Pashtuns lose Parliament, Violence up 70% in Afghanistan

Most of the results of the disputed parliamentary election in Afghanistan were announced on Wednesday. Altogether 24 candidates were disqualified from parliament because the Independent Electoral Commission found them guilty of fraud. Some 1.3 million of the 5.6 million votes were tossed out as invalid.

The southern Pashtun ethnic group appears to have lost its majority in parliament, a development that could presage further dissatisfaction with the government in the Pashtun south and east of the country, which is already the site of a lively set of insurgencies.

Pashtun voters apparently had lower turnouts because they were more subject to insurgent threats within their own community. Although the Ghazni results are delayed, the BBC reports that “According to preliminary results released last month, Hazaras won all 11 parliamentary seats in Ghazni, even though they are the third largest ethnic group in the southern province and Pastuns are in the majority. ” Hazaras are Shiites and Pashtuns often view them as having a low status, so to have them representing Ghazni in the national legislature to the exclusion of the Pashtun majority there would be a profound humiliation.

Among the candidates disqualified was a cousin of president Hamid Karzai. And, Karzai is a Pashtun and so won’t be happy with the loss of the majority by that ethnic group.

The NYT reports that, in petty retaliation for the disqualifications, Karzai’s attorney general, Mohammad Ishaq Aloko, is threatening two officials on the country’s two electoral commissions with prosecution for defaming the nation. Initially he said that they had been charged, then backed off and said they were being investigated. Karzai already, last February, removed the international members of the Electoral Complaints Commission and appointed his own men to it. But he appears to have failed completely to pack the commissions with yes-men and so is being petulant.

Meanwhile, a new Pentagon study submitted to Congress reports that “combat incidents [are] up 300 percent since since 2007 and 70 percent since last year…” The Pentagon propagandistically called this massive increase in violence “slow progress” and the MSM dutifully put the stupid phrase in their headlines. The report also admits that even in the face of a huge American build-up of troops, the Taliban have retrained their command and control and remain effective fighters.

Under the principle that if you are not actively winning a guerrilla war as a foreign occupier, you are effectively losing it, the report points to a significant loss.

Tom Engelhardt explores the supposed timetable setting 2014 as the year NATO and US troops would be withdrawn, and finds that, well, maybe not so much.

8 Responses

  1. What Constitutional right does President Obama have to wage war for years in Afghanistan just because the President alone wants to, as well as to essentially colonize
    Afghanistan indefinitely? President Obama breaks promises with no compunction, and no regard for Congress or for explaining to Americans. We truly have an imperial President now.

    • This ain’t the “Star Wars” series, amiga – Don’t personalize it to Obama, he may hold a certain title but he is a puppet too. If you follow the news and read between the lines, and spend some time at tomdispatch.com and read the books and screeds that tell it like it is, and take an occasional look at aviationweek.com and the raft of special-interest pubs and sites about this or that wonderful weapon system or initiative, you see that we are all in it together, and it’s not “the president” but a whole host of corrupt, lying, big-bang-big-buck-loving politicians and industrialists and careerists who make their very good livings off making the world an ever-more-dangerous, ever-poorer place for the rest of us. And it is truly a fully globalized enterprise, with lots of interlocking bits to make a horribly seamless web. The president is just a detachable face in this madness.

      A cynic might even opine that effectively, the human species has a death wish, expressed through our tolerance of this incredible construct — certainly a death fixation, if you follow our literature and movies and other media for plot lines and body counts.

      Turning 7 billion people away from consumption-until-it’s-gone with the concomitant spew of threat analyses about resource wars and the rest, and Grand Strategies reducing all human endeavor in the future into just elements of a grand game of Risk! (remember that board game? Predates World of Warcraft by several generations…), is likely an impossible task.

      And so you end up with that most eloquent of cartoons, penned during the Vietnam idiocy by one Gahan Wilson — the squat, conscienceless Supersoldier standing in the blasted landscape, death and destruction all around, looking up in wide-eyed surprise and saying, a little incredulously, “I think I won!” link to blog.timesunion.com (page down to see the pic.)

      Good luck with all that.

    • anne, do you believe that ONLY Obama wants to occupy Afghanistan? What about all reps and dems who all the time vote for founding this colonial war?

      I hate to disappoint you, but Obama is but a tool of USA imperialism, and imperialism is a bi-partisan job.

  2. Karzai is never in favor of the pashtoons, he is the supporter of others, Pashtoons are destroyed and missguided. He looks more Hazara than a Pashtoon

  3. Defeat is not Victory? Humbug! I don’t believe anything until it’s been verified by the Ministry of Truth.

  4. I believe Pashtuns need to show up that they are the right people and can decide and build Afghanistan.

    • Oh, if only… if only there was a prayer, in any language, in the intonations of any religion, or the formulations of any set of politics or traditions of any tribe, that would impel humans to build ANYthing of decency and kindness and stability and sustainability. Will the Pashtuns be inclined or able to step up to that aspiration and make a go of it?

      Let’s be thankful for what we have, I guess — at least (it is reported) only a few Afghans and Iraqis and and Pakistanis and Indians and Filipinos and Somalis and Yemeni and Sudanese and Nigerians have been killed in idiot violence yet this Thanksgiving-morning-in-America, and the hostilities have not fully resumed on the Korean peninsula, though our Western warlords are hard at it, getting ready for resumption of the only sets of behaviors they can manage, the ones they reward themselves for… Maybe look at link to dtic.mil for a tiny taste of the Futility and Reality of the Bureaucracy from Hell that invests, in the classic military sense, our planet and too much of our thinking.

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