Blog or Not?

A statistically improbable polymath's views on politics and culture.

Monday, March 08, 2004
Ah, The Things We Must Say to Effect Change!
Atrios and Jesse--or rather, Atrios's comment section and Jesse--are all over Hamid Karzai's plea to the men of Afghanistan on International Women's Day:

"Please, my dear brothers, let your wives and sisters go to the voter registration process," Karzai told a gathering to mark International Women's Day. "Later, you can control who she votes for, but please, let her go."

Depressing? Sure. But what is Karzai actually saying? A quick leaf-through through the Afghan Constitution (which it seems no one has bothered to do) reveals that:
"The President is elected by receiving more than 50% of the votes cast through free, general, secret, and direct voting. "
"Members of the Wolesi Jirga (the House of People) are elected by the people through free, general, secret, and direct elections."

So much for the effacity of "control", at least if the system holds. (Whether it holds is an entirely different story). Now let's look at the etymology of "control". I'm currently trying to find our resident Persian-and-related-tongues language expert, Bilal, but he is apparently unavailable. I shall update this post as soon as I find him.

UPDATE: Bilal says that "control" probably meant something along the lines of "persuasion", because "coercion" or "force" would have required stronger language.

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