September 18, 2010

40% turnout for the Afghan elections — despite the Taliban threats of violence.

The "people of Afghanistan sent a powerful message," said General Petraeus. "The voice of Afghanistan's future does not belong to the violent extremists and terror networks."

29 comments:

Skyler said...

Good, I'll be there soon enough. I'm glad they're voting, but I'd have much rather we defeated them before we started helping them.

JAL said...

It will be a long haul. Who knows ... maybe Afghans will grow weary of being told to "Stick with jihad!" and send the Taliban and the jihadis where they need to go. (And dump charia from their constitution.)

There once was a glimmer of hope back in the 50s and 60s pre Taliban. Maybe they'll find their way again.

Be safe Skyler.

Penny said...

Courage is underrated.

Perhaps because we tally it with statistics...

JAL said...

sharia

Dead Julius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dead Julius said...

Faizal Ahmad Manawi, head of the Independent Election Commission (IEC), said initial figures pointed to a turnout figure of 40%. Turnout for the last parliamentary election, in 2005, was about 50%.

"As a whole I would rate this election successful," he said.


Oh, so only a 10% drop is considered some sort of success? WTF?

I think that no matter what the participation rate turned out to be, there would be claims of success along with mindless recitation from the likes of General Petraeus:

Gen Petraeus also praised the Afghan forces for "safeguarding a weapon with greater potential than any other - the people's right to vote".

A "weapon with greater potential than any other"? Puh-leeze! What asinine meaningless bullshit!

JAL said...

Dead Julius -- this is in a country that has a bit of a spotty history with secret ballots. Not to mention the real threat of being blown up if one tries to vote.

Would you vote if you couldn't read (how many Afghan women can read -- how many Afghan *men* can read?) and might be blown up while walking over mountain goat paths to vote?

Sheesh.

Penny said...

Wow, JAL made an excellent point!

I assumed "courage", when in fact, it may have been more about the HERDING of people?

Perhaps it is goat Peter who deserves the honor of my respect?

Forgive me...I am Heidi, and totally new to these glorious mountains.

Cedarford said...

Color me very cynical. Bumbling Bush praised the elections in Iraqi in January 2005 as "showing Iraq was a nation of noble purple-fingered freedom lovers hungry for democracy and willing to brave "the last dead-enders".

That was of course right as the insurgency was really taking off and 22,000 American casualties and 500 billion in lost US treasure awaited the "noble purple-fingered freedom lovers."

The folly of Bush and the neocons for their Wilsonian dreams of "gifting" a pack of semi-literate, fundie Islamist, primitive barbarians in Afghanistan with "the blessings of US democracy" is even more ludicrous.

The numbers voting has gone down precipitously in Afghanistan since the 2004 BS elections that had Laura Bush prattling about "women voting and soon to shed their Burquas".

And as for progess and winning, no American citizen would be able to walk in any part of Afghanistan or most of Iraq except Kurdistan without high likelihood of being killed or starring in a "special Muslim video" - Not unless they were surrounded by armed security people who didn't happen to be Iraqi or Afghan.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Hey Cedarford,

I'm a civilian in Afghanistan. I walk everywhere without security in Kabul, Parwan, Bamiyan, Herat, Mazar, Faizabad, and Jalalabad. You're ignorant. Very few Afghans are "fundie islamist."

Montagne Montaigne said...

Skyler-- I am wondering what you mean by "defeat" when presumably we are talking about Afghan civilians. Taliban don't vote. So in your mind, who are we "defeating" and who are we "helping."

Since your understanding of the conflict appears to be so skewed, it worries me as a civilian working in Afghanistan that you are a member of the US military.

Birkel said...

Dead Julius,
You do realize this is the Afghan equivalent of an "off-year" election, right? A

And therefore you realize turnout was likely to be lower than for a presidential election, right?

deborah said...

My second cousin's husband, who served in Iraq (Army), has put in an application to be a mercenary in Afghanistan. My mom said she heard the pay would be around $180K, but I don't know if she has her facts straight.

Penny said...

Nothing is "straight", deborah.

Heck, it's the internet, and maybe your cousin is gay? I BET he is!

I am NOT for GLBT rights!

Let's fight!

Penny said...

Just teasing of course...

But you knew that?

RIGHT?

Penny said...

"Color me very cynical".

You friggin' nuts, Cedarford?

This is Althouse, and her favorite color is Alizarin.

Far as we know? No members are allowed to acknowledge the new color "cynical".

Sadly, I need to ask..only because I am curious...This color "cynical"?

Would it have been born a red, a yellow or a blue?

edutcher said...

As the song said, "People everywhere just wanna be free".

Fascinating our National Socialists are so against the idea that we might just prevail there. Hatred of this country runs deep in some quarters.

PS Watch your six, Skyler.

Skyler said...

Mountain, we never sufficiently punished the afghan people for allowing the Taliban to rule them and allow al qaeda to operate among them. Therefore we have not successfully deterred other flea bitten countries from doing the same to us.

