Afghan Election Already "Sold and Stolen" NOT the Story On CBC

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NDPP
Afghan Election Already "Sold and Stolen" NOT the Story On CBC

Afghan Poll Already 'Stolen': Analysts

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=12481879597...

"Even before it kicks off, Afghanistan's showcase presidential election is likely "sold" and "stolen", analysts warned...August 20 will not guarantee free, fair democracy here, Wadir Safi, of Kabul University's law and polysci faculty told AFP on Sunday August 16. It will be forged and fake democracy and elections.."

'We encourage all Afghans not to be deterred from exercising their hard-won right to determine the future of their country by participating in the upcoming presidential election..'

Lawrence Cannon, Minister Foreign Affairs - Canada

NDPP

US is Picking and Choosing the Afghan Opium Trade Winners

http://www.newshoggers.com/blog/2009/08/us-is-picking-choosing-the-afgha...

"The US [and Canada] are backing a narco-state in Afghanistan. Dostum is only one of many drug kingpins and their bought and paid for puppets... The US is picking and choosing winners in the global opium trade by eliminating Taliban connected opium traders while helping to to shore up the political power of opium traders in the AFghan government."

Karzai's brother is one of the largest and most influential of these for obvious reasons..

martin dufresne

And now Karzai has silenced the press about pre-election agitation, threatening to expel stalwart journalists. Zeenews writes: "The United Nations asked the government to lift a decree ordering a blackout of foreign and domestic media coverage of any violence during Thursday's polls." The Official Story is clearly "Democracy and Freedom Work!"

 

Fidel

They must vote for the anti-communist mujahideen in Kabul and vote often!

NDPP

Afghanistan's Gunpoint Election:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/aug2009/pers-a20.shtml

"By any measure, today's presidential election in Afghanistan is a travesty. The poll takes place under conditions of a continuing foreign, military occupation to prop up a puppet government that is notorious for its human rights abuses, corruption, and failure to provide for the basic needs of the vast majority of the population."

Karzai, Warlords Mount Massive Vote Fraud:

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2009/08/19/karzai-and-warlords-mount-...

"the sociopolitical structure of Afghanistan remains so hierarchical that warlords can deliver very large blocs of votes to Karzai by telling their followers to vote for him, and in some provinces - especially in the Pashtun south - by forcing tribal elders to cooperate in voter fraud schemes...

It is now estimated that 17 million voter registration cards have been issued which means that 3.5 million cards may have been issued to children. In one case, the FEFA observer saw about 500 voting cards being given to a single individual."

[Former Liberal Party Deputy Prime Minister John Manley is in Afghanistan working as an election observer for the US based National Democratic Institute]

Frmrsldr

Let's call Afghanistan what it is: a mistake is a mistake.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/aug/19/afghan-election-tali...

NDPP

Mass Abstention and Vote Rigging in Afghanistan

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/aug2009/afgh-a21.shtml

"Yesterday's presidential election in Afghanistan featured massive abstention and blatant ballot rigging, underscoring the corrupt character of the entire exercise..Turnout was zero or near zero in parts of Afghanistan's Pashtun majority south."

Gosh how come our canucklehead election observer John Manley didn't tell me this..?

Frmrsldr

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

Gosh how come our canucklehead election observer John Manley didn't tell me this..?

Because he, like the mainstream Canadian media, are cheerleaders for the war. Have been since day one.

NDPP

Washington Praises Afghan Election Fiasco to Justify War Escalation

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/aug2009/pers-a22.shtml

"Clearly there are major differencs between Vietnam 42 years ago and Afghaninstan today. There are, however, also striking similarities in the nature of the two elections aned the way in which they have been manipulated to provide a democratic facade for colonial wars of aggression.."

Wilf Day

The view from Peshawar:

Quote:
Troublesome forebodings

With both President Hamid Karzai and his main challenger Abdullah Abdullah claiming victory in the just-finished presidential race, even as its result is still to be officially announced, the already-deeply-troubled Afghanistan seems potentially in for yet more turbulence. And this the country can least afford at this critical time when it stands in dire need of peace, security and stability.

