Corruption and a lack of democracy prevented Afghanistan’s economic reconstruction.
After fighting the longest war in its history and engaging in an expensive developmental effort ever, America has failed to democratize Afghanistan, arguably the most important aspect of this long and bloody enterprise.
Virtually nothing that happens in that country resembles democracy. All elections during the past 13 years were rigged, including the most recent presidential election. According to EU observers, out of the eight million votes cast, two million were found to be fraudulent.
The constitution is a mere paper that no one respects. The government does what it wants, regardless of whether its actions are according to or in violation of the constitution.
Among such violations of the constitution was the delaying of the 2009 presidential election from April to August. One of the reasons given for the delay was that it was cold and some communities could not be reached as there was still snow on the ground.
The real reason was that then Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was running for a second term, needed more time to staff a majority of the voting stations with his own people in order to control the outcome of the vote. The U.S.-led international community acquiesced and bankrolled what became a thoroughly tainted election.
What is quite strange is that almost everyone — the police officer at the roadside, the shopkeeper, the government employee — speaks constantly of the law and lawfulness.
Yet, everything around them is pure lawlessness.
No one cares about the fake university degrees that many applicants submit to secure government jobs. Authorities often know that forged ownership certificates have been used to illegally take possession of properties without doing anything about it. Stuffing ballot boxes with a locality’s 100 percent registered voters voting for the same candidate doesn’t seem to bother anyone.
This constant speaking of laws, legalities, and illegalities without ever acting on it, reminds me of Romania’s communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who brutally oppressed the Romanian people for over two decades in utter disregard of the law and his people’s basic rights. Then, when he faced his own firing squad, he called out, “This is illegal.” Those were the last words he uttered.
This utter lack of concern for the rule of law will, I fear, ultimately plunge Afghanistan into another civil war that will tragically destroy the lives of another generation of the tormented Afghan people and render the expensive effort — in terms of both blood and treasure — to rebuild Afghanistan.
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