This week’s presidential election in Afghanistan will be an elaborate piece of political theater designed to show increasingly uneasy Western voters that progress is being made in the war-torn nation after seven years of US-led occupation.
Most Afghans already believe they know who will win the vote: the candidate chosen by the United States and its NATO allies.
Running phony elections is unworthy of the United States and demeans its values and traditions. The way to real peace and stability in Afghanistan can only be through a national consensus and negotiated settlement that includes Taliban and its allies.
The US and NATO watch in horror as their casualties sharply mount and they have nothing to show voters for the latest Afghan imperial misadventure but body bags and tantalizing mirages of Central Asia’s fabled oil and gas.
This is all theatre, sound and fury, signifying nothing, and the Afghans, at the end of the day, will wind up with no more actual representation (and particularly, Afghanistan's women) than they have right now.