Oh, brother! Like Jonah Goldberg said, “This will make things more complicated.” Former Afghan Foreign Minister and opposition presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from the run-off election scheduled for November 7th. His reasons? He didn’t think a free and fair ballot was possible and was concerned about the cost and violence likely to be involved.
After initially planning to proceed with the run-off ballot anyway, Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC) declared President Hamid Karzai the winner. Said IEC Chairman Azizullah Ludin:
“We declare that Mr Hamid Karzai, who won the majority of votes in the first round, and is the only candidate in the second round, is the elected president of Afghanistan.”
Implausibly, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, “I don’t think it has anything to do with the legitimacy of the election.” She made the remark in Abu Dabi in response to rumors before Abdullah’s announcement. Um, legitimacy of the election has been Abdullah’s whole issue all along. I think he pulled out to take the wind out of the Taliban’s sails. He served as Foreign Minister in exile during the Taliban regime.
The only other Administration comments on the Afghan turn of events came from presidential advisor David Axelrod. On Sunday’s Face the Nation, he said he expected “the president to make a decision within weeks.” If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “within weeks” since the end of September, I could solve the Wall Street meltdown. It’s high time President Obama acted like a man with a plan. He’s supposed to be the frigging Commander-in-Chief. He’s been in office since January. This is not new.
Hang onto something so the spin in this video doesn’t make you dizzy. “Within weeks” comes at about 2:10, followed by Axelrod reiterating why we’re in Afghanistan. The 9/11 attacks have their genesis in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. Weeks ago, Sen. Diane Feinstein said the mission is in jeopardy. I agree with her. Give Gen. Stanley McChrystal the 40,000 troops he says he needs. At this point, though, I’d be happy if Obama would shit or get off the pot. At least then the military would know where it stood. To me, this scenario bears an eerie resemblence to my knowing I’d voted for the right guy on 9/11.