Monday, November 2, 2009

Democracy Is Inconvenient To Afghan Democracy: Discuss

BACK WHEN THE USA WAS WAGING WAR AGAINST VIETNAM the motto of the day was that to save a village, sometimes you had to destroy it. In the great tradition of this imperial logic, today's announcement of the election (ahem) of Hamid Karzai as the president of Afghanistan will not come as a surprise.

“His excellency Hamid Karzai, who has won the majority of votes in the first round and is the only candidate for the second round, is declared by the Independent Election Commission as the elected president of Afghanistan,” Mr. Lodin said.
Well, he certainly did win the first round, after all, him and his brother - you know, the drug dealer on the CIA's payroll? - stuffed more ballot boxes than Americans stuff turkeys at Thanksgiving. It would have been a major scandal if he'd lost. A sign of government incompetence of the first order. And it's in the spirit of supporting "his excellency's" entrepreneurial skills that the Obama administration sends their warm regards.

“We congratulate President Karzai on his victory in this historic election and look forward to working with him” to support reform and improve security, the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. Britain and the United Nations also issued statements of congratulations.
"Historic election"? Well, if ballot stuffing gets you that kind of compliment, I'm going to rob some banks, on the assumption that the government will put out a press release similarly commending me: "The Government of Canada would like to send its heartfelt congratulations to Redbedhead for his innovative and inspiring methods of fundraising to pay down his debt. We look forward to working with him to apply his strategy to paying down the national debt."
After all, it's not about how you get there. It's just about getting there, wherever the hell "there" is. In this bizarro world, elections are an inconvenient distraction from democracy. As John Dempsey of the United States Institute of Peace put it:

“Everyone just wants to move past this whole election fiasco and just get on with governing the country. What we've seen in the last few months is nothing but lost time."
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