News from Afghan election

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Merlin1047, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. Merlin1047
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    Merlin1047 Senior Member

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    Looks like we've made some major progress in Afghanistan. That's probably why you won't hear kerry/edwards and the leftist media talking about it.


    http://www4.army.mil/news/article.php?story=6444

    Millions vote in Afghan elections
    By Master Sgt. Terry Anderson

    October 12, 2004

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – (Army News Service, Oct. 12, 2004) -- Millions got their first taste of democracy in Afghanistan’s first-ever direct presidential elections Oct. 9.

    The desire to vote was so strong, Afghans in the Panjao district began to line up four hours before the polling center was scheduled to open, with a foot of snow on the ground.

    “The Taliban burned my house, they kicked us out of (town),” said Madame Gul in the village of Raban. “Now I have freedom. I’m standing in front of you and voting. Of course my life has been changed.”

    Despite the inclement weather and threats of spectacular attacks by insurgents, voter turn out was extremely high.

    “A week ago I would have said our primary concern would have been attacks on the election process itself,” said Maj. Gen. Eric T. Olson, commander of Combined Joint Task Force 76 at Bagram Air Field. “Because of the tremendous courage of United Nations elections officials and the willingness to cooperate with Afghan security forces and the Coalition, we overcame that challenge. The Afghan security forces working with the Coalition pre-empted insurgent attacks on Afghans going to the polls.”

    Afghan National Army troops, along with Afghan National Police, provided security at the 4,780 polling centers throughout Afghanistan. Coalition troops from Combined Joint Task Force 76 were on standby, ready to react to any attack by insurgents. But for the most part, the attacks never came.

    “We showed (the insurgents) a little bit different set today than we have shown any other day because today’s mission is to specifically secure the elections,” Olson said. “We’ve maintained more capable and plentiful reserves to react to anything today.”

    The Joint Electoral Management Body, a U.N.-Afghan organization, was in charge of administering the electoral process. The JEMB ensured many safeguards were in place to prevent voter fraud.

    First, the JEMB officials would mark the thumb of each voter with indelible ink, and then would punch a hole in their voting registration card. Reports from a few polling stations early in the day said the indelible ink was washing off too easily, creating allegations of voter fraud.

    Afghan officials then called for the formation of an independent commission to investigate irregularities in the voting process. The 15 presidential candidates opposing interim Afghan President Hamid Karzai said they would boycott the results of the election.

    Following a meeting with U.N. representative Jean Arnault and U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad, top challenger Yunus Qanooni said he would accept the findings of the electoral commission. Despite a few bumps in the road to democracy, Olson says the elections are the first of many steps to a safe and secure Afghanistan.

    “If you talk to Soldiers of CJTF-76, they’ll tell you that our top priority are these elections,” Olson said. “They understand that there is a link between free elections in Afghanistan and a secure and stable environment here. A secure and stable environment here means no sanctuary or safe haven for terrorism in Afghanistan. The elections were a huge success.”

    As Madame Gul left the polling center in Raban, she had a simple, basic message about democracy.

    “We want freedom, we would like to live in peace,” Gul said. “We don’t want anybody to take our life away from us, we want to be free. This is my message to the people of America.”

    (Editor’s note: Master Sgt. Terry Anderson serves with CJTF-76 Public Affairs Office.)
     
  2. insein
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    insein Senior Member

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    Absolutely wonderful.
     
  3. White knight
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    White knight Guest

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    Let Freedom Ring.
     
  4. Mainframe
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    Mainframe Guest

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    That really is great. :)

    How many bases did we set up there? How long are they staying? Is the U.S. embassy forever embedded there now?

    Im sure we will be "billing them for our services", so how is that going to happen?

    Im not being condescending, Im looking for answers that's all.
     
  5. drowe
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    drowe Member

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    How many bases did we set up there? - Nearly enough

    How long are they staying? - Reference South Korea

    Is the U.S. embassy forever embedded there now? - Absolutely!

    Im sure we will be "billing them for our services", so how is that going to happen? - Reference South Korea
     
  6. Mainframe
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    Im willing to claim ignorance on this on my part.

    Can you elaborate? Or give me a link so I can freshen up on this topic?
     
  7. drowe
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    drowe Member

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    Main I honestly do not know the specifics or where to retrieve such info without searching a bit.

    Afghanistan provides a valuable tactical benefit for the WOT and I really don't see us withdrawing soon.
     
  8. Bonnie
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    Bonnie Senior Member

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    Yeah strategically, I don't see us being in a big hurry to leave that country.
     
  9. Palestinian Jew
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    Palestinian Jew Member

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    This is a great start to what I'm sure will be a huge success in Afghanistan because the people are fighting for their rights, especially the women who are going to school and even running for office.
     

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