With the Afghan elections now concluded, the chest thumpers are doing their level best to convince themselves, and anyone foolish enough to listen to them, that this was an historic milestone in Afghanistan's transition into a modern, functioning, stable democracy. The fact that a presidential election was successfully conducted in 2004 should have at least put a damper on the expectations for last week's polling of Afghan constituents. Over the past five years, the insurgency has steadily grown, the illicit drug trade has doubled, and the administration of Hamid Karzai, although duly elected by a democratic process, has come to be regarded as one of the most corrupt and inept governments on the planet.
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