Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Afghan Election

Let the maligning of democracy begin. It should be no surprise to anyone that the Global Media (proctors of the Global Test) are focusing on the accusations of fraud among the 15 candidates for Afghan President who are not Hamid Karzai. It should be equally unsurprising that such allegations are being tendered by these candidates, whose chances of achieving victory over a popular incumbent, whose approval rating among his countrymen has been reported as anywhere from 62 to 85%. What is somewhat amazing, however, is the long term trend in media toward raising and lowering the bar without comment.

Few now remember and note when Afghanistan was first invaded, its opponents, led by International ANSWER (the remnants of an international Communist party left castrated by the collapse of its benefactor, the Soviet Union), organized mass rallies against what they claimed would be a humanitarian disaster, and another Vietnam. Yet today, the issue is whether Democracy was served in light of potential voter fraud enabled by a poor voter verification system. Let me reiterate: in Afghanistan's historic first election, which, as recently as last week, everyone believed would be marred by violence, the top story is not a massive car bomb destroying a polling station and killing hundreds of voters, nor polling irregularities related to Taliban pressure upon voters to eschew the polls, nor even a story of observable fraud by the ruling parties. Instead, the top story, the indictment against this election and the Bush Administration, whose leadership made it possible, is potential voter fraud that would not appear out of place in Cleveland.


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