US & UK governments’ attempts to salvage this corrupt electoral travesty will reduce their credibility to zero when they next lecture the likes of Ahmadinejad and Mugabe about ‘free and fair’ elections.
    *Re the Times reporter: he put himself in danger, apparently for the sake of reporting critically on his ‘own side’. No British soldier should have to die for such a man. Let the Americans rescue such people if they think it worth their while. Reminds me of the appalling Dutch journalist formerly in Afghanistan, Joanie de Rijke.

  35. 43 Ann
    September 9, 2009 at 13:19


    “Unfortunatly the only way we can end the drama there is the same way we ended our WWII conflict with Japan. I’m not saying that we should, but that’s how we can end it.”

    Civilian death caused by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima/Nagasaki = 220.000 approx.

    Additional deaths caused by cancer/long term effects of bombs = 200.000 approx.

    Not in my name.

  36. 44 Methusalem
    September 9, 2009 at 13:48

    I think, if the West had stayed away from giving its support to the Talibans during the 70s, we probably would have had no 9/11, as the Soviets had a chance to eliminate them. The world was unable to learn from the previous history of Islamic terror in North Africa and Asia Minor, so it only concentrated on the evil nature of Communism. Even for an atheist state, the main concern for Russia during its invasion of Afghanistan, Christmas of 1979, was the Muslim East. The West was unable to foresee that. I still don’t understand why the West was unable to use communist societies to fight against evil Islamic terrorists, in a similar manner it used Muslim societies to fight Orthodox Byzantine or ex-Yugoslavia, instead of fighting for the succession of Kosovo?

    The amazing thing is, today we see a different picture from the once stubborn Russians, as they have become open-minded and smarter. Russia has become an important player in Central Asia. Russia knows that the West’s defeat in Afghanistan would be “a great catastrophe for Russia” as Islamists would immediately spread across Central Asia and the Caucasus. Russians know that US presence in Afghanistan is in Russia’s best interests. For them the best outcome would be if the US stayed there indefinitely. Anyways, the West is in Afghanistan for the same reason the Soviets were. The only difference between now and then is, now the International community is silent, while the UN had to condemn the Russian invasion then.

      September 9, 2009 at 16:31

      The elections were not unusual and the results were what is common everywhere during this period of the current millennium. It depends on the level of sophistication – that’s when we say they are free and fair. The blame should go to the intelligentsia and the voters too because democracy is shrouded in our ever expanding nature of dishonesty and permissiveness. We just vote and then go bashful with incessant swooning when our muscles relax after realizing our follies. Faulty elections tend to make us all equal currently because as humans, we put aside our principles, religions, politics and our beliefs in a rush to conspire against fairness.

      After all Democracy is a means to an end and hopefully the Afghans will have the end without the means. It be winners the Afghans will have to achieve peace.

  37. 46 gary
    September 9, 2009 at 13:54

    Every Afghani who voted as his or her conscience dictated, without regard to threats from every point of the compass, has won a victory. The daily war deaths, misery, political tensions, religious intolerance, and criminal activities make it easy to overlook the fact that Afghanistan is still populated by predominantly good, decent people. Many, as justification for continued foreign intervention, suggest these folks are inadequate to deal with the Taliban. I think the Afghanis are being underestimated.

  38. 47 Maccus Germanis
    September 9, 2009 at 13:57

    I think that the Afghan people are marginally better off than they were. Even the report of ballot stuffing is indicative of a developing civic responsibility and freedom to criticsize. Large numbers of Afghans did vote, some feeling confident enough in their security to openly question election results.

  39. 48 C. Montgomery Burns
    September 9, 2009 at 14:33

    The Afghans respect traditional leadership and Harmid Karzai cuts a fine fgure with that lambskin chapeau of his. He reminds me of a young Rory Calhoun. We could do with a bit more like him. Oh – did I mention, I really like the hat.


  40. 49 Nengak Daniel, Nigeria.
    September 9, 2009 at 14:39

    Do I trust the Afghan election result? Nope – but I don’t trust yours either. the point is, elections are always flawed more or less and the only people to determine the extent of malpractices are those on ground.
    The only people to decide the next line of action should be those on ground who will be affected by the outcome of these votes.