If this troublesome foreboding sadly does come true, squarely to blame will be only the western powers; America most of all. Throughout the hustings, Karzai's challengers had been crying foul, clamouring of gross electoral irregularities, not without a substantial grain of truth, with Abdullah's campaign even threatening to agitate if its candidate was "stolen" out of victory. Yet the US-led coalition sat pretty, moving not even a finger to address the challengers' grouses, whereas it had had all the clout and power to clean up the electoral processes, including the election commission that drew wholesale accusations of its partiality on Karzai's side. Instead, this international community only reacted with ire to threats of post-election agitation, without bothering to remove the causes of an imminent turmoil, which it could have easily had it so willed, as it was all the donors' money bankrolling the entire election operation. Evidently, the community was more intent on the country going through this electoral drill somehow, primarily for its domestic publics' gratification, getting increasingly critical of their governments' involvement in the Afghan war, which apart from the long-sceptical Europeans has now begun losing the popular backing in America as well. No wonder after conceding the poll was "seriously flawed", both the Americans and the Europeans are amazingly crediting it incredibly to be "credible", and declaring it a "success".

But hadn't they declared the 2004 Afghan presidential election too a success, with principal coalition protagonists blaring that Afghanistan had emancipated, embraced democracy and was on way to peace and stability? What came of that? The country slipped deeper into chaos, instability and insecurity, becoming the world poppy production's heartland, with not just Taliban but warlords, top state functionaries, including Karzai's brother, and government officials, too, having a finger in the country's big drug pie. Worse, the Afghan polity's widening ethnic ruffles became unbridgeable, with its Pakhtun majority, erstwhile a community of kings and kingmakers, being reduced into a second-class citizenry. And, instead of democracy, Afghanistan has become a kleptocracy.

Still worse, swathes after swathes of land have remained unvisited uninterruptedly even by the coalition armies ever since their occupation of Afghanistan, letting Taliban and their allies to have safe sanctuaries to regroup and lunch into their activities against Afghan adversaries and coalition forces. A feeble, corrupt and inept Kabul regime and the coalition armies' own foibles, lapses and deficiencies have allowed them to creep out of the south and the east to extend their sway to other parts as well. And that was a poll in which the turnout was some 70 per cent and in which the Pakhtun participation too was substantial. This election could barely draw 51 per cent voters, with a very dismal response in the crucial Pakhtun-dominated south. It could thus only be an idiotic wishful thinking that this poll could work miracles that the more participatory 2004 election could not. And if someone is out to go bongo over the Taliban's failure to disrupt the poll as had they vowed, that could only be a laughable pretence. That was just a bluff; for even a halfwit could know Taliban had neither the capability nor the reach to target some 7,000 polling stations all over the country.

The Americans and their allies would do well to reckon with objective ground realities, instead of pursuing ruses and chasing red herrings. They must know King Amanullah, a native and Pakhtun to the bone, had to face revolt, abdicate and die in exile when he attempted imposing modernity on his unwilling people. The Afghanistan problem lies inside Afghanistan; its remedy too lies in Afghanistan. The problem has only an indigenous solution, not a one churned out by think tanks of Washington, London and Brussels. This is what the coalition allies must seek out to restore beleaguered country to peace.

The media generally forgets that the majority of Pakhtuns live in Pakistan, not in Afghanistan. The above editorial was written by a Pakhtun anti-Taliban supporter of the secular progressive government of Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province, whose citizens are mostly Pakhtuns. 

NDPP

"Go Tell the World About Our Fake Election"

http://frontlineclub.com/blogs/alex/2009/08/go-tell-the-world-about-our-...

"...All this indicates a turnout of less than 15% probably in reality something approaching 7 or 8%.."

Preliminary Statement of the NDI  Election Observer Delegation: [John Manley et al]

http://www.ndi.org/files/Afghanistan_EOM_Statement_FINAL.pdf

"..It should be noted that no electoral framework is perfect, and all electoral and political processes experience challenges.."

