The Washington Post reports on Afghan prez politics today, noting that none of the 41 candidates is even talking about the Taliban war. Rather, they stick "to themes they knew would resonate with Afghan audiences."
"They denounced civilian casualties by foreign forces" -- that's US troops, of course -- "and called for a negotiated settlement with the Taliban.
There were a few other themes mentioned in the article, including corruption in government and invoking "past military triumphs" ( invoking "holy war" and "holy warriors" in Jalalabad). But the denunciations of the United States ("foreign forces") and calls for negotiating with the Taliban are what stand out. Remember, these are themes, we are told, that "resonate with the Afghan people" -- the same people our men have been ordered to drink tea and eat goat with.
Karzai is expected to win re-election, of course, due to pre-election fixing, I mean, campaigning. But what is significant here is that the entire political field -- 41 candidates -- takes a uniformly anti-American, pro-Taliban position. Oh, I almost forgot: One candidate out of the 41, according to the Post, a former official in the Karzai government named Mirwais Yasini, "has dared to speak strongly in favor of keeping Western troops in the country...."
I appreciate what may be Yasini's fonder embrace of the US, but I hope he loses. We have to retool strategy ... and Let Aghanistan Go.