September 18, 2005


Afghans go to polls in historic vote (Farah Stockman, September 18, 2005, Boston Globe)

As polls opened today, an unprecedented election season drew to an end in Afghanistan. Millions were expected to vote for the lower house of the National Assembly, a 249-seat body roughly equivalent to the US House of Representatives, and a host of provincial councils.

The election brings much to celebrate less than four years after US forces and their allies launched a war that drove the fundamentalist Taliban regime from power and routed Al Qaeda from its terror training camps in the Afghan countryside. Sixty-eight seats are reserved for women and 10 for the nomadic Kuchi tribe, groups long denied a say here; and the assembly will provide a democratic check on the authority of President Hamid Karzai.

The vote is a logistical triumph, with specialized pictorial ballots for the largely illiterate population delivered by helicopter and donkey to the most remote areas.

The stunning reality of our success in the WoT lies in the ordinariness of elections in even Afghanistan.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 18, 2005 8:33 AM

Please remind me again. Why are we in Afghanistan? They don't have any oil, nor do they anticipate any huge infrastructure projects which will enrich Bush's pals at Haliburton.

Posted by: erp at September 18, 2005 10:38 AM

We need Afghanistan for the oil pipeline bringing Russian oil to market without going through Iran. Don't you remember that Michael Moore proved conclusively that the Taliban discussed the pipeline project at a conference in Texas while George Bush was governor!

Posted by: David Cohen at September 18, 2005 11:27 AM

David. Yes, of course, I remember now about the pipeline for Russian oil to bypass Iran. So that covers both of Bush's main agenda items, oil and Halliburton. I haven't read or seen any of Moore's opera and know only what's been in the media about them.

I take it the Taliban met with Bush in Texas? So the selection for president in 2000 was in place even then. Deucedly clever these Arabs.

Posted by: erp at September 18, 2005 1:12 PM

Well, no, they didn't actually meet with Bush in Texas, but they met with pipeline people in Texas while George Bush was governor.

Posted by: David Cohen at September 18, 2005 10:35 PM

Someone should tell Teddy about the Taliban in Texas. He'll be a titterin' and a totterin' on the Senate floor in record time. And just wait until Bush names Cornyn to the Court.

Posted by: jim hamlen at September 18, 2005 11:25 PM