Will Clegg now change his position?
Afghanistan’s election has collapsed into a complete and utter shambles. Hamid Karzai has been declared the ‘winner’ of a non-contest following the withdrawal of Abdullah Abdullah; Karzai’s only challenger. Abdullah withdrew because;
almost all his demands for changes to the IEC and the suspension of government ministers – which he said would have reduced the risk of major fraud in the next round of voting – were rejected.
Who can blame Abdullah when there were widespread reports that Karzai was already busy trying to fix the second round? No doubt Western leaders will now scramble to endorse the position of Hillary Clinton that Abdullah’s withdrawal does nothing to challenge the legitimacy of the Karzai government. Of course, to most people this will be a completely amazing position; that the candidate who committed widespread fraud not only escapes a run-off but is crowned as the ‘legitimate’ president of Afghanistan. For Western governments Karzai’s coronation seems to be the most expeditious option but I doubt it will turn out that way; now, along with the Taliban and their support you can add the supporters of Abdullah to those alienated from the government. Not only will Taliban propaganda increase in effectiveness but also, in time, the seeds of a another possible rebellion have been sown.
It is not unfair or wrong to say, once again, that every British troop (or any other nationalities) that dies is doing so defending a illegitimate, crooked and corrupt government. So, with this in mind, what will Nick Clegg say? Up to this point he has taken every position possible except the logical and correct one; to call for immediate British withdrawal. However, it is totally legitimate to ask how many ‘last chances’ the Afghan mission and British presence actually gets. It is long past the time when Clegg should have shown some boldness and called for the above (and squarely told Brown that British troops dying for this was wrong) so, we wait for Wednesday’s PMQ’s with interest and in hope more than expectation….