Monday, August 24, 2009

Why Is Afghanistan's Election Different From Iran's?

June 17th, 2009 (Fox News)

John McCain told FOX News that he didn't think President Obama was doing enough to show his support for fair elections in Iran and civil rights for Iranians after a presidential election there that "everybody knows" was corrupt.

Sen. McCain, Obama's Republican challenger in the 2008 election, suggested Wednesday in an interview with FOX News that Obama wasn't standing up for American principles.

"I'm disappointed, it is an American principle ever since our founding that we are dedicated to the principle that all are created equal and the fact is they have the right to free elections and to select their leadership," McCain said.

Afghanistan held its presidential elections this week. There are widespread and credible accusations of vote rigging and election fraud. The BBC reports that voter cards were for sale and readily available, and that the Free and Fair Election Campaign of Afghanistan is collecting evidence of abuse and fraud. That report finishes with this:

But as international forces fight and die to allow this election to go ahead, serious questions are raised about the credibility of the process and the balance between sacrifice and reward.

Where is the US outrage over this election? Could it be that we are willing to overlook reports of fraud in Afghanistan because Karzai is our puppet, but our dislike of Ahmadinejad led people like McCain to call for the U.S. to interfere in the Iranian politics?

It is precisely this sort of meddling, coupled with convenient rhetorical support for democracy, while picking sides based on short-term politics, that has destroyed the international standing of the United States, especially among the very people whose hearts and minds we should be trying to win over.

We have given up on fighting terrorism in Afghanistan. We are now fighting an insurgency, which really is none of our business, and which we cannot possibly win. The administration has decided to continue throwing away lives and money in this failed effort. So admitting that we're doing it to support a government that can't even hold fair elections would look bad. Yet that is where we are.

It's time to come home.

No comments:

Post a Comment