Afghanistan’s presidential election has long been viewed by U.S. officials as a key to conferring legitimacy on the Afghan government, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai and his powerful warlord allies have planned to commit large-scale electoral fraud that could have the opposite effect.
Larry Goodson of the U.S. Army College, who was on the U.S. Central Command team that worked on a detailed plan for Afghanistan and Pakistan earlier this year, told IPS, "The reality is there is going to be a lot of cheating and fraud."
Goodson said the danger for the United States in the Karzai election plan is that it "could be perceived by Afghans as promoting the legitimization of someone who is widely perceived as illegitimate."
Not that the US has much to talk about in terms of vote fraud in its own elections, but this bit of Kabuki theater masquerading as an election is simply a farce, and a bad one at that.
Thinking Afghans understand that whoever wins will be whoever the US is backing, and - as stunningly crooked as this guy is - the US's man in Afghanistan is Karzai, pure and simple.
Were I a betting person, I would not bet that there will be a runoff in this election, and that Karzai will get the percentage of alleged "votes" necessary to win.