Recently I had occasion to listen to a superb briefing at the Pentagon, unclassified, with the slides on the record. They are linked below, and I have pulled out one slide in particular. Although dated from May, the results have been analyzed to be relevant to a “dead heat” finding right now.
For those that are not aware, I followed elections in Afghanistan from August to December 2013, and got two big things right as early as September 2013: 1) BSA would not be signed and 2) elections would take place on time and without substantive incident.
Now I am calling the run-off election for Ghani by 3% and possibly as much as 13% despite the massive fraud campaign being organized by Iranian assets Karzai and Daudzai (the fraud districts are easily seen via polling where likely voters name Abdullah in the single digits and then he magically gets votes in the double digets).
Naturally there is a huge difference between Ghani winning on the basis of all votes, and Ghani being deprived of the victory on the basis of a count managed by an electoral board appointed by Karzai with “security” overseen by Daudzai. Ghani needs to win both.
This slide in particular impressed me — the bottom line is that Abdullah mobilized every possible voter and spent every possible Iranian dollar to get to where he did. Combined with fraud committed by others and Dostom's illness, this created the falsified 10 point gap. In fact the gap was closer to 5 points, and now that the Pashtuns are uniting behind Ghani (the Iranians can bribe Pashtun leaders, that does not translate into Pashtuns voting for Abdullah), I see Ghani with a solid win. This slide shows the up-kick for Ghani between the primary elections and the run-off. Abdullah has no such numbers.
Ghani has been successfully tarred with being an American ally, but he has a better 1st Vice President (Dostom) and a better team over-all; he is vastly less corrupt than Abdullah (who is known to be a top gun in corruption and also known to be 100% Tajik, only lazy ignorant Western journalists buy the half-Pashtun baloney spread by Atta with Iranian money); and I am told Ghani has demonstrated ample independence from the US on key issues.
The recent bru-ha-ha over Abdullah celebrating Ayatollah Kohmeini's special day is a capstone on growing Afghan recognition of Iran's “ownership” of the Northern Alliance. Afghans reject all foreign interference — American, Pakistani, and Iranian in particular. Combined with Karzai being for Abdullah at a time when 70% of all Afghans are adamant about not wanting more of the Karzai path, make this forthcoming election Ghani's to lose.
As with the primary elections, I am calling for the run-off elections to be largely secure. Karzai and Daudzai want the largest possible attendance to cover up the fraud. The Taliban are not stupid — they can see what Iran is doing, they are not terrorists, they want a unified Afghanistan that is free of ALL foreign invaders. This time they defeat the attempted “soft” coup by the Northern Alliance and Iran with votes instead of bullets. That is progress!
If Abdullah wins, it will be because of fraud enabled by Karzai and Daudzai with Iranian money. In that case, I anticipate the division of Afghanistan into two distinct areas, one heavily influenced by Iranian investments in rail and road transportation and controlling Kashmir and other water sources as well as the minerals and key agricultural lands; the other impoverished and allowed to flounder with a complacent Pakistan delighted to keep the Pashtun tribes divided and the Durand Line intact. Others tell me that if Abdullah wins on any basis, he will be dead within 90 days. I have no direct knowledge.
I do wonder where Barshadost is in all this — he is in my view worth 10% of the vote to Ghani, nothing to Abdullah — Barshadost plus a commitment to free Internet for the entire country, as my friend Pedrag Pale did for Croatia for two years, jump-starting that society and economy, and it is game over. Afghanistan is not ready for a 100% Tajik leader bought and paid for by the Iranians.
SHORT URL: http://tinyurl.com/AF-Ghani-3