Election News and Non-Election Election News!
Americans put a lot of faith in elections as a sign of legitimacy and democracy–and we have had good reason. With some exceptions, our elections give legitimacy to the winner and are (usually) an expression of the people’s will. Should that confidence in elections color our policy in Iraq and Afghanistan?
The Iraqis have yet to pass the law necessary for elections in January raising questions about when U.S. troops will be withdrawn.
Mr. Abdullah has withdrawn from the run-off in Afghanistan leaving Mr. Karzai in place after a fraudulent election. What can nation-building mean in these circumstance and exactly what kind of war can the U.S. run in the circumstances? Times’ reporters say this: ”The election deadlock over the last nine weeks has highlighted the Afghan state’s fragility and has showed deep and growing divisions among Afghans. And it has, like so many other recent events here, posed a worsening problem for American and other Western leaders, who have found themselves stuck with a leader who has lost the support of large numbers of Afghans, and whose government is widely regarded as corrupt.” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/world/asia/02afghan.html?_r=1&hp
And just to confuse matters: in Upstate New York, the duly-nomated Republican candidate has withdrawn, a move that favors the Conservative Party candidate supported by right-wing Republicans, Sarah Palin, etc.; in effect, delegitimizing local Republican party officials who chose the now retiring candidate, Dede Scozzafava. “G.O.P. Moderate, Pressed by Right, Abandons Race” http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/01/nyregion/01upstate.html?hp