While reviewing media reports of democracy in action in the Afghanistan election to select a replacement for President Hamid Karzai, consider the comments of RPI Academic Board member Eric Margolis on the Scott Horton Show on Friday. Margolis starts off the interview explaining that the United States Afghanistan elections, including what he calls the “latest Afghanistan election carnival,” are not even up to the low standard of the 1980s Soviet Afghanistan elections:
Eric Margolis: This is what’s known in Washington as democracy. But, I can tell you when I was in Afghanistan during the 1980s and the Soviets were occupying it, they actually ran more democratic elections than we Americans have been running, I’m not proud to say.
Scott Horton: Really?
Eric Margolis: Yeah.
Stott Horton: And that’s not speaking highly of their process at all, I don’t think.
Eric Margolis: No, it isn’t. But, at least the Soviets allowed some real opposition parties, whereas the election that will occur on Saturday is just Afghan Kabuki directed by the Americans in that all the candidates have been approved by Washington. Some of them are out of CIA central casting and the rest are a bunch of drug-dealing warlords, which we should really have nothing to do with, should be ashamed to be dealing with them. And the outcome has been predetermined. I don’t know who it is going to be yet, but I can tell you that it is whoever Washington wants it to be.
Listen here to the full interview in which Margolis, drawing on his experience in the country, presents a wide-ranging examination of the past, present, and future of Afghanistan.
Read here Margolis’ latest column, which concerns Afghanistan and its presidential election.