Following an Instapundit hyperlink to Barcepundit, I read:
Four years after the fall of the Taliban, Afghans express both vast support for the changes that have shaken their country and remarkable optimism for the future, despite the deep challenges they face in economic opportunity, security and basic services alike.
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.
[...] The survey also finds broad majority support for women's rights in Afghan society, albeit, as in other readings, with more modest strength of commitment behind it. Nine in 10 Afghans support girls' education and women voting, three—quarters support women holding jobs and two—thirds support women holding government office — remarkable in a country where the Taliban so thoroughly repressed such rights. Perhaps surprisingly, support for most of these is nearly as high among men as it is among women.
How can that be when the NYT and others were telling us a scant four years ago it was another Viet Nam type debacle and a certain "quagmire"?
Yet, some of the same people are shamelessly whiting out Afghanistan, inserting Iraq and reprising the old stories: same tune different title, Viet Nam, again
Why abandon a winning theme?
As for me, I'm predicting Iraq is going to be another Afghanistan.
Clarice Feldman 12 08 05