Bush Wins Again,....
Right-sided link here
Afghans Vote Despite Call for Boycott
By DANIEL COONEY
Washington and other governments have poured in billions of dollars trying to foster a civic system that encourages Afghanistan's fractious ethnic groups to work together peacefully and ensure the nation is never again a staging post for al-Qaida and other terrorist groups.
Vote counting begins Tuesday, and with donkeys and camels being used to collect ballots in some remote areas, preliminary election results are not expected until early October.
Even then, it likely will take time to figure out who has the power in the new Wolesi Jirga, a parliament with 249 seats, 68 of which are set aside for women. Most of the 2,775 candidates ran as independents, and Karzai was careful not to publicly favor anyone, fearing renewed tensions if any political blocs become too powerful.
Enthusiasm was generally high as Afghans clutching voter identification cards filed into schools with lessons still scrawled on blackboards or stepped over piles of shoes to cast ballots in mosques. Tents served as polling stations in remote areas.
``Today is a magnificent day for Afghanistan,'' said Ali Safar, 62, standing in line to vote in Kabul. ``We want dignity, we want stability and peace.'
``In America, only half of the people vote,'' Neumann said. ``If people are getting a little more used to elections, then maybe Afghanistan is turning into a normal country.''
Millions of dollars in US aid,...a fractious society,...people risking their lives to express themselves,....governments stabilizing,...sounds a bit familiar these days, doesn't it?