The Afghanistan Presidential election approaches on a fast horse; E-day-April 5th, 2014.
The great buildup, like an unseen deep ocean wave, tumesces toward climax.
Washington staffers, bright smiles, perfect teeth, laughing faces reflecting their pride at participating in the historic event, surge gently into the Embassy compound like an incoming tide, eager to add the occasion to their curriculum vitae.
Older, wiser Statesmen, picture themselves standing before a warm fireplace, elbow resting on the mantel, good Republican Scotch or Democrat Bourbon in hand, regaling friends and family with only slightly exaggerated tales of how the country would have been saved for an eternity of American Style Democracy had people listened them. They practice their pose.
Afghans have already died in the process of preparing for the election. Grandmothers walking to the market, children walking to school, workers riding buses to and from the workplace and home, and police Officers manning their posts, have died, shredded and blown in infinite directions, stuck to and in concrete barriers and walls by the force of explosions triggered by true believer suicide bombers.
These stories and others are reported in fashionably cynical prose in the print media. Is Afghanistan capable of becoming a democracy? Are the Afghans capable of democracy? Quien es mas macho: Barack “The Cool” Obama or Vladimir “The Hammer” Putin? While less than a dozen terrorists are involved the portrayed futility of the election will sell well.
Cable news, fair and balanced, currently devotes little time to the elections because there is more money in vilifying a President who fails to show his macho by marching us into a nuclear holocaust.
Other than to return to the airport for their trip home, few of the foreign experts will venture outside the steel reinforced concrete walls that protect them, and virtually none will visit the outlying provinces where the Taliban rule the night.
While almost all voting Afghans will hazard life and limb to vote or otherwise participate in the democratic process, the experts, the real experts, the in-country staffers, Washington politicians and talking heads, who have little or nothing more to do with Afghanistan, the Afghan people or the election than have a fashionable opinion, know that the election is doomed to fail because “those people don’t want it and don’t care.”
They heard it on competing cable TV, or read it in the Foreign Service Fashion News.
This is my prediction:
1. The election will proceed according to plan.
2. People will go to the polls, vote and then go on to work or home. Some will die on the way to the polls, some will die at the poles, some will die on the way home with their purple fingers held high. This will not deter most voters.
3. Some polls will be shut down by force or fear of force, most will not.
4. There might be a run off or parliament might have to decide the winner, but the voting public will generally accept the results and move forward.
5. The incoming tide of smiling idiot staffers from Washington and other capitols who have flooded the various compounds will turn and recede without climax to heroes’ welcomes at home.
6. The cable news media and expert talking heads who know all about all will rake in hefty sums of silver greatly in excess of 40 pieces and find more excuses to vilify the American President or the Afghan peoples.
7. Most people in the world will still not be able to locate Afghanistan on a globe.
8. Patriotic self identifying Conservative Americans will continue flooding Facebook and my email inbox with the cheesecake photos of Vladimir Putin, posing for the camera with his body turned just so, maximizing the curve of his hip and accentuating the rich rounded beauty of his buttocks, flexing his pecs to show as much cleavage as possible, that they seem to love so much,
9. The day after the election, except for mourning the dead, life will go on and the Afghan ship of state with its diverse boatload of Afghan peoples will continue to sail its erratic course through the darkness of night and hell storm tossed political waters toward a stable democracy in spite of all the help they are receiving