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A/Stan: Two more Canadians dead amid allegations of massive voter fraud

September 7, 2009

Two more Canadian soldiers died Sunday in Afghanistan in the Dand district, southwest of Kandahar city – Maj. Yannick Pepin, 35 and Cpl. Jean-Francois Drouin, 31, 5 Combat Engineers Regiment (Valcartier, QC).

Their deaths bring our war dead tally to 129 since 2002. (plus one diplomat and two aid workers)

Our troops die amid significant allegations of massive Afghanistan voter fraud, this time involving fake Afghan Poll sites.

But over at the CBC only a one day old story citing Karzai closer to 50 percent, the magic number needed to avoid a second run-off vote. Maybe we should blame funding cutbacks?

What’s important to note about the NYT report: “unnamed sources”, described as “senior Western diplomats” claim that in some provinces pro-Karzai votes “may exceed the people who actually voted by a factor of 10.”

The problem for Karzai’s legitimacy, among other things, is that on the one hand, he and his international backers have complained, rightly, of Taliban intimidation so severe that turn-out, especially among women voters, was low to non-existent.

And yet, in areas with low turn-out, preliminary results indicate, for example, returns of 350,000 votes where only 25, 000 actual votes were cast.

The same NYT article hints at “divisions among the international community” on how to “interpret the vote.”

What will Grant Kippen’s team do? It is in the details that this Canadian and his Afghanistan and international colleagues will meet the proverbial devil. Talk about pressure. At least Canada can count on Mr.Kippen staying at his post.

Here’s what our Defence Minister was recently up to:  at the CBC’s invitation, for the show, Make the Politician Work, Hon. Peter MacKay donned the “mufti” of a private solider and went to  boot camp in Petawawa, ON. “ I had a fantastic time,” Mr.Mackay said in an email sent to Jane Taber. “They treated me…like a new recruit…I loved it. It made me want to sign up.”

In the meantime, more trouble: Germany invited a US fighter jet air strike (Kunduz province) on hijacked fuel trucks only to complain afterward about Afghan civilian deaths;Afghan officials claim up to 70 deaths.

And yet conservative U.S. pundit George Will makes the news-talk rounds advocating a U.S. troop pull out and, “if needed” more “surgical air strikes.” This will play into Karzai’s hands.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2009 5:28 pm

    Is it a bit cheeky to say, well you heard it hear first?

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/pms-fate-tied-up-with-karzais/article1279925/

    John Ibbitson in the Globe and Mail, “Harper’s fate tied up with Karzai’s”

    I’ll be interested to see how this plays out.

  2. September 8, 2009 12:00 pm

    Update: news reports now say that Mr. Karzai now has reached the 50plus mark but as reported above a recount h/b/ordered.

    Today’s must read from HuffPost/Tom’sDispatch – A/Stan by the numbers. I hope to find comparable information for Canada.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tom-engelhardt/afghanistan-by-the-number_b_279409.html

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