Sunday, November 01, 2009


In Afghanistan's disreputable 2009 presidential election, everyone's a loser. Hamid Karzai's "victory", achieved by fraud and now by default, has left him a tarnished, diminished figure. The US administration that orchestrated the whole process still lacks the credible partner in Kabul it says is essential for success.

The UN's reputation for probity lies critically wounded in the gutter, a victim of inaction and bitter infighting among officials. Nato's mission looks even more rudderless and ill-defined than before. The cause of the Afghan people, bemused and terrorised by turns, is no further forward and may in truth have been set back.
-- Simon Tisdall

P.S. 2 Nov: Andrew Sullivan:
The surge has failed in Iraq to create the national unity it was designed to achieve; and its security achievements are just not replicable in Afghanistan. Expecting Karzai to reform now when he is in a civil war and just defeated his opponent makes no sense at all. Enormous pressure on him for years made no discernible difference.

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