Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Abdullah Abdullah to Boycott Runoff

Abdullah Abdullah is going to boycott the run off in Afghanistan.

OK, I'll get right to the point. I've always thought that boycotting elections was a sign of weakness. Why boycott an election if you think you're in a strong position? Even if it's going to be rigged, you get your people out there, rev them up, and set up a wave of protests against the rigged election like happened in Iran recently. By boycotting the election you are essentially saying that the best chance you have of getting attention is by quitting. That's not a sign of strength.

Abdullah Abdullah looked very strong after Karzai was forced to participate in the run off. But by pulling out, it makes it look like he expected to lose and expected that his supporters would not support him in challenging the outcome.

It's unfortunate that Abdullah has done this to put it mildly. By doing this he implicitly admits that Karzai really is the stronger candidate but publicly acts to undermine his legitimacy. I can't see how you could justify this as being good for the country except if you think that bringing down the entire democratic structure (such as it is) is preferable to working to reform it.


The Law Talking Guy said...

I also dislike election boycotts, but not for the reasons you mention. Abdullah-squared knows he is going to lose, becuase Karzai will steal the election. He can let it happen and -as he fears - have the Americans endorse Karzai, or try to preemptively undermine Karzai. This method is cheaper.

Raised By Republicans said...

I suppose that's the only benefit he can get. That is, if he is convinced that the Americans will endorse Karzai no matter what then this makes sense. So I take your poin there.

But if he thinks that he could pull of something like happened in Iran he could have forced the Americans to back away from Karzai and maybe force him to do a deal. So I still come back to this being a sign of weakness.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Your reaction, RBR, is exactly the reaction of most of the American government. This is the worst thing that Abdullah-squared could have done to the Americans, and it disappoints the govt terribly. That's why he did it, I imagine.

Raised By Republicans said...

You may be right. But why didn't he play this out? If the American government was going to back Karzai no matter what, why didn't they just quash the run off in the first place? They probably could have. But they went ahead and pressured Karzai to accept the run off.

But you are right that it looks like Abdullah squared thought the Americans would not pressure Karzai any further.

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