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Thread: Ralph Peters: Lefties ignore Afgan elections

  1. #1
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    Ralph Peters: Lefties ignore Afgan elections

    SNUBBING DEMOCRACY

    By RALPH PETERS
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    September 21, 2005 -- FOR 50 years, the American left complained that we supported dictators instead of backing human rights and democracy. On Sunday, the lefties got yet another dose of what they used to demand: Free elections in Afghanistan, long the victim of tyranny.

    The left's reaction? Ignore the success of the balloting and explain away its importance by bending the truth until it's as twisted as an arrow designed by a liberal-arts faculty.


    Why? Because Afghan democracy was enabled by the U.S. military and by that devil incarnate, George W. Bush.


    Leftists care nothing for real human beings. They only care about causes in the abstract and who does a thing is far more important than what actually gets done.




    It's disheartening to see our lefties reject every worthy value they once professed, switching their support to psychotic terrorists and dictators (well, they always did like Stalin and Mao . . . ). But the rest of us can take heart from the Afghans' courage, from their determination to assert their political liberty.


    Even major U.S. news outlets, disappointed by the lack of Election Day bloodshed, relegated the voting to the inner pages or to a brief mention well along in the broadcast. Heroism in the cause of democracy doesn't merit headlines.


    Instead, we heard whining that just over 50 percent of eligible Afghans voted, that there were too many candidates, that warlords were allowed to run, that the Taliban's back in business and, generally, that Afghanistan still isn't a replica of Vermont four years after its liberation.


    OK. Let's consider the complaints.


    * If "only" 50 to 60 percent of the potential voters cast a ballot, that's better than a political environment in which nobody gets to vote. Turnout is a lot lower in most U.S. congressional and local elections and we don't have to brave threats of death and trudge over some of the world's harshest mountains to cast a ballot. (Mostly, we won't even drive to the polling place down the street.)


    * Too many candidates? During our last presidential election, I, for one, would have liked more choices than our two party monopolies offered. Afghans are learning as they go. At this stage in the country's development, inclusive elections are better than exclusive ones.


    * Warlords running for office? Is it better just to have them running guns? Let's see who won after the votes are tallied. Let the people choose.


    * Taliban back in business? They never went away completely and they won't. You can no more eradicate all bigotry and hatred than you can wipe out crime.


    Americans reduced the once-powerful Ku Klux Klan to a laughingstock, but a few grown men still parade around in sheets. The Taliban will lurk on the fringes of Afghan society for years, representing a small, virulent constituency. But they'll never come back from the fringes.


    And just by the way: In the southern provinces where the Taliban once was strongest, higher-than-average numbers of women registered to vote. Think they want Mullah Omar & Co. back?


    * Is Afghanistan imperfect? You bet. But its government doesn't look bad compared to Louisiana's. Afghanistan will never be Vermont. The issue is whether or not it will be a better Afghanistan. It already is.


    Afghanistan never had real democracy before the election that chose President Hamid Karzai. This is a largely illiterate country where only 6 percent of the people have electricity. Far from being cause for discouragement, the fact that so many Afghans turned out to vote should make us cheer the magnetism of democracy, the human longing for self-determination.


    Despite all the Taliban threats of Election Day violence that tantalized the media, the polling hours passed without a single major attack. Nationwide, nine people died in isolated incidents of violence.


    The "resurgent" Taliban couldn't even muster one good suicide bomber. Wasn't that worth a headline?


    As a young soldier on a weekend pass a quarter-century back, I woke after an interesting night in Paris to read that the Soviets had invaded Afghanistan. Later, as an intelligence officer, I monitored the Kremlin's occupation. After the Soviets fled, I watched the Taliban. I read Afghan history and visited the region. I never dreamed that so broken a country could make such rapid progress toward democracy.


    Sunday's elections were a testament to sheer human resilience.


    We all should be exhilarated by the valor and spunk displayed by Afghan voters. Left or right, we should be heartened by the yearning of human beings to control their own destiny, to cast off ancient traditions of oppressive governance. And we should be boundlessly proud of our troops, who gave the Afghan population this opportunity.


    Instead, we get shrugged shoulders and cheap criticism. The non-coverage of Sunday's elections said far more about us than it did about Afghans.


    Ralph Peters' latest book is "New Glory, Expanding America's Global Supremacy."
    **************************************

    Bonus info from same website:

    How did Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumerville of Miami, who set an NCAA record six sacks in one game and nine in the first two, not end up at one of the Big Three Miami, Florida or Florida State?

    Miami offered Dumerville a scholarship but said he'd have to redshirt and probably wouldn't start until his junior year. FSU didn't recruit him. Florida had Dumerville wrapped up until Steve Spurrier left for the NFL.

    That left Syracuse, where Dumerville's older brother's James and Louis played, and Louisville. Syracuse wanted to redshirt Dumerville and play him and outside linebacker. Louisville said he could play as a freshman at DE.

    "I know I don't look like a defensive end," said the 6-foot, 256-pound Dumerville. "I believe I'm a contradiction."

    His father, Frank, is the critic. He said his son had underachieved the last two seasons and really started riding him after the 2003 GMAC Bowl.

    "There were three times he had [Ben] Roethlisberger sacked and twice he flicked him off and threw touchdown passes," said Frank Dumerville. "I rag him all the time about that: 'You made him with that ESPN highlight. Every time they show a Roethlisberger highlight, they show you."

