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Friday, November 10, 2006

NATO Making A Difference In Afghanistan

Would you look at this: Good news from Afghanistan! You know Afghanistan; that poor little country that the U.S. invaded and turned into a total bloody mess? Well it seems it's not such a mess after all.
It is sometimes difficult, as we read media accounts of suicide attacks and roadside bombs, to step back and look at the big picture. But anniversaries are the opportunity to do just that. And the big picture — the story of Afghanistan five years after the fall of the Taliban — should encourage all of us who believe in what we are helping to build there.

Democracy: Five years ago, there was no national government and no democracy. Today, Afghanistan has held a series of successful elections, and now has a constitution, an elected president and parliament.

Equality: Women, banished from society under the Taliban, are now in government. Eighty-seven women, 25 per cent of the total number of MPs, sit in the National Assembly. Almost four in 10 Afghan children in school are girls — from around zero five years ago.

Health care: 80 per cent of the population now has access to health care, up 10 times from 2001. For a country at Afghanistan's stage of development, this is extremely high.

Education: Almost 6 million Afghan children are in school, six times more than 2001. Enrolment in higher education is up 10 times, to more than 40,000. And despite a big increase this year in attacks by the Taliban, killing teachers and burning down schools, more than 1,000 schools have been built or opened so far this year.

Economy: The Afghan economy has tripled in value in the past five years and per capita income has doubled. People simply have more money in their pocket.
Well holy crap! That's quite a change in attitude for our friends in the media. Strange that this good news should come out right after the Democrats won control of Congress, no? How long before things start getting better in Iraq? I say the first positive Iraq story hits the mainstream media before Thanksgiving. Are the media being hypocrites? I'll let you decide that for yourself, but if the epithet fits...

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