Published on 1 Sep 2014

Will the ‘Afghan spring’ disintegrate into a cold winter?

It turns out that all those long queues of Afghans lining up back in April to vote, were every bit as deceptive as we thought.

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks next to Afghan presidential candidates Ahmadzai and Abdullah during a news conference in Kabul

I argued at the time that the media were being fooled by the superficial euphoria and large problems would loom over the corrupt nature of the of the election.

So it has proved.

The talk of an “Afghan spring” has disintegrated into a coming cold winter.

The leading candidates have disputed the results since the first round of voting. It took the direct visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry to bring the two leading candidates to some kind of precarious truce. The deal was for some indeterminate kind of Government of National Unity (GNU).

For some weeks all was well, if tetchy and tense. Then Abdullah Abdullah cried foul again and last week pulled out of the agreed laborious recounting of millions of disputed votes by UN officials.

The UN then asked the other contender Ashraf Ghani to pull his guys out lest the process seem biased with just one of the presidential contenders’ teams taking part. So it has run dangerously into the Afghan dust.

Read more: Does civil war loom after Afghanistan elections?

Just as the Taliban gain ground.

Just as the clock ticks remorselessly down to Nato’s retreat from the country at the end of the year.

It should disturb the Western Afghanistan bankrollers far more that it has that the second round  of polling between the two front runners reverted to sectarian sloganeering.

This is ominous and there is much talk now of thousands of ethnic Pashtuns – Afghanistan’s largest ethnic grouping -and non-Pashtuns armed already and preparing for who knows what in Kabul and beyond?

All this mark – quite apart from the Taliban gaining ground.

The potential for political implosion is very real now in Afghanistan. And all this just at the time when the US capacity or desire to be involved appears to wither by the hour – to say nothing of a Nato now preoccupied with matters Ukrainian.

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One reader comment

  1. Philip Edwards says:

    Alex,

    For those with a reasonable knowledge of that benighted country there never was any “…superficial euphoria…”

    The Afghanistan invasion was never meant to do anything more than put a marionette in place in the time dishonoured manner of all Western interference. It was as bound to “fail” as any other attempt.

    But the real point is that the West couldn’t care less about the Afghanis. Most of the invasion was little more than Yank-led crazy revenge for 9/11, as was the second invasion of Iraq.

    The real threat now is that there is purely a hiatus while the West gathers itself to fund and plan a war against Iran. If that ever happens you can safely say the neocons in Washington and Europe have finally gone right off their heads.

    As Gore Vidal said, it is Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace.

    So when will mainstream media institutionalise Two Minutes Hate?

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