October 21, 2009

Afghan Runoff Is a Chilling Prospect

Simon Tisdall, The Guardian

AP Photo

Like Napoleon advancing on Moscow, western proponents of Afghanistan's second post-9/11 presidential election face a new and forbidding enemy. This foe fields no regiments of guards, no jihadi skirmishers; he possesses no cannon or improvised explosive devices; he has but one strategy: chaos. The Russians called this enemy "General Winter". And to his assault, Napoleon famously succumbed.

Now, on 7 November, as bitter cold, snow and ice sweep across its sparse valleys and mountain tops, poor, weary Afghanistan must try to do better than Bonaparte, by plucking a democratic victory from the jaws of calamitous defeat.

Whichever way you look at it, the second round run-off offers a chilling prospect. Arranging a nationwide vote in less than three weeks would test the...

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TAGGED: Abdullah Abdullah, Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan


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