January 05, 2004

Progress in Afghanistan

There are no guarantess of success, but this is still remakable and great news: Afghan Council Gives Approval to Constitution. Some basics:

For the first time, Afghans have set up a democratic presidential system, with a directly elected president and a two-chamber national assembly; elections are to be held in just six months. An independent judiciary is also being organized.

In a carefully balanced wording, the country will be renamed the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, combining democracy and religion. There is to be a system of civil law, but no law will be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of Islam.

And a far cry from being forced to wear hea-to-toe clothing and being denied the right to education (amongst other, even more onerous, evils):In addition, women were given recognition as equal citizens, and 25 percent of the seats of the lower house of Parliament were set aside for them.

Of course, not everyone is happy:

The Pashtuns held an emotional meeting Sunday morning as leaders urged the rank and file to accede to the convention's decision not to designate Pashto as the sole national language.

It had that status in past constitutions, providing a source of pride for the Pashtuns, the traditional rulers of Afghanistan.

"We have all been forced to accept it," Hamidullah Tarzi, a delegate from the southern city of Kandahar, said after the meeting. "It's as if we have taken poison, but for the unity of our country we accept it."

Quite a result after all the hand-wringing over "the British couldn't do it" and then "the Soviets couldn't do it"--with "it" being militarily taking over Afghanistan and ousting a regime.

And while I am well-aware that the Taliban still exist, and are causing trouble, the successes in Afghanistan demonstrate that the frantic notion that the Taliban have fully reasserted itself (as many commentators will state), is simply not the case. They are out of power, and Afghanistan is a better place. It is imperfect, to be sure, but clearly better.

Posted by Steven Taylor at January 5, 2004 09:47 AM | TrackBack

It is imperfect, to be sure, but clearly better.

No, I'm very sorry, if is not perfect Bush is a miserable failure. He failed to predict everything on the planet correctly so he is horrible.

Sure we blew away Saddam's whole army in 3 weeks but that is not a victory. Sure millions of people are free in both countries but that does not mean it is not a quagmire. Do you know that in the Iraq war we had over 300 casualties? Bush failed 300 times! He said the war would be easy and it took 3 whole weeks! THEN we had to rebuild a whole country decimated by a tyrant and that might take whole year!

The fact that Afghanistan now has a constitution means nothing as long as any single terrorist is free.

We need to elect Howard Dean who will not go after terrorists because they might not be guilty. That will keep us safer than this failed President.

Posted by: Paul at January 5, 2004 10:56 AM

There were very few people who criticized Bush for invading Afghanistan in any country, or on any side of the political fence.

Posted by: Eric at January 5, 2004 11:15 AM

True. But many argue that the Taliban are "surging" (a verb I have heard on several occassions, and that we have abandoned the country due to the Iraq war.

Posted by: Steven at January 5, 2004 11:31 AM

The last count of troops I heard in Afghanistan was 9K which was being lowered at that time. That's not very many. Is that abandoning? I don't know.

Posted by: Eric at January 5, 2004 11:46 AM

Thre is a legit argument to made that there should be more, but "abandoning". I think not.

I will keep my eyes and ears out for examples, but I guarantee there have been those who have made it sound as though the Taliban are as strong today as they were in August of 2001.

Posted by: Steven at January 5, 2004 11:52 AM

It seems typical of conservatives to now play up the "Iraq is free" & "Saddam was evil" mantra now that no WMD's were found. Is there anything Bush can screw up, or do conservatives just dote on everything Bush does?

Iraq is free and Saddam was evil. Absolutely, and everyone is better off (Dean's idiocy not withstanding). But, that is not how we were sold the war. In fact, I am for nation building, something Bush is supposedly against. I would have supported ousting Saddam or other tin-horn dictators purely for humanitarian reasons. Yet, conservatives are not for nation building or are they just hypocrits?

SH is gone and Iraqi'a are free. At what cost? Millions of dollars are far more than 300 casualities. I believe the count is in the thousands if casualities includes wounded. So, we went to war for humanitarian reasons? How often can we afford to do that type of nation building?

