For updates on the elections, see Afghan2010.com
Reading the newspapers and watching television news reports in the United States, one would be hard pressed to have any idea of what is going on in the run-up to the National Assembly elections in Afghanistan to be held on September 18, 2010.
These elections are not part of the U.S. and NATO narrative for Afghanistan. It is almost as if corruption is expected and approved in advance.
The fact that U.S. media have given such little attention to the election compaign hints at how dependent the media are on getting their information from allied officials, even if it is information critical of U.S. policy.
The revelations about CIA payments to many, many high officials in the Afghan government reflect courageous journalism, but somehow no one seems to be making the connection between the corruption by the CIA of top Afghan officials and the holding of parliamentary elections in Afghanistan.
In order to gain a deeper understanding of the background to the elections, including what happened in the August 2009 presidential elections and their aftermath, it may be useful to review the following articles by the Observer on different aspects of U.S. and allied policy toward Afghanistan, Afghan elections, and the democratic project in that country.
See the following articles, in particular:
“The Magician” enthralls donors once again, in Kabul,
July 22, 2010
The New York Times’ Bob Herbert on dire Afghanistan situation and “the courage to leave”
June 11, 1010
Intelligence Matters: U.S. Dependence on Intelligence From Wali Karzai Shapes Kandahar Strategy
May 27, 2010
Obama Snubs Abdullah During Latter’s Trip to Washington
May 22, 2010
Opera Buffa in Kabul — Karzai Threatens to Join the Taliban
April 5, 2010
News to Note: Lower House of Afghan National Assembly Rejects Karzai’s Electoral Coup
March 31, 2010
Afghanistan: U.N. SRSG de Mistura Describes U.N. Electoral Role; What Are Allied Forces Fighting For?
March 27, 2010
Intelligence Matters: Khost, The Flynn Report, and a Few Hypotheses
March 17, 2010
Afghanistan: Controversy Over Live TV Coverage of Attacks, Deafening Silence on Karzai’s Electoral Coup
March 13, 2010
U.S.-Pak Military Deal: Quetta Shura Arrests, Karzai’s Electoral Coup, and the Rule of Law
February 24th, 2010
REVISED February 25, 2010
Karzai’s Electoral Coup, 1000 U.S. Military Deaths and… “What Is It, Again, That We Are Fighting for in Afghanistan?”
February 24, 2010
Pakistan Desire to “Mediate” with Taliban Consistent with Earlier Reports of Deal to Support Karzai in Election Settlement
February 10th, 2010
KARZAI’S FIGHT FOR SURVIVAL IN AFGHANISTAN—THE REAL EXTENT OF THE ELECTORAL FRAUD, ABDULLAH’S CHANCES, AND WASHINGTON’S RESPONSE
October 16th, 2009
COULD U.N. TAKE CONTROL OF AFGHAN ELECTIONS TO STOP SECOND ROUND FRAUD?
October 28, 2009
We should watch very carefully what happens before, during and after the September 18 elections for the National Assembly.
For while the Americans appear to have lost interest in the democratic project in Afghanistan, with NATO and the United Nations following in their wake, in the long run it may turn out that the only force that can organize the people of Afghanistan against the nationalism, lack of corruption, and religious fervor of the Taliban is a belief in democracy and the rule of law. These could potentially become goals worth fighting for. It might be worth trying, if not now at least after everything else has been tried.
It is hard to see how deals with corrupt power centers, whether at the national or at the local level, could survive once allied forces have left the country. To try to build a peace on this foundation seems, to this observer, like trying to build a castle in the desert on constantly shifting sands.
The Trenchant Observer