Sunday, June 27, 2004

Let's give a warm welcome to KABUL FOR KERRY!!!
KABUL: The doughnuts and the donkey suffered in the summer heat, and the man himself was nowhere to be seen, but American Democrats have held one of the most remote gatherings of the US presidential campaign so far with 'Kabul for Kerry'.

Afghanistan's event lacked the glamour of this week's star-spangled fundraiser in Hollywood and is unlikely to make any impact on candidate John Kerry's campaign funds, but organisers are hoping it brings attention to a significant foreign policy issue.

"Part of the reason we had this was we thought it was important to show there was support for John Kerry in the far-flung corners of the world," says organiser Karen Hirschfeld.

"Particularly in Afghanistan which should still be a high priority for Americans... given the potential for it to fall back into chaos."

While efforts to bring Kerry to Afghanistan for the gathering of aid workers, consultants, private contractors and journalists failed, supporters are keen to invite the senator, his as yet unannounced running mate and other team members to the war-scarred capital.

"We tried to inform them, we just weren't able to," says Hirschfeld, a program officer for the Asia Foundation, which studies democracy issues.

About 60 people turned up for Friday's breakfast event although US embassy staff were advised against attending for security reasons, in part because it had been widely advertised. Several foreign embassies issued warnings last week that attacks against expatriates were being planned in Kabul.
I'd love to see JK suddenly show up campaigning in Afghanistan one afternoon, but that's going to be impossible for a while since things are getting back to normal there:
KABUL : Suspected Taliban have killed 16 Afghans carrying voter registration cards, an official said Sunday as the UN vowed to push on with staging historic elections in the war-torn country despite a deadly attack on woman electoral workers.

Two young female electoral officers were killed and another 11 women and children wounded Saturday when a bomb exploded inside a minibus carrying them to voter registration sites in eastern Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, an official in rugged south-central Uruzgan province told AFP 16 people were shot dead, apparently for carrying voter registration cards, when their vehicle was stopped by militants on Friday.

Taliban, who have vowed to disrupt the landmark presidential and parliamentary polls scheduled for September, have claimed responsibility for both attacks.

UN special envoy to Afghanistan Jean Arnault travelled to the eastern city of Jalalabad Sunday to speak with the victims of the bomb attack, their families and co-workers and local leaders.

"He (Arnault) affirmed that this attack will not slow us down re (regarding) the pursuit of the electoral process," UN spokesman Manoel de Almeida e Silva told reporters in Kabul.

"He went on to say that the best way to pay tribute to the two women killed is to re-dedicate ourselves to this process."
But but but Team Smirk told us that we had WON that war and all was "just peachy":
KABUL : Two US marines have been killed and one injured during an operation in northeastern Afghanistan, the US military said.

"Thursday evening, two marines were killed and one was wounded during an operation northeast of Asadabad," Master Sergeant Cindy Beam told AFP.

"The wounded marine is in stable condition."