 

Frmrsldr

http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/08/22/taliban-cut-off-fingers-of-2-afghan-v...

The Taliban cut off the fingers of two whole Afghan voters - count them - two voters!

"Mirwais Yasini, a parliamnetarian, stood behind a table piled with ballot papers that he said his supporters had found ditched outside Spin Boldak city in southern Kandahar province. The ballots bore the stamp of the Independent Election Commission, which is applied only after they are used for voting.

'Thousands of them were burned,' he said."

How can Afghanistan be "fixed"? Can Karzai "fix" Afghanistan?

http://www.thenation.com/blogs/dreyfuss/465010/fixing_afghanistan

Afghanistan votes: Who cares?

http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/blog/blogs.aspx#a4206

 

Frmrsldr

One small area of hope is that it looks like at least the ballot counting process is fair and accurate:

http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/08/24/algorithms-to-stop-fraud-in-medieval-...

However, elections are seen as a setback for women:

http://wire.antiwar.com/2009/08/24/afghan-elections-seen-as-a-setback-fo...

Wilf Day

Ramazan Bashardost rises from sideshow to kingmaker

Quote:
Dr Bashardost was, in the view of most analysts, the clear winner in an historic first presidential debate on Afghan television on Sunday night. In Sunday night’s debate, which the main opposition candidate, Abdullah Abdullah, declined to attend, he was widely thought to have dominated Mr Karzai and Ashraf Ghani, the former Finance Minister, by relentlessly drawing his arguments back to the woes of ordinary Afghans.

Many Afghans were taken aback when Dr Bashardost attacked Mr Karzai in public for choosing the northern warlord Marshal Mohammad Fahim as his vice-presidential candidate. “There are those who claim they are fighting warlords, but today warlords have the main role in their campaign, and (one) is their first vice-president. This is not acceptable for the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

A maverick populist who has positioned himself as the anti-warlord, anti-corruption face of politics, Dr Bashardost’s campaign was made famous by the decrepit Mr Bean-style car — Afghans adore the comic character — in which he toured the country. However, despite almost no mainstream advertising or endorsements, his campaign has been gaining momentum.

The credibility of Dr Bashardost is boosted because he eschews the luxuries associated with a corrupt political class. He lives in a tent next to parliament and gives away more than half his salary to the poor. He says he has visited 28 of the country’s 36 provinces while spending less than $5,000 on his campaign. His detractors style him a shameless populist and question his sanity.

“The one who didn’t have anything to lose (in the debate) was Bashardost,” said Haroun Mir, an analyst for the Afghanistan Centre for Research and Policy. “Because of the way he talks, people like him. Bashardost clearly came out much stronger.”

Saad Mohseni, the owner of Afghanistan’s largest independent television station, called Bashardost’s performance: “one of the best political performances I have seen on television”.

Yesterday, on the last day of campaigning, Dr Bashardost was back on the streets of Kabul. The famous car, a small, rust-covered Suzuki, suffered what may prove to be a terminal breakdown over the weekend, forcing him to hire a Toyota People Carrier in a similarly down-at-heel condition.

“Dr Bashardost loves the people and while other politicians worked for themselves, he gave part of his salary to the people,” said a man called Samiullah as he wrung Dr Bashardost’s hand.

“I like him because he does not need bodyguards. He stands with the workers, the traders. These other candidates need 100 bodyguards to come to a place like this,” said Jalaluddin, a wool shop owner. “He is not interested in ethnicities, he is just an Afghan.”

Dr Bashardost said: “The debate was the first time that a man of the people has shared a platform with the man of the corrupt political system and the men of the state. I hope and think that Karzai lost the debate, but you must ask the people what they think.”

His biography says he spent 15 years collecting degrees in Europe before he began work as a university lecturer. Well done. But he must have had nice family resources. His "family of respected government employees" fled Afghanistan while he was still in high school, after the 1978 coup (or the Great April Revolution as its fans called it.) Taking their modest savings with them? Hmm.

 

martin dufresne

I hope this doesnt seem like thread drift - I don't think it is - but Bob Herbert has a strong piece here about how North-American soldiers cope with the war against Irak and Afghanistan.. and the rest of us don't.

