Democracy At Work In Afghanistan?

Eight years ago American forces ripped through Afghanistan in order to end Taliban rule and bring democracy to the land. Four years ago during the 2004 presidential election, President Bush assured the American people US armed forces were in the process of creating a modern Afghanistan army which could maintain stability and handle the Taliban. Like so many Bush statements regarding reality this was simply fantasy in thought and action. Fast forward to 2009 and Afghanistan lacks the semblance of an army and it certainly is far from being a democracy.

President Hamid Karzai, whose family members reportedly are involved with the drug trade, is in the process of making a secret deal with a rival that would result in eliminating any potential threat to his re-election. Karzai’s main rival, Abdullah Abdullah is a Tajik while Karzai hails from the Pashtun group which means if there is a close race, whoever loses will unleash his followers in demonstrations charging the election was a fraud.

Karzai is negotiating with a third candidate, Ashraf Ghania, who is also Pashtun, in an effort to get him to leave the race and avoid splitting the Pashtun vote. Reports indicate Karzai is offering him a position equivalent to that of a prime minister. In reality all candidates are engaged in negotiations and swapping votes for jobs. After all, this is democracy, Afghan style in 2009.

Come to think about it, Afghan style democracy is not that far different from American style, the difference being in that we have lobbyists while they engage in face-to-face negotiations.