Karzai’s Electoral Coup, 1000 U.S. Military Deaths and… “What Is It, Again, That We Are Fighting for in Afghanistan?”

“La guerre, c’est une chose trop grave pour la confier à des militaires.”
–Georges Clemenceau

“Une dictature est un pays dans lequel on n’a pas besoin de passer toute une nuit devant son poste pour apprendre le résultat des élections.”
–Georges Clemenceau


As the number of U.S. military killed in Afghanistan passes the 1000 mark…

The Observer is wondering about the coordination of U.S. military and civilian policy in Afghanistan. On February 23, 2009, it became known that Afghan President Hamid Karzai had signed a law that gives him sole authority to appoint the five members of the “Independent Electoral Commission” which will be charged with overseeing the upcoming Congressional elections. Also on February 23, Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commanding general in Afghanistan, appeared by video on Afghan television to personally apologize to the people of Afghanistan for the 27 (or 33) civilian deaths caused by allied error in an air strike on February 21.

Is anyone in charge of U.S. policy in Afghanistan?

Has anyone given thought to what the impact might be on an Afghan audience of the U.S. military commander in Afghanistan apologizing to the Aghan nation on the very same day it was widely reported that Karzai had carried out an electoral coup, preparing the way for the next electoral fraud?

They should.

It would be useful also if they would review the record of Hamid Karzai, and the role of the Independent Electoral Commission in the run-up to, during, and after the first-round presidential elections on August 20, 2009.

The United States, NATO and the United Nations appear to be surrendering their greatest weapon in the struggle for Afghanistan, their last plausible ground on which to argue that their war and development efforts in Afghanistan are aimed at furthering democratic government and the protection of international human rights. In a mind-boggling statement, a UN spokesperson said the following:

“We hope that this decree is in line with the Constitution and with what Parliament and civil society has called for regarding reforms of the electoral system,” UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters. –UN News Centre, “UN studying proposed Afghan electoral decree,” February 24, 2010

Are they destroying the foundations in Afghanistan for the only ideology, that of democracy and international human rights, that might effectively counter the ideology of jihad? Couldn’t this ideology be a real force in the struggle for the allegiance of the population of Afghanistan, and, in particular, the 44.5 % of the population that is 14 years old or younger?

Without this ideology to counter that of the jihadists and also Pashtun nationalism, the troops and the people are being called upon to fight to support Hamid Karzai and his colleagues in government, and “to diminish” the influence of the Taliban.

That is hardly a fair ideological match.

The question remains, “What will motivate the army and the police to put their lives on the line in fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan?”

The Trenchant Observer

E-mail: observer@trenchantobserver.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/trenchantobserv

Comments are invited, in any language. If in a language other than English, please provide an English translation. A Google translation will be sufficient.

ADDENDUM: Elections for representatives at the district level will apparently not be held in 2010. Such elections would permit the formation of a genuine opposition in the Assembly, backed by popular support, a development promised in the electoral law but which Karzai appears to have been unwilling to accept.