  2. #2
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    oh...Afgahnistan had elections this weekend?? Must've missed that 10-second piece on major network news...was able to scrape this up:

    [QUOTE][B]Taliban's big failure at the polls
    The Charleston Post & Courier
    TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2005 [/B]
    The success of Sunday's parliamentary elections in Afghanistan lies in the fact that the Taliban guerrillas were the big losers. Despite their threats to kill anyone who went to the polls, six million Afghans chose democracy and risked their lives to do so. As an interior ministry spokesman observed in remarks quoted by the BBC, "After all their boasting, it's a big failure for the Taliban."

    A particularly promising aspect of the elections was the huge turnout by women, both as candidates and as voters. The Associated Press reported U.S. Ambassador Ronald Neumann saying: "Four years ago, the Taliban were here and women were being stoned to death ... and now you have women running polling centers and women voting." Nearly 600 women stood for office and under the new constitution women will have 25 percent of the seats in the new National Assembly reserved for them. They will also be represented on local councils.

    While the number voting was below the 70 percent who went to the polls in the presidential elections last October, Peter Erben, the U.N. official in charge of the elections, put the figure in perspective. He noted that the polling compared favorably with other countries at the same stage in their political development. Voters, he said "demonstrated both maturity and dignity by coming out to vote calmly and peacefully."

    The drop from the 70 percent voting rate in elections that placed Hamid Karzai in the presidency to the estimated 50 percent who voted on Sunday was due to a number of factors. The system chosen for the elections did not allow candidates to run under the names of political parties, so they had to run as individuals. The proliferation of names of unknown people was guaranteed not to fire up registered voters to go to the polls en masse, although the voting system discouraged political chicanery. Voters were casting ballots for democracy, not for personalities or powerful political figures. Some observers suggested that the presence on the lists of candidates of well-known war lords was also a reason that the turnout was 20 percent below that of October.

    Several of the most notorious warlords were banned from running, but widespread popular disgust has been expressed because some tribal leaders who are widely believed to have committed crimes against innocent civilians were allowed to seek office. President Karzai has made it a policy to bring outlaws into the political system and has also tried to win over Taliban leaders, but it is generally recognized that he will eventually have to purge criminal elements from positions of power.

    When the ballots that are being brought to the provincial capitals -- by donkey and camel from Afghan's wildest and most remote areas -- are finally counted, Afghanistan will be able to take its next major step forward. When the national parliament and local councils are up and running, the country will have government by the people and for the people.

    The Afghanistan people faced a surge in violence on the eve of the elections, but undismayed by death threats and the chilling murder of seven candidates, they still went to the polls. Six million votes for democracy under such extreme duress gives good reason to believe that the Taliban's fate is sealed.

    [/QUOTE]

    we're obviously losing Afgahn as well....bad move this democracy-spreading-idea...

  3. #3
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    What good is a democracy without economy? Without law and order outside of the Capital?

    So what? It's still the most land mined country in the world. Vote for a warlord or get killed? Big whoop.

    These animals would be better off with a dictatorship.

    by the way the leftist media is also ignoring the story of the billions embezzled out of Iraq defense ministry so you shouldn't be so quick to demand the press' increased attention to the affairs of the Middle East. Be careful what you wish for you just might get it.

  4. #4
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    Cane- the answer for the title of your thread is simple and has been brought out numerous times on this forum: good news for America here or abroad is bad news for libs; here on this forum or in Washington! ;)

  5. #5
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]What good is a democracy without economy? Without law and order outside of the Capital?

    So what? It's still the most land mined country in the world. Vote for a warlord or get killed? Big whoop.

    These animals would be better off with a dictatorship.

    by the way the leftist media is also ignoring the story of the billions embezzled out of Iraq defense ministry so you shouldn't be so quick to demand the press' increased attention to the affairs of the Middle East. Be careful what you wish for you just might get it.[/QUOTE]

    You are the Official Wet Blanket. ;)

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=quantum]You are the Official Wet Blanket. ;)[/QUOTE]

    maybe from the perspective of a GOP butt kisser. I prefer to think of myself as a champion of truth.

  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]maybe from the perspective of a GOP butt kisser. I prefer to think of myself as a champion of truth.[/QUOTE]

    Laughing at BOTH sentences! :D

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=quantum]Laughing at BOTH sentences! :D[/QUOTE]

    anything to distract yourself from the real news. I don't blame you, it's gotta be hard work to live one's entire life in a state of rabid partisan denial.

  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]anything to distract yourself from the real news. I don't blame you, it's gotta be hard work to live one's entire life in a state of rabid partisan denial.[/QUOTE]

    Quite easy when you know you're right. (PUN INTENDED) :D

  10. #10
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]

    by the way the leftist media is also ignoring the story of the billions embezzled out of Iraq defense ministry so you shouldn't be so quick to demand the press' increased attention to the affairs of the Middle East. [/QUOTE]

    With all respect that is not a good answer- tit for tat doesnt solve anything.

  11. #11
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    [QUOTE=Jetcane]With all respect that is not a good answer- tit for tat doesnt solve anything.[/QUOTE]

    funny I said the same thing after we were getting ready to invade this wartorn crap-hole after 9-11. Why should we listen to that maxim now?

  12. #12
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    [QUOTE=bitonti]maybe from the perspective of a GOP butt kisser. I prefer to think of myself as a champion of truth.[/QUOTE]
    For someone who prides themselves on truth, you sure are stretching your argument in favor of non-disclosure.

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