Toilet Humour

3 11 2009

Following the cancellation of the planned run-off election for the Afghan Presidency, this appeared in The Independent newspaper in the UK (and on their website, naturally……..) 


I like this cartoon for several reasons,

  • The slang term for a toilet in the UK is “Karzi” so the headline is especially funny
  • The loo roll to the left has been cunningly fashioned into ballot papers
  • The subtle suggestion to the West in the top right
  • Abdullah Abdullah is being flushed away (although he could also look like a ‘floater’)
  • The toilet seat (an unflattering image of the democratically elected president) is wearing a hat
  • It is just an excellent example of political satire

Of course the withdrawal of President Karzai’s opponent from the planned/forced second round of voting is not good news for the Western Allies who had been waiting to see what a “fair” election would bring to the country.

President Karzai’s only opponent, the wonderfully named Abdullah Abdullah (so uncorrupt they named him twice!) withdrew as he didn’t believe the electoral corruption endemic in the system had been sorted out and made the decision to stand down.

So Karzai wins by default!

Naturally he was devastated that he would not have the chance to prove to the world (and the citizens of Afghanistan, who seem to have been forgotten in this) that he could win fair and square.

It would have been better for our country, for the democratic process and for us, if our brother Dr Abdullah had participated… and the second round had taken place,” Mr Karzai said as he made his way to his presidential limo ready to whisk him back to the luxury of the presidential palace where he would console himself with a freshly made presidential sandwich (probably).

Even Karzai would have found it difficult  to lose a one horse race.

But the questions still remain, not least the entire facade of democratic process and the decisions that have to be made by those leaders who needed to be sure that Afghanistan was on the right track.

President Obama now “faces an appalling dilemma” – according to The Independent (feel free to read the article @

No,  he doesn’t.

He faces the same dilemma that he has faced since he came into office, the same dilemma that his predecessor faced when it became obvious that the Taliban were not going to meekly surrender. The dilemma hasn’t changed, it is still the same.

It is all to do with commitment.

Specifically, the level of resources and military presence that the region will need to ensure that Afghanistan can become a sovereign state again – it can be argued that the country hasn’t been sovereign since 2001 when the USA/UK were led to understand that Osama Bin Laden was living in the mountains of Afghanistan (they still haven’t found him, this is the longest game of hide and seek ever!)

But it goes further than that

  1. How do you win a perceived unwinnable and  unpopular war when you are faced with an enemy (The Taliban) that won’t give up?
  2. How do you bring peace and “democracy” to a region that has a system riddled with corruption and lingering resentment?
  3. When do you finally decide that enough is enough, that the morbid procession of dead soldiers must come to an end – over 5000 to date from 2001 to present (FYI  1000 civilian casualties in the first 6 months of 2009).
  4. What is the final goal ? – Peace and Security? The end of terrorism? Democracy? 

I don’t have any answers.

If anybody has any idea of how to solve the problems that the US and UK will continue to face in Afghanistan, then they should email the President (don’t bother with Gordon Brown, he just does what he is told)……and fast!

Although the cartoonist does give a suggestion in the top right of the ‘toon……….




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