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Afghan elections

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The beleaguered Afghan nation, tormented for three decades, first by the Soviet Union, then the US, dutifully inked their fingers yesterday to vote in a general election. Though the field was a bit more diverse this time around, with more than 40 candidates from which to choose, Hamid Karzai is widely seen as the winning favorite.

Favorite, that is, of the US establishment and Afghan elite – not the Afghan populace, whose opinion matters remarkably little in affairs such as these. The US needs a mandate to continue its aggression in Afghanistan; it needs a friendly Prime Minister to allow construction of the Central Asia oil pipeline – thus, a second term for Hamid Karzai is all but a foregone conclusion.

It matters very little, of course, that entrenched corruption within his government is now widely acknowledged. The US cares very little that Karzai is deeply unpopular among the population he rules. It doesn’t even matter that his own Deputy President openly proclaimed that Hamid Karzai is a “US stooge”. In fact, that is precisely why he will win.

It is interesting to view The Times’ coverage of Hamid Karzai, particularly this saccharine article, published a couple weeks ago. After a brief and dismissive list of the very real charges against him, we are told that Karzai “clearly abhors violence”, that he is “a lonely man”, “painted into a corner”, that “no one is one his side.” (Except, of course, the corrupt graft machine of which he sits at the head).

The article follows a similar tone throughout. I suppose allegations that Karzai’s family derives its wealth largely from opium is beneath The Times’ notice. The article had the audacity to quote Karzai as saying  “I’m a very, very, very simple person. I have no property. I have no money. I have no love for luxury.” without any challenge. This, from the leader of one of the most corrupt governments on earth!

As I write, the Afghans count their votes. No one doubts that Karzai, the “US Stooge”, the corrupt executor of our command, the ‘deeply unpopular’ incumbent will prevail. It is no coincidence that the vast majority of Afghan election coverage centers around this man.  In him, the US ruling establishment will find an avaricious, though obedient, stooge in Afghanistan.

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Written by pavanvan

August 20, 2009 at 7:40 pm

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