The count for the Afghan election must be the longest in the world...and every week prolongs the agony.
Now as the Afghan authorities plan to declare Hamid Karzai the winner with over 50 percent of the vote, there is great upset among the western governments who are squirming at the levels of fraud and corruption. Results from nearly 500 polling stations are being disqualified.
Remember three months ago when extra British troops were sent to Afghanistan ..to ensure that fair elections took place? The government knew then that wasn't going to happen. Hamid Karzai's government ranks among the top ten most corrupt in the world. But the western powers hoped that no one would notice the fraud. Fat chance of that with pictures of hundreds of ballot papers being filled in by one man.
Now there are calls for a rerun. But let's remember this isn't one of the countries, for example Iran or Zimbabwe, where the major powers criticise from afar and if they can send in 'indepedendent observers' to oversee the ballot (we could do with a few of those to oversee our MPs' expenses). This is a country occupied by the west, who drew up its electoral system and who backed Karzai as their man after the Taliban were defeated in 2001.
The talk of bringing democracy was a lie then and it is exposed now. But the cost of that lie is being paid by the now 213 British soldiers dead (all but 6 since 2006).
The latest casualty was a soldier involved in a raid to rescue a British journalist captured by the Taliban. Unfortunately , an Afghan translator was also killed in this raid. Afghan journalists are outraged that the Sultan Munadi's body was not rescued with that of the dead soldier, and that he may well have been killed by British fire.
Angry protests at double standards have greeted the death. It is also clear that negotiations which could have freed everyone safely were going ahead.
Another great success in winning hearts and minds.
As national convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, Lindsey was a key organiser of the largest demonstration, and one of the largest mass movements, in British history.
Her books include ‘Material Girls: Women, Men and Work’, ‘Sex, Class and Socialism’, ‘A People’s History of London’ (with John Rees) and ‘How a Century of War Changed the Lives of Women’.
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