  41. September 9, 2009 at 14:59

    Whatever the result of the elections in Afghanistan, they’re far being perfect considering the circumstances in which they were held. There were many insecure areas where voting was almost to none. It’s hard to believe that they were transparent as the country is plagued with corruption at all levels.

    The elections were just a formality to give “legitimacy” to a president and his government in Kabul. Thee is still the hard task of unifying the country now split between the Taliban and the Afghan military forces. A country whose fate has customarily decided by arms from locals and Foreigners (First the Soviet troops and now NATO), can’t be stable unless all the political and religious forces in it can find common ground to share power democratically.

  42. 51 Mike in Seattle
    September 9, 2009 at 15:24

    There is no way I believe the results of the Afghan election. It started with the BBC reporting on the ease of buying ID cards and boxes of votes. Now we have entire precincts voting only for the winner.

    We can look at the whole thing from a mathematical sense as well, and the number just don’t add up. The distributions are all wrong and seeing box after box loaded with exactly 500 votes for the current vote leader are simply too suspicious to be taken seriously.

  43. September 9, 2009 at 15:56

    Salaam… Do I trust the Afghan election results ?! No, period ! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  44. 53 Tom K in Mpls
    September 9, 2009 at 16:11

    The answer is simple, slow, and costly. Too many people quickly dismiss it because they want things quickly. We need to eliminate what allows the Taliban to flourish. It is the issue of hearts and minds.

    We need to genuinely work to improve, acre by acre, the lives of the people to the point that they have the ability and desire to say no to the Taliban. You can count poppies if you like, it is a fair measure, but not a goal. The best measure would be the acts of violence by the Taliban in an area, or better yet, by the exports from each area.

    • 54 Tom K in Mpls
      September 9, 2009 at 17:17

      Also, directly to the elections, the simple fact that parties consider it worth their while to alter the results is all the proof you need to show that they matter. Now focus on accountability. See that any proven fraud is punished. Possibly to the point that all candidates disqualify themselves!

  45. September 9, 2009 at 16:13

    Have no illusions. Peace and prosperity in Afghanistan are a long way off, but any election is better than no election at all.
    Karzai had approx. 2.9 million and Abdullah Abdullah just over a million votes at the last count. Karzai has a clear majority with 54.7% votes, so there will be no second round. Allowing for a 10% margin of fraud, rigged votes and manipulation, Karzai would still come out the clear winner.
    The real business of bringing social reforms, agriculture and education to Afghanistan should now begin!

  46. 56 DOLAPO AINA
    September 9, 2009 at 17:01

    Afghanistan is a quagmire. Obama and Brown don’t know how they would get out of the place. It seems they want to but their armies are deeply entrenched in place, that it is impossible for now. Besides, bush made a mistake about the strategies used in Afghanistan.

    It is now glaring; the war there is of ideologies and not of weapons. The British and the Russians were there in the past and they can attest to this. You don’t change a people’s tradition.

    Dolapo Aina.
    Lagos, Nigeria

  47. September 9, 2009 at 17:33

    Of course there was electoral fraud,a crystal ball was not required to forecast that. But the election is a step in the right direction and they will have an elected(cough,cough)government. Give them a chance to improve a shakey start to democracy.

  48. 58 Anthony
    September 9, 2009 at 17:41

    What election in the Middle East would we believe unless they were the U.S. choice? We barely believe our (U.S.A.)OWN elections. I still don’t believe the 2000 elections.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  49. 59 Ron
    September 9, 2009 at 17:52

    Is that a Trick Question?

  50. 60 Jack
    September 9, 2009 at 18:02

    Should we trust the results of the Afghan election? I don’t know why not, since the real aim has never been to “liberate” Afghans from the Taliban or give them “democracy.” Here in the USA, we have our own issues with people questioning the outcomes of elections (which is hilarious, given that, whether the outcome favors Democrats or Republicans, it’s immaterial, since the results are the same: corporate lobbies and well-funded interest groups are who get face time with elected officials).

    In my opinion, the American military has one mission and one mission only: get Osama bin Laden. That is the only goal that Barack Obama has articulated on the subject, and I don’t see why we should commit blood, treasure or diplomatic resources to any other end. Afghanistan will be another Vietnam if it remains a lingering “war” of occupation.

