So the President of Afghanistan did not really win reelection outright in the first round after all. With enough fraudulent votes for Karzai invalidated to drop his support to about 48%, Karzai will now face a run off against Abdullah Abdullah, a former member of the Northern Alliance and former Foreign Minister of both the transitional government and Karzai's government.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Abdullah Abdullah was a close associate of Ahmad Massoud who was assassinated by Al Qaeda on September 9, 2001. Now, the Northern Alliance guys are not pussy cats. There are accusations of human rights violations and several of the "tribal warlord" types in the north-west don't really like them. But this faction does have long standing ties to Russia, the former Soviet republics in Central Asia, Turkey, Iran and India. Those could prove be useful contacts for the next Afghan administration - and their American allies.
I think this is a great chance for the Obama administration that they will accept democratic outcomes even if they are inconvenient. First and foremost because I doubt Abdullah Abdullah will be terribly unfriendly to American policy objectives. And what's more, if the US had resisted this or quashed it (probably what the Bushies would have been tempted to do), it would have fatally linked us to an illegitimate and increasingly corrupt and unpopular Karzai. This way, whether Karzai wins or loses the US can at least plausibly claim some neutrality in the election and hopefully reinforce the legitimacy of who ever the winner of the second round is.
Posted by Raised By Republicans at 7:02 PM