Election in Afghanistan

Voters in Afghanistan headed to the polls today for presidential elections, despite Taliban threats to use car bombs and other violence to disrupt the voting. The Muslim extremists have even said they will cut off the fingers of those who vote.

These acts of courage by up to 16 million voters deserve the ongoing support of the United States and the coalition of countries that have been fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, the country hasn’t turned into a bastion of democracy since the Taliban was routed in 2001. Government corruption, feckless national police and army forces, a booming drug trade and renewed violence by the Taliban have all combined to hamper democratic self-government.

But those people, here and in other coalition countries, who argue that abandoning
Afghanistan is the best course are wrong. It would increase instability in the region and provide more support for international terrorism. Worse, it would be a horrible betrayal of those ordinary Afghans who today demonstrate they continue to believe in the power of democracy.


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