The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Democratic Elections Are a Farce

Aug 31, 2009

The Afghan elections of August 20 were considered a test by the Western powers, a test of their control over the country. They wanted to demonstrate that 100,000 occupation troops make Afghanistan secure enough for credible elections to be held!

As far as security goes, the Taliban showed that they could strike in the heart of the capital Kabul. Two days before the vote, a suicide attack in front of NATO headquarters caused seven deaths. The next day, rockets fell on the presidential palace and on police headquarters. Finally, 17 people were killed in an attack on a bank in the very middle of the capital.

The Taliban called for a boycott and threatened reprisals against all those who took part in the elections.

On election day, Kabul was in a state of siege, even more than usual, controlled by tanks, check points and military patrols.

The spectacular attacks against polling places feared by the authorities supposedly didn’t take place–if we can believe the press. But the media agreed not to talk about violence, in order not to frighten the voters! But there were still some 30 deaths that day.

Were the Elections Credible?

The Taliban didn’t have to assault polling places for the turnout to be very low. Not only were some 700 polling places not even set up, but in addition, others were closed. In the South, some estimates were of a 10% turnout. Even in the capital, testimony about the weak turnouts at the voting places casts doubt on the overall turnout rate of 40 to 50%, announced by Karzai’s government. Although the final results won’t be announced until September 17, Karzai already announced himself the winner with more than 50% of the vote. Unfortunately, his rival announced the same thing and claimed massive fraud. Karzai’s rival pointed out that some people could not register yet there were five million more registered to vote than the total of those of voting age. He accused Karzai of buying votes and massively stuffing ballot boxes.

Still, the electoral commission named by Karzai and the Western powers congratulated themselves on holding this election. The very people who denounced the electoral farce in Iran congratulate themselves on an even bigger electoral farce in Afghanistan–calling it “democracy”! It doesn’t bother these so-called democrats that it was an electoral travesty, in a country torn apart by war. “Democracy” in this case means keeping as head of the country the same corrupt and bloody figure, Karzai, who is as reactionary as the Taliban. He just ratified a law requiring women “to satisfy the sexual urges of their husband and to ask their [husband’s] authorization to go outside the home.” In order to carry the election on the first round, Karzai made alliances with corrupt and bloody war lords who are war criminals and opium traffickers. What beautiful democracy–calling on the population to vote for such bandits!

Down with Military Intervention!

Obama–repeating Bush’s lies–declares that war is necessary to prevent Afghanistan from becoming “a bigger sanctuary, where Al Qaida can plot the murder of more Americans.” If more terrorism develops, it will be caused in part by the eight-year war carried out by occupation troops–a war that has spread terror and grief. It could only reinforce the Taliban camp the U.S. pretends to combat.

An Afghan member of a provincial council recognized that “the people here suffer a lot from the situation, bombing, military patrols, insecurity. They feel abandoned by the government. Then they turn their backs on the foreign forces and some join the ranks of the insurgents.”

The terrorism used by big Western powers against the people of Afghanistan is what will provoke more attempts at revenge on the U.S.

All U.S. troops out of Afghanistan–immediately!