The Ultimate Burden
By BOB HERBERT. NYT, August 24, 2009
If you want to get a little bit of a sense of what the wars are like in Afghanistan and Iraq - a small, distant sense of the on-the-ground horror - pick up a book of color photos called, "2nd Tour, Hope I Don't Die." It's chilling.

Most Americans have conveniently put these two absurd, obscene conflicts out of their minds. There's an economy to worry about and snappy little messages to tweet. Nobody wants to think about young people getting their faces or their limbs blown off. Or the parents, loaded with antidepressants, giving their children and spouses a final hug before heading off in a haze of anxiety to their third or fourth tour in the war zones.(...)

(...)

The war in Afghanistan made sense once but it doesn't any longer. The war in Iraq never did. And yet, with most of the country tuned out entirely, we're still suiting up the soldiers and the Marines, putting them on planes and sending them off with a high stakes (life or death) roll of the dice. (...)

 

Unionist

[url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8225745.stm]"Explosive" meeting between Holbrooke and Karzai[/url]

Quote:

Richard Holbrooke raised concerns about ballot-stuffing and fraud, by a number of candidates' teams, sources say.

The US envoy also said a second-round run-off could make the election process more credible, the sources said.

 

NDPP

US Chinook Drops 25 Ballot Boxes into Mountains

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/26/us-loses-ballot-boxes-as-afghan-vote-...

What an evil, demented farce..

Frmrsldr

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/08/26/rising-death-toll-low-voter-turnout-l...

"The British military's ongoing participation in the war in Afghanistan took another hit today when it was revealed that the Babaji area of Helmand Province, in which four British soldiers died just ahead of the election, saw only 150 votes cast out of tens of thousands of eligible voters."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Some big problems for selling the legitimacy of the election:

• The Election Complaints Commission says it has found clear and convincing evidence of fraud in a number of polling stations. It has received close to 3,000 complaints of irregularities, and has ordered a partial recount of the votes, which is expected to take months.

• The Independent Election Commission has cancelled about 200,000 ballots from 600 polling sites where it found fraud.

• The [url=http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/07/world/asia/07fraud.html]New York Times[/url] says hundreds of thousands of phony ballots were cast at as many as 800 phony polling stations that never opened on election day.

• Of the 350,000 ballots allegedly cast in Kandahar, western officials estimated that only 25,000 of them had been legitimately cast.

• In some provinces, the pro-Karzai ballots may exceed the people who actually voted by a factor of 10. 

• With Karzai allegedly leading Abdullah by 54% to 28%, the American ambassador in Kabul delivered a blunt message to Karzai: "Don't declare victory."

Cueball Cueball's picture

Does anyone remember reading Rosie Dimano's fluff piece when she was in Kandahar "observing" the "elections"? I recall her dismissing the fact that hardly anyone voted in Kabul, which is NATO central and far away from the real shooting war as irrelevant, and calling the Taliban anti-election campaign a failure. You know the star is desperate for supporting propaganda, when the most convincing photo and related positive "man in the streets" commentary about voting comes from an Afghan Toronto Star employee. I guess he knows he'll be getting out when the going is good before the tents come down and the clowns go home.

I sure hope Rosie remembers her friends when the time comes. She doesn't seem like a truly bad person, so I am sure she will do her best on his behalf, if she isn't too busy hanging around the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room trying to explain that failure too.

Anyway, I accidentally read that piece over breakfast, and nearly spoiled it. Reading Rosie has a kind of macabre fascination that is riveting if I forget not to avoid reading the opening paragraph, I am always hooked. It like a journalistic car wreck conceived by the creators of "Evil Dead".

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

[url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2009/09/ndp-all-quiet-fraudulent... is the voice of the NDP on the fraudulent election?[/url]

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

[url=http://rabble.ca/blogs/bloggers/derrick/2009/09/ndp-all-quiet-fraudulent... is the voice of the NDP on the fraudulent election?[/url]

Well for one thing, Parliament is only just returning from summer break. But here's what Jack said about old line party toadies to US imperialism in Afghanistan:

Quote:
[url=http://www.ndp.ca/press/address-to-2009-new-democrat-national-convention]Here's another question for you:[/url] Do you believe that the Harper Conservatives, or the Ignatieff Liberals for that matter, really will end our combat role in Afghanistan in 2011?

