The Afghan Election: Democracy in Wartime
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The polls are closed and the vote count is under way in Afghanistan, where a national election has been held in the midst of bloody fighting. We look at the turnout, the possible outcomes and the potential consequences for US diplomacy and military commitments. Also, the Lockerbie bomber gets a "humanitarian" release from prison, and Whole Foods founder John Mackey learns it’s not nice to fool with your most loyal customers.
Banner image: An Afghan policeman checks a man as women wait in line at a security checkpoint today at the entrance of a polling centre in Kabul. Photo: Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images
Lockerbie Bomber Released Early ()
The bombing of a jetliner over Lockerbie, Scotland killed 270 people in 1988. The only person convicted was Libyan Abdelbaset Ali Al-Megrahi. He's been serving a life sentence on 270 counts, but now has terminal prostate cancer. He was released today on humanitarian grounds. Jerry Adler is a contributor to Newsweek magazine and co-author of The Price of Terror, a book about the incident.
- Jerry Adler: Contributor, Newsweek
The Afghan Election: Democracy in Wartime ()
Ballots boxes are on their way to Kabul in cars, helicopters and on the backs of 3000 donkeys. The count won't be final until early next month. Voter turnout is called "uneven," with attacks near some polling places. Some fraud and corruption are guaranteed, and two people with indelible ink on their fingers reportedly were hanged. President Obama calls today's voting the most important event of the year in Afghanistan. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke says holding an election in a time of war is "extraordinary." Will the results be perceived as credible by the Afghan people? Will they lead to peace with the Taliban and better governance? Will they alter America's role in a dangerous region?
- Jonathan Landay: National Security Correspondent, McClatchy Newspapers, @Bluesdriver
- Brian Katulis: member, Democracy International Election Observation Mission, @Katulis
- Nathaniel Fick: former Marine, Operation Enduring Freedom
- Nicholas Schmidle: Fellow, New America Foundation
Uproad over Whole Foods and Healthcare ()
Millions of Whole Foods customers pay premium prices to make sure what they buy is organic. But company founder John Mackey's views on healthcare reform, voiced in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week, have some loyalists talking boycott, with one contributor saying the food is scrumptious but it's producing "indigestion of the soul." Former Whole Foods employee Jill Richardson is author of Recipe for America: Why Our Food System is Broken and What We Can Do to Fix It.
- Jill Richardson: former Whole Foods employee
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