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Thread: Afghans vote amid militant threat

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    Afghans vote amid militant threat

    BBC NEWS | South Asia | Afghans vote amid militant threat

    Afghans have voted in the country's second presidential election since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

    The vote passed off without major violence, despite sporadic attacks by Taliban who had vowed to disrupt it.

    Reports suggest turnout was patchy - although polling was extended. Fewer people voted in the south, where militant influence is greater.

    President Hamid Karzai, running for a second term, faces competition from dozens of rivals.

    Polls officially closed at 1700 (1230 GMT), after being kept open for an extra hour.

    The election follows a lively campaign period in which dozens of candidates vied for the presidency - but it was marred by violent attacks and frequent complaints of pre-election corruption and fraud.

    Some 300,000 Afghan and international troops were on patrol to prevent attacks.
    Many feel that neither Iraq or Afghanistan can succeed. So tell me, is it not encouraging to see a good turn-out for free elections is a country where the voters are threatened for showing up? I think that both countries will be free democracies, in a Middle Eastern sense, not Western, someday and will join the rest of the free world.

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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    I think many anti-war nuts will argue that the terrorist blowing up things and murdering people is what really represents the majority not the **** loads of people coming out to vote(as pointed out by another poster in another thread).
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

    Cicero Marcus Tullius

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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    The Afghan vote is not a free or fair vote and there is not "loads" of people coming out to vote.

    First off most women vote what the men say they should vote. And the men vote what their tribal leaders tell them to vote for.

    Secondly there was already wide spread reports of vote rigging weeks before the vote.

    Thirdly, "democracy" is a foreign word in the country.. it will never work under the present circumstances and certainly not work when we pull out our military forces. It goes against every mentality grain of the country, not to mention 75% of the population cant read or write.

    And finally, lets not forget what ever government that will be elected will only have power in the Presidential palace and only there. Most of the country is run by warlords, drugs lords or the Taliban and the country is effectively a narko state.
    PeteEU

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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    Good luck to Afghans.
    I truly do hope their democracy survives anything the terrorists throw at them.

    I am especially lifted seeing women voting in Afghanistan on my news, just lovely.


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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    The bravery of these people is inspiring, and should serve as a serious rebuke to others, elsewhere, who have the right to vote and do not exercise it.

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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    The Afghan vote is not a free or fair vote and there is not "loads" of people coming out to vote.

    First off most women vote what the men say they should vote. And the men vote what their tribal leaders tell them to vote for.

    Secondly there was already wide spread reports of vote rigging weeks before the vote.

    Thirdly, "democracy" is a foreign word in the country.. it will never work under the present circumstances and certainly not work when we pull out our military forces. It goes against every mentality grain of the country, not to mention 75% of the population cant read or write.

    And finally, lets not forget what ever government that will be elected will only have power in the Presidential palace and only there. Most of the country is run by warlords, drugs lords or the Taliban and the country is effectively a narko state.
    Democracy is not new to Afghanistan. After it won independence from Britain in 1919 it was a democracy until the coup and communist counter coup of 1973. In 1979 the country came under attack from the USSR and the Taliban came to power after that. So to argue that it is a foreign concept to these people that will never work is misleading and completely untrue my friend.

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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    Democracy is not new to Afghanistan.
    Oh it is not?

    After it won independence from Britain in 1919 it was a democracy until the coup and communist counter coup of 1973.
    No. First off they did not "win independence". It was never under occupation and was never really conquered. The Afghanistan "Empire" was quite a large empire and it included most of what we know as Pakistan and Eastern Iran and parts of India. That is where they met the British Empire who was slowly eating up land in the Indian subcontinent and that lead to 3 major wars. In the end of the second war, the Brits withdrew after they proclaimed "victory" by gaining ceded Afghani territory and gain a certain influence over the government of Afghanistan.. this was after heavy losses and no real victory in the country. The Brits never returned after the second war and in 1919 Afghanistan finally got full control over its own state after the last war between the two, that among other things meant that the present borders were confirmed (the Afghani's gave up claim)... another "victory" for the British Empire.

    Did it start a democracy? no. It was the Kingdom of Afghanistan run by a King... Different "kings" got power via coups, and put in place different forms of governance but in the end there was never any "democratic" system put in place before the last King came to power. And that all ended in yet another coup, which brought the Republic of Afghanistan in 1973.

    So at best, Afghanistan has had a "democratic" system only in part from 1965 to the late 1970s... hardly a huge tradition in the democratic process...especially considering that the tradition of coups continued during this time.

    In 1979 the country came under attack from the USSR
    Again not true. The USSR was technically invited into the country by the sitting government after the USSR had supported yet another coup against the sitting President and putting their own people in power. That we in the west say it is an invasion, does not change the technical fact of the invite (forced by the soviets but hey).

    and the Taliban came to power after that.
    Again no. The Soviets left in 1989 and the Taliban did not seize power before 1996. In those 7 years the government was the same bunch of people the Soviets had put in power for the most part.

