Monday, October 5

Threading the needle in Afghanistan, Part 2: The tale of the purloined election and the truthful public servant

Karzai Fraud
By John Batchelor on October 5, 2009

Washington Accepts the Lie

The dogged, dangerous diplomat, Peter Galbraith, former deputy of the UN mission in Afghanistan, that was in charge of the recent presidential elections, has now launched a frontal assault on the UN, his former boss in Kabul, the Norwegian UN diplomat Kai Eide, and on the US envoy Richard Holbrooke as well, by declaring in copy and on TV in London and Washington that Hamid Karzai stole the election, that the election results are fraudulent, and that the UN, NATO and the US are going along with a disgraced lie. Karzai is not the elected president of Afghanistan.

Ann Marlowe told me in August, the weekend of the election, that preliminary results show that Karzai had taken up to 72% of the vote and that Dr. Abdullah, the major rival, was down to 24% -- with the other dozen or so canditates showing minute results. All a fraud, Ann Marlowe reported. She pointed to the province of Khost, with one million residents all told, where the intial results show one million votes for Karzai. Laughable, disgraceful.

Since then there have been adjustments to Karzai's vote total (reduced to the less ridiculous 54%, as the Karzai machine can claim any number it wants) yet there have been consistent and widespread and documented reports of ballot-stuffing after a low voter turnout.

Galbraith made his charges of fraud in September and was fired by the Norwegian Eide in retaliation. Last week, before Galbraith wrote in London and Washington, the Obama Politburo decided to accept Karzai as the winner of the fraudulent first round of voting.

The [Obama administration] Politburo needs Karzai in place so it can go ahead with its plan to buy off the Taliban, using Saudi Intelligence and Pakistani Intelligence, and then leave Afghanistan to the offices of the UN and NATO and other international bodies.

The Obama administration's needs are for the mid-term election of 2010, not for Afghanistan or Pakistan, not for the hunt for al Qaeda and the completion of the mission in the region, not even for the integrity of the American military mission. The Politburo's mission is for the Politburo's success -- to get out of the Gulf and get the power to reshape the American economy to its imagination.

Now Comes Galbraith

Peter Galbraith stands in the way of the Politburo because he insists, as above, that the election was fraudulent and corrupt and a lie and is therefore useless for legitimacy. Peter Galbraith's charge is not in a vacuum. The so-called second-place candidate, Dr. Abdullah, has written UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon that Eide was "giving a green card for fraud to determine the outcome of the election."

Abdullah wants a second round of voting, with Karzai and him in a run-off that is monitored correctly by the UN. Will Abdullah get his run-off? Not likely. The Politburo needs Karzai now. I am told again this day, after Galbraith's salvos, that the Politburo will ignore the corruption and force its will on the UN and NATO and Kabul because it believes it must have a viable government in place now.

Because of the winter weather, no new election can be held until the Spring, which is much too late for the Politburo's desires to get out of Afghanistan before the 2010 election. The UN is caught now between three immovable voices:

The truth-teller Galbraith, who will not back off and has now been given the forum of ABC "Good Morning" with Diane Sawyer; the Karzai mob in Kabul, that has been handed the presidency and its renewed license to steal aid and run the narco trade, and which will not back off; and then there is the Obama Politburo, that continues to rethink and rethink and rethink its strategy on Afghanistan.

Of these three immovables, Galbraith is the most vulnerable to attack and smear and dismissal. There is the complication that Galbraith published a blistering attack on the Bush administration's policy in Iraq, "The End of Iraq," and is therefore not easily stuffed in a box labeled "right-wing critic." Galbraith does not look vulnerable this day. Also, there is the detail that he is speaking a truth that is widely known.


The veteran American aid worker and observer Rufus Phillips, author, "Why Vietnam Matters," told me again on Saturday 3 that the election was a well-known fraud (he was an observer in Kabul) and that Karzai is not legitimately the president.

Wise men like Rufus Phillips, who mentored the young Richard Holbrooke in Saigon in the 1960s, have potent voices in American foreign policy. Rufus Phillips told JFK the grim, complex, discouraging facts of the Saigon Delta in the summer of 1963, before the disaster of the Diem Brother murders; and Rufus told JFK during a Cabinet meeting in front of Maxwell Taylor, Dean Rusk, Ted Sorenson, McGeorge Bundy, Robert McNamara and other luminaries of the Vietnam war. From the description of the scene in Rufus's book, it was a message that made everyone unhappy, especially Rufus's boss at AID.

Peter Galbraith's message to the UN makes everyone unhappy in Washington, in the UN, in NATO -- in the Politburo. It is a direct blow to POTUS. Galbraith's statement comes to a simple formula that fraud is fraud. A presidency built on fraud stains and weakens any democracy that tries to negotiate with it.

Karzai at Kabul does and will weaken the Obama administration at Washington if and when the Politburo puts Karzai in the Dayton Accord-like deal to appease the Taliban and exit Afghanistan. Rotten fruit from the poisoned election. Bad policy and bad times and bad ends. Not Vietnam. Not yet. Pakistan has not spoken. Pakistan can make a bad situation much, much worse.

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