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  • Whatever Happened to “Laugh and the World Laughs With You”?

    Posted by James R. Rummel on July 29th, 2004 (All posts by )

    I was just reading this post on Strategypage.com. (Scroll down to the post dated July 28, 2004.) Fantastic news from Afghanistan!

    The country is improving, with new construction all over the place and new schools for the children. The crushing oppression of women found under the Taliban has been greatly reduced, with many of them trading in their burkas for a simple headscarf. The 3.5 million Afghanis who fled the country have returned, trade with Pakistan has increased to 50 times it’s previous volume, and only 11 percent of the citizens still support the remnants of the Taliban.

    Not only that, but 2/3rds of the population support both the new government and the US!

    It’s only been 2 years since our invasion, and this is amazing progress. It couldn’t be going better by any reasonable criteria. Heck, it’s already exceeded just about any reasonable expectation I had.

    So let’s ask a rhetorical question. Why aren’t we hearing more of this in the press? (Heh. Like we don’t already know.)

     

    5 Responses to “Whatever Happened to “Laugh and the World Laughs With You”?”

    1. j.scott barnard Says:

      The anti-war types are using the withdrawal of Doctors without Borders from Afghanistan in their talking points this week.

    2. Fred Says:

      http://www.fmft.net/archives/cat_economics_politics.html#000458

      MSF motives?

    3. Ginny Says:

      Fred’s reference is interesting and I assume authentic – it has the sound of Ignatieff’s experiences, ones that seemed to lead him, clearly a pragmatist, to a certain disdain for such perspectives. And it is sad. I’d thought the purpose was not self-aggrandizement, polishing the medals of “superiority” and “sensitivity,” but actually feeding, clothing, vaccinating.

      Anyway, let me get this right, a French charity, through a combination of arrogance and self-righteousness and perhaps cowardice (who am I to say, I’ve never been in a war zone), withdraws? Part of the reason they give is that they are “tainted” by American forces.

      This is evidence of America’s failed policy? Isn’t the fact that our troops are doing humanitarian work a sign of our relative success in a land many thought would devour them going in. (Potential starvation, potential refugees, the parallel with the Russians twenty years before – does anyone else remember these as the predictions?)

      So, a French ngo surrenders and America’s involvement in Afghanistan is a disaster. I’d ask what kind of a skewed world we live in – but it isn’t the world as it is that is skewed, it is the interpretations.

    4. Ginny Says:

      Fred’s reference is interesting and I assume authentic – it has the sound of Ignatieff’s experiences, ones that seemed to lead him, clearly a pragmatist, to a certain disdain for such perspectives. And it is sad. I’d thought the purpose was not self-aggrandizement, polishing the medals of “superiority” and “sensitivity,” but actually feeding, clothing, vaccinating.

      Anyway, let me get this right, a French charity, through a combination of arrogance and self-righteousness and perhaps cowardice (who am I to say, I’ve never been in a war zone), withdraws? Part of the reason they give is that they are “tainted” by American forces.

      This is evidence of America’s failed policy? Isn’t the fact that our troops are doing humanitarian work a sign of our relative success in a land many thought would devour them going in. (Potential starvation, potential refugees, the parallel with the Russians twenty years before – does anyone else remember these as the predictions?)

      So, a French ngo surrenders and America’s involvement in Afghanistan is a disaster. I’d ask what kind of a skewed world we live in – but it isn’t the world as it is that is skewed, it is the interpretations.

    5. Sylvain Galineau Says:

      And what is the source of StrategyPage’s rosy description ? Why is it that we should believe that over other accounts of the situation ? Because it tells us what we want to hear ?

      As for opinion polls, give me a break. In Afghanistan ? Who was polled ? By whom ? Where ? When ? And what would the margin of error be ? Do we even know ?

      To me, this sounds every bit as fanciful as the claims of impending doom that preceded and followed the war there.

      As for MSF, they are not exactly cowards and yes, they do value their independence. Their position comes from experience. When your nurses or doctors have, in the past, been kidnapped, attacked, raped or worse because they were perceived as belonging to this side instead of that one, you don’t want to be confused with anyone. But of course, it is a lot easier to assume cowardice and posturing than professionalism. Well, guess what : not all NGOs are full of it. And given their particular record, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.