    So to argue that it is a foreign concept to these people that will never work is misleading and completely untrue my friend.
    No it is not. It is actually factually correct. Having a democratic system from 1965 to the late 1970s does not mean they have a tradition for democracy. Considering the average age of Afghanis and life span of Afghanis, there are very few people in Afghanistan that actually remember those years, let alone the "Kingdom of Afghanistan". And if you factor in the tribal nature of the country and the fact that areas are ruled by warlords by an iron fist, then you can not have a true democratic process as the people vote what the tribal leaders/warlords tell them to vote for.
    Last edited by PeteEU; 08-20-09 at 12:13 PM.
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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    Why are Afghans running to the polls under our forced democracy, when their saviors are killing the enemy? They ought to be helping get rid of the occupation by boycotting the polls.
    "He who does not think himself worth saving from poverty and ignorance by his own efforts, will hardly be thought worth the efforts of anybody else." -- Frederick Douglass, Self-Made Men (1872)
    "Fly-over" country voted, and The Donald is now POTUS.

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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteEU View Post
    Oh it is not?



    No. First off they did not "win independence". It was never under occupation and was never really conquered. The Afghanistan "Empire" was quite a large empire and it included most of what we know as Pakistan and Eastern Iran and parts of India. That is where they met the British Empire who was slowly eating up land in the Indian subcontinent and that lead to 3 major wars. In the end of the second war, the Brits withdrew after they proclaimed "victory" by gaining ceded Afghani territory and gain a certain influence over the government of Afghanistan.. this was after heavy losses and no real victory in the country. The Brits never returned after the second war and in 1919 Afghanistan finally got full control over its own state after the last war between the two, that among other things meant that the present borders were confirmed (the Afghani's gave up claim)... another "victory" for the British Empire.

    Did it start a democracy? no. It was the Kingdom of Afghanistan run by a King... Different "kings" got power via coups, and put in place different forms of governance but in the end there was never any "democratic" system put in place before the last King came to power. And that all ended in yet another coup, which brought the Republic of Afghanistan in 1973.

    So at best, Afghanistan has had a "democratic" system only in part from 1965 to the late 1970s... hardly a huge tradition in the democratic process...especially considering that the tradition of coups continued during this time.



    Again not true. The USSR was technically invited into the country by the sitting government after the USSR had supported yet another coup against the sitting President and putting their own people in power. That we in the west say it is an invasion, does not change the technical fact of the invite (forced by the soviets but hey).



    Again no. The Soviets left in 1989 and the Taliban did not seize power before 1996. In those 7 years the government was the same bunch of people the Soviets had put in power for the most part.



    No it is not. It is actually factually correct. Having a democratic system from 1965 to the late 1970s does not mean they have a tradition for democracy. Considering the average age of Afghanis and life span of Afghanis, there are very few people in Afghanistan that actually remember those years, let alone the "Kingdom of Afghanistan". And if you factor in the tribal nature of the country and the fact that areas are ruled by warlords by an iron fist, then you can not have a true democratic process as the people vote what the tribal leaders/warlords tell them to vote for.
    Good post, but you forget that Afghanistan attacked India causing the British to sign the Treaty of Rawalpindi in August 1919, this marks Afghanistan's independence. Also, King Zahir Shah promulgated a liberal constitution providing for a two-chamber legislature to which the king appointed one-third of the deputies. The people elected another third, and the remainder were selected indirectly by provincial assemblies. This is a pseudo-democractic system. The two coups ended in the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, which was a socialist regime with close ties to Russia as you stated, but the people did participate in elections.

    I have no idea the life expectancy of Afghans during those times, nor now, but I do argue that though not a Western style democracy, democracy can still work in Afghanistan. But thanks for the wonderful post.

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    Re: Afghans vote amid militant threat

    Quote Originally Posted by tlmorg02 View Post
    Good post, but you forget that Afghanistan attacked India causing the British to sign the Treaty of Rawalpindi in August 1919, this marks Afghanistan's independence.
    Does it matter who started it? Point is the Afghani's lost big time on the field of battle but won their total independence from the British Empire. The Brits got what they wanted too.

    Also, King Zahir Shah promulgated a liberal constitution providing for a two-chamber legislature to which the king appointed one-third of the deputies. The people elected another third, and the remainder were selected indirectly by provincial assemblies. This is a pseudo-democractic system. The two coups ended in the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, which was a socialist regime with close ties to Russia as you stated, but the people did participate in elections.
    As I stated, the last king of Afghanistan did implement some what democratic institutions and as you pointed out, they were not exactly what we see as "democratic". Basically the same system that the Saudi's have today.. somewhat. And the last King came to power in 1933 but only put in place those institutions in 1965.... not exactly "pushing" the democratic spirit was he?

    I have no idea the life expectancy of Afghans during those times, nor now, but I do argue that though not a Western style democracy, democracy can still work in Afghanistan.
    I dont agree at all, there is no evidence of this at all from their history. In fact their history is full of dictators and coups and tribal leadership, which is highly anti-democratic.
    PeteEU

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