Posted by: anthony at January 5, 2004 12:50 PM

2 things:

Steven: I will keep my eyes and ears out for examples, but I guarantee there have been those who have made it sound as though the Taliban are as strong today as they were in August of 2001.

I don't doubt you can find some, but they would be wrong. I agree.

Anthony: Is there anything Bush can screw up, or do conservatives just dote on everything Bush does?

Although I don't think conservatives dote on everything Bush does, I do find it disturbing that there is very little criticism of Bush and other conservatives in power on conservative blogs. Feel free to prove me wrong, but for example on this blog the only anti-conservative things in the last while were the 5 most annoying conservatives, Judge Roy & the steel tariff silliness. And I consider this one of the more reasonable conservative blogs. But that's not too much.

Here's why I think that is (for conservative blogs in general):
* there's a democratic race going on with lots of dems talking to the media. The media eats up debate stuff because people are talking. Then the bloggers pick up the controversial stuff and run with it. It's easy blogging. Steven talked about this in another post. blogging vs journalism
* This administration, particularly Bush, doesn't say much. And there haven't been any earthshaking domestic developments aside from the medicare bill recently. Further Bush gives precious few press conferences. This means that there isn't much for a conservative blogger to criticize for new developments.
* Natural tendancies to not criticize those you support. If we're generally supportive of a president, we tend not to criticize him.
* Few leakers. Bush established a in the 1st half of his admin with a policy that discouraged leaky or speaking out of turn. Paul O'Neil & Larry Lindsey exemplified this. Also people with baggage get removed pretty quickly. Ashcroft's recusal seemed to be politically motivated as well as Jay Garner's removal sure had political overtones. Not that other presidents don't do this, but he's quick to remove people if there is baggage or a potential loose cannon.

What I would like to see are more looks at Delay's involvement of the Texas redistricting fight, Ted Stevens' money making opportunitities, a look at the latest enviro bill which seems to have quite a few increases in logging to help "fire danger". etc. etc. etc. It seems that discussion of these and plenty of other topics would give more credibility to the conservative blogs

Posted by: Eric at January 5, 2004 03:31 PM

I wasn't all that fond of the Medicare bill, either. And I was crtical of Moore in posts well beyond that Top Five list. I also have criticized Reps about the Confederate Flag.

Most of what I blog is about the elections, which leads to a focus on Dems.

And, on balance, I have favored the President's FP.

In general I comment on whatever it is that I feel like commenting on, and of late the thing I have mostly been interested in have been th Democratic candidates.

Posted by: Steven at January 5, 2004 04:04 PM

I have checked out other sites, some of the more "liberal" sites especially. This site is far more polite and civilized than many. One in particular is so full of Dean supporters that my support of Kerry was scene as tantamount to supporting Jesse Helms.

I will support the democratic nominee, absent Sharpton, Kucinich or Braun, but I don't think I'll have to worry about them. I do worry about Dean. No, it will not be a blow out, but he will lose to Bush. I do not think he'll wear well over time.

The candidates, most, are worthy of scrutiny. I just get turned-off when some just call them Dwarfs or whatever. I think it can take away from serious discussions. After all, Bush doesn't have this sewn up and one of them might be the leader of the free world in a year.

On the President's foreign policy, I'm mixed. Some successes and some failures. I think it will be many years before a real analysis can be done. It's too tough on a day to day basis.

Posted by: Anthony at January 5, 2004 04:14 PM

Sure. That's fair. And I wasn't trying to single out this blog for unfair criticism. In fact, I feel it is one of the more balanced conservative blogs.

And I should probably face it, if I want more discussion about things I should probably start my own blog. :)

Posted by: Eric at January 5, 2004 04:15 PM


Humor is sometimes difficult in this context, especially given my own penchant for sarcasm and understatement. However, I try not to ridicule, although on occassion I may be more biting than I ought to be.

Ultimately, I would prefer to be known as fair and reasonable.

and in regards to Saddam, nation-building and conservatives--it depends on which conservatives.



You should! ;)

Posted by: Steven at January 5, 2004 04:19 PM

Only when we have nothing to say do we say anything at all.

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Some nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.

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