To the dismay of his political opponents and many of his international backers, President Hamid Karzai has moved to ensure that he can handpick members of an electoral monitoring commission, removing significant U.N. oversight of future elections. The Election Complaint Commission was the oversight body that documented widespread irregularities in the presidential elections last August, ruling that at least a million votes cast for Karzai were suspect and forcing him into a runoff. Karzai's opponents denounced the new decree, saying the move threatened the stability of the Afghan state.http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/02/26/afghan-kandahar-offensive.html
Officials in Kandahar province have begun humanitarian preparations in advance of fighting later this year, when NATO forces are expected to launch their most ambitious assault on Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan since 2001. ...King said Kandahar presents unique challenges, because it is much more populated than Helmand and insurgents are not concentrated in a few key locales.So we're fighting to bring democracy to Afghanistan by killing the local civilians because the insurgents are not concentrated in a few key locales. If you read the CBC article, you will also see they haven't ruled out air strikes - despite the risks of killing civilians. And Mr Karzai is taking steps to ensure that the oversight of future elections wil be done by his handpicked minions. Hmmmnnnn - a weak, unpopular government propped up by the US, insurgents that are difficult to distinguish from the local good guys, and air strikes. This seems familiar: can you say Vietnam?
And has the federal Canadian government told us how much the Afghan war is costing us?
The military mission in Afghanistan could cost a total of $18.1 billion or $1,500 per Canadian household by 2011, according to a government report that also criticized how financial records are being kept.
Apparently, even a faux democracy doesn't come cheap.