Monday, October 05, 2009

Afghan Election

It was coming in any case - dismissed UN representative Peter Galbraith has come out with a 'tell all' story of what a mess Afghan election has been. Sure, there will be another rebuttal Op-Ed from UN secretary or any other official carrying the water of another UN Secretary General who is continuing the great tradition of being a feckless and ineffective UN chief. Media will be obliged to publish that in the name of being 'balanced'. But the truth is all clear - Afghan election was stolen by Karzai.

It is not that UN has not conducted any credible elections. Starting from Lebanon to Iraq, in many elections UN has played very critical role with much more effective and positive intervention to uphold will of the people. So it is quite surprising that not only UN allowed the theft of Afghan vote but also attempts, seems like successfully so far, to suppress the revelation of this fraud. Generally, UN chiefs are one of the weakest international officials. They succumb to pressure and always compromise basic democratic principles for 'some grand' historical compromise to achieve peace for humanity. The theory is you compromise some such Western notions like 'people's will' to promote larger peace. Nothing of that sorts happen in most cases is a different story. In a way it is understandable with authoritative members of Security Council - China and Russia for quite long - and more than half of nation states struggling to put any democratic political process in motion, why bother for legitimate representation of people's will!

So the real question is, for whom UN Chief is continuing the farce of fraudulent Afghan election? To think any other country like Pakistan to have more influence than heavy weight super powers of UNSC is laughable and non-realistic. There is no apparent reason for any of these powers to let continue Karzai apart from USA. United States is the country which is most invested at this moment in the quagmire called Afghanistan and with their heavy presence on ground is in full capacity to know what is happening as well as to shape things most compared to any other nation. Considering all that, it is inescapable conclusion that Obama Administration is 'okay' with all this fraud.

First starting with public dislike of Karazai, for Obama Administration to allow the current fraud is perplexing and counter productive. Obama Administration has been right early on to diagnose the need of non-Karzai government (or at least coalition) to achieve stability in Afghanistan. But then it seems a big political error for the Administration to allow Karzai government to 'run' the elections in the first place instead of fully controlled and managed election by UN with a complete security blanket provided by Americans and NATO. To trust that discredited government was very naive especially when American blood and tax payer dollars are paid to conduct that election.

Next, it is worse now to ignore that fraud and not to demand the 'second round' or even total nullification of this election. One can understand that White House would like to keep quiet until UN and Afghan process correct themselves in this case. But the fear is, will this White House be not 'naive' again? This means unless Obama Administration is vigilant and very alert for the outcome of the Afghan election, America has the danger of not getting any creditable government - partner - in Afghanistan. It is really strange and surprising for Obama Administration to bask in the glow of the Cairo Speech and Iranian resistance movement, but when it comes to Afghanistan to ignore such a blatant vote theft; especially when the right outcome is so appropriate for America's future work in Afghanistan.

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