I didn't think so.

We want a government that favours diplomacy and development and peacekeeping. That's why, from day one, we said this conflict cannot, and will not, be settled militarily. That's why we say again today: support our troops and bring them home.

Frmrsldr

Jason Ditz wrote:

Ending weeks of speculation regarding the massive fraud in Afghanistan's August presidential election, the Obama Administration has formally decided that incumbent President Hamid Karzai will get a second five year term, [n]o matter what the investigations determine.

The preliminary vote count showed that President Karzai got 54.6% of the vote, and chief rival Abdullah Abdullah got only 28%. Election monitors however say that as many as a third of Karzai's votes, amounting to over a million, were potentially fraudulent.

The Afghan constitution mandates a run-off vote in the event no one gets 50% of the vote, a distinct possibility if Karzai loses hundreds of thousands of fake votes. Officials however say such a vote will be virtually impossible because of the rapidly approaching winter. US and British officials have spoken out against a runoff vote, and a NATO meeting Friday appears to have settled the alliance on just eschewing the vote entirely and keeping Karzai in power, consequences be damned.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/09/28/obama-decides-karzai-to-stay-in-power...

Unionist

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/10/11/afghan-vote-fraud.html][=b... vote fraud "widespread" - U.N. official[/color][/url]

Quote:
The head of the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said Sunday there was "widespread fraud" in August's presidential election, but denied allegations he tried to cover up evidence of cheating on behalf of President Hamid Karzai.

Kai Eide was responding to accusations from his former deputy, Peter Galbraith, who was fired on Sept. 30 by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon due to the public dispute over how to deal with the fraud allegations. [...]

He referred to Galbraith's allegations as "personal attacks" against his integrity, adding they have "affected the whole election process."

 

Frmrsldr

Jason Ditz wrote:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's lead in the hotly disputed Afghan election has plummeted dramatically, according to Western officials, and Karzai is now believed to have only 47%, well short of what is needed to avert a second round of voting.

But this is really putting the cart before the horse. Serious suspicion of UN envoy Kai Eide's support for Karzai aside, Karzai has been lining up excuses to reject the results of the fraud investigation for weeks and could still use his Independent Election Commission, every member of which was hand-picked by Karzai, to circumvent the results.

The US is already looking for downplay expectations for the second round, if it occurs at all, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declaring Karzai the likely winner. Everything seems to point to Karzai remaining in power regardless on the situation for the forseeable future, but the damage to his government's credibility has probably already been done.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/16/widespread-fraud-complicates-karzais-...

Update

Jason Ditz wrote:

Officials in the Karzai campaign may have been suggesting for days that they expect a runoff vote, but today's announcement was delayed reportedly as a result of indications that Karzai is not planning to abide by the results.

Karzai's dramatic lead plummeted markedly in the face of mounting evidence of fraud, and the UN-backed Election Complaints Commission has, according to officials, put Karzai's lead at only 47%, well short of what he needs to avoid a run-off.

Now diplomatic efforts are on to convince Karzai to actually cooperate with the ECC's findings, and the Karzai-appointed Independent Election Commission (IEC) will have to sign off on the findings to move on. US Sen. John Kerry, visiting the country, has reportedly told Karzai that the US wants a "legitimate outcome."

But it's likely far too late for that. Reports of massive fraud and voter intimidation were one thing, but at this point the Karzai campaign is said to have operated 800 completely ficticious polling places and the fraud is likely to reach into the millions of vote[s].

