Well, jump forward twenty years, and we still see elections as potential panaceas. Marc Lynch does a nice job of discussing the tradeoffs and complexities. I am no expert on the Middle East (despite the occasional depiction as one when I appear on Montreal TV), but the dynamics that Marc describes in these cases are not unique and we should not be surprised.
I think much of this has to do with wishful thinking more than analysis, since:
- "bad guys" can win elections;
- competition lead to outbidding, including Karzai trying to outbid his opponents and the Taliban on the collateral damange issue;
- corruption during a campaign can undermine the legitimacy of the effort;
- elections can serve as focal points for political violence.