  51. 61 Andrew in Australia
    September 9, 2009 at 18:03

    How can someone such as Karzai to be trusted if it found that he was directly behind this ballot stuffing exercise? Was there any doubt that this would occur? The fact remains that in an area (not a nation) such as Afghanistan where for centuries tribal influence and skirmishes have been the norm an exercise in elections that western leaders feel can transplant well is not going to fit with the resality of the place. Who will take this result seriously in Afghanistan anyway? Karzai was always a figurehead with no real influence across the area so other than providing photo opportunities for visiting dignitaries and leaders what value does he hold for Afghanis? What is going on is not really working so time for a different approach.

  52. September 9, 2009 at 18:09

    There were far too many irregularities and disturbing reports that the elections were rigged. These reports do not augur well for Afghan democracy. One had hoped that President Karzai was squeaky clean but if reports are to be believed, there are a number of serious question marks even among the Americans. Supporters of Abdullah-Abdullah are convinced President Karzai has stolen the elections right under their noses. These allegations need to be investigated thoroughly. A botched up elecvtion would send very wrong signals and damage the credibility of Ahmad Karzai.

  53. 64 nora
    September 9, 2009 at 18:27

    Before the election, there was concern that many people did not plan to vote because they had to come away with ink on their thumb and might get it chopped by zealous Talibani. How many did not get to the polls out of fear?

  54. 65 John in Salem
    September 9, 2009 at 18:28

    I trust the Afghan elections as much as any country where poverty and corruption are endemic.
    The comments here about protestors are off-base. Most people who protested the war in Iraq felt that the invasion of Afghanistan was justified and are still willing to bear responsibility for allowing someone to be elected who couldn’t handle a simple job like hunting down bin Laden when we knew where he was.

  55. 66 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    September 9, 2009 at 19:19

    Re: Pancha Chandra Brussels, September 9, 2009 at 18:09

    “A botched up elecvtion would send very wrong signals and damage the credibility of Ahmad Karzai.”

    Mr. Pancha Chandra,

    I almost always read & recommend your comments on the 500-character debates (though Not since the comments just vanished)!

    However, please allow me to point out that your comment should read Hamid Karzai Not Ahmad Karzai!

    I agree with the rest of your comment in general terms. You should check out Halliburton & Karzai though………..!

  56. 67 Jim Newman
    September 9, 2009 at 23:57

    Hello again
    No I don’t trust the Afghan election result nor any other election result where the USA has it’s finger in the pie. Columbia is another pretend democracy whose regime owes it’s survival to the military might of the USA. In my opinion there can be no talk of free and fair elections in any country where the legitimacy of the political system has to be underpinned by a foreign power.

  57. 68 Dennis Junior
    September 10, 2009 at 13:21

    No, I honestly don’t trust the Afghan election result..Because, there has been way too many reports of fraud….

    =Dennis Junior=

  58. 69 NSC London
    September 10, 2009 at 14:53

    I feel really bad for the people we’ve affected, great country by many accounts (the Taliban excepted of course).

    Perhaps the real lesson here is that when the global power cabal wants to run a natural gas pipeline through your country you should probably just say “yessa massa, whateva you say suh!”

  59. 70 Jim Newman
    September 10, 2009 at 18:56

    Hello again
    And hello tKoller. The fact that the reply button was not present after your answer to my comment indicates that WHYS is getting nervous and do not want the discussion to continue so you may not get to read this.
    No one is ignoring the civil war in Afghanistan and most people know it’s cause – foreign troops pushing foreign interests, as the previous comment so elequently put it.
    About the Middle East. There is certainely a strong USA military presence there but I can’t see many signs of order unless you call a raging civil war order. In Palestine the zionist squatters are busy ethnically cleansing the indiginous population. I suppose that is what one could call a semblance of order.
    As far as the USA is concerned I was under the impression that the CIA like the military is directly answerable to the president and anything the CIA or the military does is by order of the USA president. When I talk about the USA doing this or that I’m talking about the corporate state administration with all it’s different tentacles.

  60. October 19, 2009 at 16:58

    My concern is that the Obama Administration will, in effect, enable the Afghan electoral fraud by accepting a political deal in Afghanistan in place of a run-off.

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