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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

OVBIAGELE: Afghanistan election diverted attention from war policy

EmilThe recent election of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai did not deserve the attention it received from the West, stalling the Obama administration’s plans for a new war policy. This was ridiculous.

Karzai won a third term in office Monday after rival Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from a planned runoff election he had so dearly cried for.

The Afghan president underwent severe criticisms after he gained more than 50 percent of the votes in a marred election in August.

After two-and-a-half months of bickering and squabbling, Karzai finally agreed to the West’s call for a runoff election to legitimize his government — courtesy of Sen. John Kerry flying in for the rescue.

Whether the elections were fraudulent or not, the winner was always going to be Hamid Karzai.

So why the buzz in the first place from American and European officials?

Why did Kerry have to fly halfway around the world just to lay some more carbon prints on our friendly skies — an unnecessary trip taxpayers paid for.

Moreover, whoever the president of Afghanistan is (given the options at the last polls) doesn’t matter to America’s cause in the country — at least for now.

The position of president in Afghanistan at the moment equates to being a ceremonial leader with no real powers.

Since the 1970s, Afghanistan has been in a state of perpetual civil war and political disarray. Its central government has never really had dominion over its territory.

As far as I am concerned, Afghanistan is a mere geographic expression and not a nation.

So why should anyone give a damn about the election of a president who governs no one but his band of corrupt pals?

A lot of people might want to say the reason why the West cares is because they want to protect democracy for the Afghan people.

Firstly, there are no Afghan people. You have the Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazara, Uzbek and other tribes. That’s all there is.

There is no such thing as a unified nation for the people that live on the mapped-out land.

Secondly, democracy in Afghanistan is wishful thinking. It is a facade. It doesn’t exist.

Because Hamid Karzai’s government is definitely not a government of the people, by the people or for the people, what you have in Afghanistan is the contrary.

It’s not democracy. It’s dem-all-crazy.

The West basically governs Afghanistan for now. It should keep governing until a palpable solution is found to solve the timeless problem of creating a governable Afghanistan nation.

Achieving political order is important. But that’s when you at least have a political system and not the mirage of one.

For majority of the people living in Afghanistan today, the fear of the Taliban is the beginning of wisdom. The Taliban fills in for the lack of control from Kabul.

The so-called Afghan leadership has been more of a curse than a blessing to America’s broad mission in the region.

The Afghan government’s corruption and laissez-faire attitude to the monstrous opium trade have been huge sources of hindrance.

For now, the West — and America in particular — should focus on the deteriorating state of what Obama called the “war of necessity.”

Rather than be distracted by background noises such as the legitimacy of the Afghan elections, the Obama administration should concern itself with coming out soon with a new war strategy.

The death toll of U.S. soldiers keeps on rising with each dawn of a new day, the time for superfluous hesitancy and distractions are over. Your war plan, Mr. President?

Food For Thought: Talk is cheap. Thoughts without actions are like rocking chairs — they give you something to do but lead you nowhere.

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  • H

    History AlumNov 5, 2009 at 9:37 am

    Nice article, I agree with most of it. Some places in the world simply cannot be functional nations on the western model. This is not an indictment, it is simply stating a historical truth.

    The best case scenario for the US is to create an environment where whatever group takes over Afghanistan maintains it in a way that it does not become a training ground for terrorist types who want to go out into the world and create mayhem. Even a failed nation state like Afghanistan can provide the international apparatus to assist such groups.

    The military is a decisive organization. It operates best when it has a clear mission. I will support the president if he goes all in or all out of Afghanistan because there is a case for both, but his dithering costs lives of both Americans and Afghanis for no reason. He has had since March when he picked his own general to run the show to make up his mind. Loss of life in war is always tragic, but loss of life without a clear mission is criminal.