Thursday, December 08, 2005

Afghans approve of their freedom

It's been 4 years since the US-led coalition booted the Taliban. Before that action, there were those - on the left, no less - that considered the Afghani people incapable of democracy. I recall clearly the comments that as soon as we took the Taliban out that the tribal wars would start and Afghanistan would fracture into a merciless bloodbath. Didn't happen that way. And the Afghani's are quite pleased with that, according to an ABC poll. (Thanks to BarcePundit.)

An ABC News poll in Afghanistan -- the first national survey there sponsored by a news organization -- underscores those challenges in a unique portrait of the lives of ordinary Afghans. Poverty is deep, medical care and other basic services lacking, and infrastructure minimal. Nearly six in 10 have no electricity in their homes, and just 3 percent have it around the clock. Seven in 10 Afghan adults have no more than an elementary education; half have no schooling whatsoever. Half have household incomes under $500 a year.

Yet despite these and other deprivations, 77 percent of Afghans say their country is headed in the right direction -- compared with 30 percent in the vastly better-off United States. Ninety-one percent prefer the current Afghan government to the Taliban regime, and 87 percent call the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban good for their country. Osama bin Laden, for his part, is as unpopular as the Taliban; nine in 10 view him unfavorably.

Hopefully those in the US calling for a massive withdrawal will learn from the Afghani's on this one.