US Election: What if Afghanistan could vote?


KABUL, Afghanistan — As part of GlobalPost's project to interview 100 people in 20 locations around the world about the 2012 US election, we asked Afghans:

Who do you want to win the 2012 US election?

Will the election affect your country?

How has your view of the US changed since President Obama took office?

What should the next US president do?

  • Name:Mohammed Amir
  • Country: Afghanistan
  • Occupation: Furniture shop manager
  • Age: 50
  • I would vote for: Undecided

My vote: "Except for Obama, who is running?"

The election's impact: "If they bring changes to their Afghanistan policy, then the election will have an impact on our country. If they don’t change their Afghanistan policy, it will not have any impact on us."

My view: "My opinion of Americans hase worsened because they have not done anything here that is a big achievement for us. If you go to the countryside and travel a little bit far from the cities, even small social disputes are resolved by the Taliban. Local people do not go to the government because the government is helpless."

Top priority: "Good governance and security should be brought to us."

  • Name:Reza Husseini
    Country: Afghanistan
  • Occupation: Painter
  • Age: 18
  • I would vote for: Neither

My vote: "For me, voting for these men is pointless because both of them are following one strategy."

The election's impact: "[The next US government] will work more politically, rather than militarily."

My view: "I am not happy or unhappy with [the US], but I have not received any good results from them."

Top priority: "Whoever wins, before security they should think about the economy [in Afghanistan]. When the economy is weak, everyone turns to war and violence. But when the economy is stronger the violence will decrease."

  • Name:Mushtaq Noori
    Country: Afghanistan
  • Occupation: Bookseller
  • Age: 19
  • I would vote for: Neither

My vote: "I would not vote for either of them because they are not important for me."

The election's impact: "It always has an effect. Nothing is isolated in a global economy."

My view: "Our own national elections do not have an impact on Afghanistan, why should an election in America?"

Top priority: "I don’t look at [Americans] kindly. I have personally seen on TV and from other sources that they have killed lots of innocent people in Helmand, Kandahar and other parts of the country."

  • Name:Abdul Habib
    Country: Afghanistan
  • Occupation: Bicycle repairman
  • Age: 47
  • I would vote for: Romney

My vote: "Mitt Romney. Obama has not put his words into actions. Maybe something prevented him, he was weak or there were other problems, but he has still not implemented his promises."

The election's impact: "Maybe. If they burn their hearts for us, then the fight will be finished here. But if they follow their own aims and goals, then peace will never come for us."

My view: "Those people like me who are not supporting any political party or belonging to any particular group have enough support for the Americans. Those people who have political links are against them."

Top priority: "The first thing he should do is finish administrative corruption [in Afghanistan]. Right now the ruling circle, the cabinet, are all warlords, killers and traffickers and we do not want them. He should also help us economically and with reconstruction. Here the law does not exist, it’s only for show. The judge himself takes bribes, the prosecutors take bribes. It’s the same with police. When rule of law does not exist in a society then there is nothing."

  • Name:Aris Qawish
    Country: Afghanistan
  • Occupation: Musician
  • Age: 24
  • I would vote for: Obama

My vote: "I do not have enough knowledge about them, but I think Obama is better."

The election's impact: "100 percent it will have an impact, but what kind of impact will depend on the politics of whoever become president."

My view: "According to the current situation, my ideas about [Americans] are good. They have helped Afghanistan, that’s surely a truth. If some of the money they gave was looted or misused, that’s a different issue."

Top priority: "Not only for Afghanistan, but for all other countries that are needy, he should bring peace."

GlobalPost series: See what the world thinks about election 2012

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