Even the votes Karzai has reportedly lost in the recount are only a fraction of the extent of the fraud reported by ousted UN official Peter Galbraith, and still the run-off vote is predicated on getting Karzai's consent. Failure to do so would be a disaster, as supporters of opposition candidates are threatening to take to the streets in armed riots, but even a second round of voting is unlikely to do much to convince anyone that this election has been run in a credible manner.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/17/karzai-rejects-call-for-runoff-vote/

NDPP

Fraudulent Afghan Elections Raise Odds Against US "Success"

http://mwcnews.net/content/view/33830/26/

"this war has draqgged on for nearly nine years, making it longer than America's involvment in World War I and II combined...Yet the Taliban forces we're fighting are stronger than ever, and our own military commanders concede that not only is the war going badly for us, but the situation is "rapidly deteriorating.'

What's more, by backing Hamid Karzai, the "leader" designated by the Bush-Cheney regime on Dec, 2001, Hightower and Fraser say, Obama is strengthening a central government that is "infamously incompetent, openly corrupt, criminally abusive and thoroughly despised."

Said an Afghan watermelon seller, "If you go to government officials they just put money in their pockets. They have their properties in Dubai -- they don't care about the poor.."

Frmrsldr

Will Afghan runoff be less crooked than round one? Little time to fix Existing Problems, and new ones loom.

Jason Ditz wrote:

The violence which kept the turnout disappointingly low in August is just as bad today. After the disastrous first round[,] cynicism about government corruption is at a new high as well. Coupling these with the prospect that early snowfall could make voting impossible across much of the country, the turnout rate could be precipitously lower this time around, which will only fuel doubts about the government's legitimacy.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/10/21/will-afghan-runoff-be-less-crooked-th...

Frmrsldr

James Bovard wrote:

So what am I missing in Afghanistan?

Isn't this like a really dumb bank robber being caught in the act (stealing almost a million votes) - and then - instead of booking him on charges, being given another chance to rob the same bank?

The U.S. government and NATO are going to let Karzai take another swing at the ballot boxes. Why? To see if he became a smarter vote thief since August?

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2009/10/22/karzai-gets-2nd-chance-to-steal-e...

NDPP

Afghan Resistance Statement on Runoff Elections:

http://www.blogfrommiddleeast.com/?xstart=b&new=59362

"The Afghans know why the elections are being held and what for. And what will be its certain outcome..."

 

Frmrsldr

Abdullah quits Afghan runoff:

Jason Ditz wrote:

Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the primary opposition candidate in Afghanistan's August election, has announced that he has withdrawn from this week's run-off vote against President Hamid Karzai, insisting that with much of the mechanism still in place that led to August's debacle there was no way to hold a transparent election.

Despite the lack of any opposing candidates at this point the Karzai government insists the election will still be held, and that the Afghan people have a right to vote, apparently even if it is for just one candidate, and even if that candidate's campaign was caught red-handed stealing over a million votes in the last election.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted that the election will definitely be legitimate, even with only one candidate, insisting that Karzai had single-handedly bestowed legitimacy of the whole of Afghan democracy "from that moment forward" when he grudgingly allowed a second round of voting.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/11/01/abdullah-quits-afghan-runoff/

WTF? You're joking, right Hillary?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Clinton is a joke, and so is this election.

Noah_Scape

Ya, well, the USA does not want to win this war, they just want to keep forces there so the Karzai folks can have to opium trade. They probably just shrug their shoulders and say "its whats best for everyone concerned" to keep a lid on things in Afghanistan. It could go on for 20 or 30 years, with opium being such a high profit game. Even if prohibition ended, there would be a market... no, wait!! Thats the strategy - end the US War on Drugs and Afghanistan becomes a lot less worth fighting over.

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture
Frmrsldr

Western officials laud President Karzai as 'legitimate':

Jason Ditz wrote:

Following today's announcement that President Hamid Karzai would remain in power without the formality of running in a single candidate vote on Sunday, Western leaders are touting his victory and hailing him as the "legitimate" leader of Afghanistan.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/11/02/western-official-laud-legitimate-karzai/

NDPP

Afghan Election Farce Ends, Escalation to Begin:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/nov2009/afgh-n03.shtml

"The only purpose of the election was to lend 'legitimacy' to this escalation of Washington's colonial-style war.."