Abdullah Becomes Serial Quitter While Dempsey Continues Denying Reality

The last 24 hours in Afghanistan are a perfect summation of the insanity imposed by endless US occupation.

On the election recount front, after warning for several days that he might do so, Abdullah Abdullah has withdrawn his observers from the audit process. The UN is desperate to see the process through to the end, as tweeted by ToloNews:

The Washington Post, in its article on Abdullah’s withdrawal, holds out hope that he will continue to take part in the negotiations on Kerry’s extra-constitutional shared governance plan:

It was not immediately clear Wednesday whether Abdullah still planned to participate in a unity government with Ghani.

Ghafour Liwal, a Kabul-based political analyst, said Abdullah’s campaign may be using the boycott to seek more concessions from Ghani about his future role in a new government.

“Abdullah’s team is using the withdrawal from the audit process as political pressure,” he said.

Those talks about possible power-sharing are “far more important than” the technical issue of how to conduct the audit, Liwal said.

The New York Times, though, sees Abdullah as likely withdrawing from the entire process:

Both Mr. Abdullah and Mr. Ghani pledged to Secretary of State John Kerry that they would accept the audit’s conclusions about who had won the election and then would form a government of national unity including officials from both campaigns.

But it was unclear Wednesday whether Mr. Abdullah planned to keep that commitment. He had yet to make a public comment on the matter, but statements from his aides have been negative. On Tuesday, his chief auditor, Fazul Ahmad Manawi, said that if the campaign’s demands for changes to the audit were not met, Mr. Abdullah would pull out of both the audit and the broader election process. “We will not continue to be part of the process, and any result coming out of it will not be acceptable to us and will have no credibility to us,” he said.

Gosh, Abdullah withdraws in the face of widespread fraud that he is unable to overcome. We’ve seen this movie before. Remember that was eligible to take part in a runoff election against Karzai in 2009 but withdrew just a few days before the election, knowing that Karzai would make sure of his own victory. The runoff was canceled and Karzai served a second term.

It was already becoming clear as the recount progressed and Ghani was looking more and more likely to retain an edge in the “final” count that he had no intention of really sharing power with Abdullah, so it seems likely to me that Ghani will assume the role of president in the next few weeks. It seems unlikely that there will be time for this to play out before the NATO summit at the end of next week, but the US (and by extension, NATO) stands ready to allow extra time for the eventual winner to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement.

And that brings us to the other insanity front in Afghanistan in the last 24 hours. Visiting Afghanistan to preside over the handing off of ISAF command from Joseph Dunford to John Campbell, Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey proved he is genetically incapable of straying from the military’s constant Afghanistan script of “We have the Taliban on the run and things are improving” no matter how dismal the situation:

General Dempsey, the highest ranking U.S. military leader, payed tribute to General Dunford’s term as the head of ISAF’s mission in Afghanistan, expressed optimism about securing the progress Afghanistan has made over the past decade and ensuring the country’s continued development.

“Last night flying in from the United States, I landed and took a helicopter across Afghanistan at night over your beautiful capital city for the first time in several months, and I was struck by the life that was evident on the streets of Kabul, and it caused me to believe that Afghanistan is marching toward the light,” General Dempsey said on Tuesday.

Really? Here’s the Wall Street Journal relaying results of a recent analysis of violence in Afghanistan:

Violence levels across Afghanistan are steadily rising as U.S.-led troops return home, an indication that the Taliban remain determined to fight for power, according to a report by the International Crisis Group set for release on Monday.

An analysis by the ICG, an independent conflict-resolution organization, estimates that the number of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan increased 15-20% in 2013 from a year earlier, the first time such figures will be released publicly. It added that violence continued to escalate in the first months of 2014.

As we approach 13 years since the US invaded and began its occupation of Afghanistan, our military touts the strength of a fighting force it has “trained” while denying that it faces a continuously strengthening opponent and the political system that is slated to take over once our withdrawal is complete now lies in ruins.

6 replies
  1. TarheelDem says:

    The twilight of empire. Mission accomplished. More money down more ratholes to enrich more private corporations with little accomplished but the continued destruction of global infrastructure and impoverishment of millions–including the privileged 99% cheerleaders for empire in the US.

    Oceans don’t protect us from our own stupidity.

  2. bloopie2 says:

    Fortunately for the world, the US’s ability to mold the world to its own ends is rapidly diminishing. Honestly, next time I hear some pol say that “we need a presence there to protect our interests”, I’d love to ask him, “It is okay if they have a military presence here in the US, to protect their interests?”

  3. Garrett says:

    Pretty hard to make unity governments with the guys that have this attitude:

    The First Vic-President of Afghanistan Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim warned about ignoring the Mujahidin in the upcoming round of presidency and said, ignoring Mujahidin is the resume of civil war in Afghanistan.

    Fahim, If Mujahidin Are Ignored, I Will Take Gun and Will Climb Mountain, June 2013

    If they do not win, they go to civil war. Palace or death. They’ve been saying stuff like this for over a year.

  4. ArizonaBumblebeeper says:

    I see that President Obama recently reiterated that America is the one and only indispensable nation, which I’m sure brought tears and smiles to the neocons and their R2P cousins as they looked out to admire the hell on earth they have helped to create in countries as far and wide as Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. I am slowly learning that whenever I try to understand what is going on in the Middle East or South Asia that I must ask who is lurking in the shadows behind any major decision. Inevitably, all clues lead back to Iran, Israel, or Saudi Arabia. I strongly recommend that the readers of this blog read the recent article on AIPAC and the Israel Lobby in The New Yorker. After you read it, you will understand why any American president who stands up to the Lobby and their policy prescriptions in the Middle East risks political suicide. If that isn’t enough, there are several large defense contractor lobbyists who will twist enough arms in Congress to make sure they are kept fat and happy, not to mention the generals at the Pentagon who are determined not to be tarnished by defeat in Afghanistan in the same ways their predecessors were at the end of the Vietnam War. The more important question is how do we avoid a future Afghanistan or Iraq. One reform that would help is changing the way elections for Congress are financed so that lobbyists can no exercise undue influence on our policies in the region.

    • RUKidding says:

      How do we avoid another Iraq or Afghanistan? Simple: we don’t. Right now Team USA “has to” deal with ISIS/ISIL, which Caliphate appears to have sprung – magically – in full battle gear from the forehead of Zeus or something. And then, of course, their Ukraine and evil evil Vlad the Putin, which somehow appears to be heading towards nuclear annihilation.

      That’s leaving aside for the moment all the other fighting going in Africa, Israel’s ongoing genocide (courtesy of our US tax dollars) of Palestine, and similar in various places too numerous to list right now.

      How do we avoid any of this? I think that horse done left that barn a long time ago. Conflicts R US.

  5. Ken Hoop says:

    Didn’t the US “promise” to leave if a/the previous election wasn’t redone cleanly and then renege on that “promise?”

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