Tags: Afghanistan | Exclusive Interviews | Russia | Steve Malzberg Show | War on Terrorism | Taliban | election

Afghan Filmmaker: Taliban Makes April Election 'a Joke'

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Monday, 24 Mar 2014 06:56 PM

The Taliban's efforts to discourage Afghans from voting for a new president in two weeks have turned the election into a pathetic joke, says acclaimed filmmaker Sonia Nassery Cole, founder of the Afghanistan World Foundation.

"This whole election is a joke. It's not a real election," Cole told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"I mean, we in America have problems with our elections . . . but, my God . . . it's a joke,'' she said Monday.

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In the latest bloodshed, the Taliban attacked patrons at the restaurant of the posh Serena Hotel in Kabul, considered one of that city's safest places.

Gunmen sneaked small pistols past armed security officers and began firing point-blank at diners. Nine people were killed, three of them children.

A few hours later, a bomb explosion in Kandahar province seriously wounded the deputy governor and his chief of staff.

In the past week, suicide bombers have killed at least 29 people in other parts of the country, where an April 5 election is supposed to trigger the first democratic transfer of power in Afghanistan's history.

Cole, director of "The Black Tulip," says she won't be surprised if Russia makes another military play for Afghanistan once the United States completely pulls out.

Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in 1979 under Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, and pulled out 10 years later under the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev.

"They failed big-time . . . The end of the Soviet Union happened because of Afghanistan, the Berlin Wall came down because of Afghanistan," said Cole, who fears the United States is acting weakly in dealing with Russian aggression.

"I think as a vendetta [Russia] could go back and conquer it and just say to Afghanistan, look, America did nothing, [the] Taliban is going to take over. Would you prefer us to come?"

"The Black Tulip" revolves around a family that opens a new restaurant after the fall of the Taliban in Kabul, only to be subsequently targeted by fringe elements of the terror group.

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