I am not ignorant. I just prefer to punish before rewarding our attackers.

Robert Cook said...

"Mountain, we never sufficiently punished the afghan people for allowing the Taliban to rule them and allow al qaeda to operate among them. Therefore we have not successfully deterred other flea bitten countries from doing the same to us.

I am not ignorant. I just prefer to punish before rewarding our attackers."


The Afgans never attached us.

Should Britain attack and occupy our country and kill civilians to "punish us" for "allowing" the Bloods and the Crips and the Hells Angels and the Mafia and (insert name of criminal organization here) to "operate among us?"

You may or may not be "ignorant,"(although "signs point to yes"), but your comment here reveals the thinking of a psychopath.

Montagne Montaigne said...

Skyler, don't worry, your boys already got started with the "punishing." I bet you can't wait to join them.

Skyler said...

Call me a murderer to my face, mountain.

Cook, if Britain harbored a non-state entity that attacked us and took no action to punish that entity, then by international law they would just as guilty as the non-state entity.

So it goes with Afghanistan. That we fail to enforce this international law is a symptom of why two bit countries are able to get away with attacking us.

Your characterization of a sensible policy of punishing people who attack us is the real psychopathic policy.

Montagne Montaigne said...

OK Skyler. If by "punish" you don't mean killing people, what precisely do you mean?

Skyler said...

First, killing is not always murder.

Second, the point is that we should have made them surrender and have control over them before we started making puppet regimes. I hardly think this is controversial. If some are killed in the process, such is war.

Kirby Olson said...

About nine million Afghan women have learned to read in the last 10 years.

This is a human rights success, whatever else it is.

kentuckyliz said...

Hey, that's about our level of turnout for elections, without threat of violence.

If I were an Afghan woman, I'd be so depressed, I'd don my burqa and trudge over the mountains and go vote and hope somebody blew me up as part of the process.

TomHynes said...

Perhaps turnout is high because the market for vote buying is becoming well developed.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/18/world/asia/18vote.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=afghanistan%20vote%20cheap&st=cse

bagoh20 said...

There is little doubt where many here would have stood in the 1770s. I am impressed with the rationality here, in all it's worthlessness. It takes passion and courage to vote in a place like that. We are a lazy, pompous, smug bunch of pussies.

Robert Cook said...

"...we should have made them surrender and have control over them before we started making puppet regimes."

You are ignorant; worse, you're an idiot, and a proponent of murder. (Which we've been doing handily in Aghanistan for the last 9 years, so you have like-minded compatriots in the Pentagon and in the White House.)

We've been killing Afghans for 9 years, and they haven't surrendered yet. How do you think we should have or could have handily accomplished this feat "first?"

"...if Britain harbored a non-state entity that attacked us and took no action to punish that entity, then by international law they would just as guilty as the non-state entity.

So it goes with Afghanistan. That we fail to enforce this international law is a symptom of why two bit countries are able to get away with attacking us.
"

What "two-bit countries" attacked us?

Afghanistan? NOPE! Iraq? DOUBLE NOPE!

Those who attacked us were a band of stateless terrorists. You talk about Afghanistan's obligation under international law to "punish" those terrorists. Immediately after the attacks, we demanded the Taliban turn over bin Laden, who said they would do so if the US provided evidence that bin Laden were involved in the 9/11 attacks. The US refused.

http://www.georgewashington2.blogspot.com/2009/12/did-us-fail-to-provide-evidence-of-bin.html

"On October 14, 2001, the Taliban offered to hand over Osama bin Laden to a neutral country if the US halted bombing if the Taliban were given evidence of Bin Laden's involvement in 9/11.

Specifically, as the Guardian writes:

Returning to the White House after a weekend at Camp David, the president said the bombing would not stop, unless the ruling Taliban "turn [bin Laden] over, turn his cohorts over, turn any hostages they hold over." He added, "There's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty" ...

Afghanistan's deputy prime minister, Haji Abdul Kabir, told reporters that the Taliban would require evidence that Bin Laden was behind the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US.

"If the Taliban is given evidence that Osama bin Laden is involved" and the bombing campaign stopped, "we would be ready to hand him over to a third country", Mr Kabir added.

However, as the Guardian subsequently points out:

A senior Taliban minister has offered a last-minute deal to hand over Osama bin Laden during a secret visit to Islamabad, senior sources in Pakistan told the Guardian last night.

For the first time, the Taliban offered to hand over Bin Laden for trial in a country other than the US without asking to see evidence first in return for a halt to the bombing, a source close to Pakistan's military leadership said.

And yet, as with Saddam, the U.S. turned down the offer and instead prosecuted war."


With regard to our wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, we are in violation of international law, we are the war criminals.

David said...

40% doesn't sound so hot, until you consider the bombs and gunfire.

On the other hand, our army has been there for 9 years and it's still not safe to vote (or do much anything else.)