In a press conference in Paris, U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke downplayed the issue of fraud in the Afghanistan election — even comparing it to the Minnesota Senate race!
“During that process there are going to be many claims of irregularities; that happens in every democracy,” said Holbrooke. “We recently had a senatorial election in Minnesota which took seven months to determine the outcome, there were so many charges of irregularities. It certainly won’t take that long in Afghanistan, but that happens in democracies, even when they are not in the middle of a war.”
Two points immediately jump to mind. First, there is widely-documented mass fraud in Afghanistan, while the meticulousness of the Minnesota litigation in fact showed that, while the process had its imperfections and reasonable doubts, widespread fraud was not involved. And second, Holbrooke says how it won’t take as long to sort out the situation in Afghanistan. Oh, if only Al Franken and Norm Coleman had guns!