Maybe it's unfashionable to believe that there's only one valid form of democracy. Today many people seem to be convinced that forms of democracy are determined by tradition, culture and religion (if not personal interest). Would this then explain why Russian democracy doesn't correspond with American democracy, and why Iranian democracy is a far more baffling version? It would appear that such 'degrees' of democracy are then inevitable.

In his interview with Le Figaro (7/9/2009) Hamid Karzai seemed to condone the massive election fraud of the last Afghan elections (August, 2009) on the grounds that the Afghan democracy was 'young'. In this case then, the principle of democracy must also depend on its age. Perhaps there's an adolescent democracy, a middle-aged democracy and a senile democracy. Democracy would thus seem to be determined by time, as though it had a maturity peak and a limited life span.

If this is so would it be really worth fighting for? If he who is supposed to be regarded as the elected President of Afghanistan, doesn't defend the basic principles of democracy right from the start, for what reason is Nato sacrificing the lives of young soldiers? What cause is the Afghan army defending? What principle of freedom and justice did the Afghan civilians risk life and limb voting for ?

Of course it's perfectly understandable that the security situation in Afghanistan doesn't easily permit the authorities to cancel fraudulent election results in favour of going through the difficult process again in a totally honest and correct way. But surely the principle should have been defended. Karzai had the opportunity to show the world that he was worthy of what the Afghans had been fighting for non stop since 1979.

If a coalition government was out of the question, could he not have promised new elections for 2010? In any case, never should he have accepted the election fraud, as he did according to the Figaro interview, as a quasi normality.

Yet strangely the eminent heads of Western democracies (including the new one who knowingly scrutinises the horizon, his brow furrowed from the heavy burden of 'I can take it' responsibility) seem to find this acceptable enough to continue sending more troops to defend the noble (or fraudulently ignoble) cause. And one also imagines poor Massoud turning in his grave.

(UN data shows that the official vote count of the last elections in Afghanistan exceeded the number of voters in some provinces by 100,000 or even more).

Image with thanks to Google and rp-online. Text © Mirino (PW) October, 2009

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