Good News Is Bad News

Filed under:War on Terror — posted by Q Ball on 1/12/2005 @ 6:14 pm

I guess a country’s first democratic election isn’t such a big deal.

Good News from Afghanistan, Jan 10/05

Note: Also available at the “Opinion Journal” and Chrenkoff. Thanks to James Taranto and Joe Katzman for their support for this project, and thanks to readers and bloggers who have done so much to publicize the series and make it better.

Stephen Hayes from “The Weekly Standard”, who has traveled to Afghanistan to witness the inauguration of President Hamid Karzai, quotes from the speech by the country’s first democratically elected leader:

Whatever we have achieved in Afghanistan–the peace, the election, the reconstruction, the life that the Afghans are living today in peace, the children going to school, the businesses, the fact that Afghanistan is again a respected member of the international community–is from the help that the United States of America gave us. Without that help Afghanistan would be in the hands of terrorists–destroyed, poverty-stricken, and without its children going to school or getting an education. We are very, very grateful, to put it in the simple words that we know, to the people of the United States of America for bringing us this day.

Sounds familiar? It shouldn’t. As Hayes writes, “Sadly, most Americans never heard these words. Gratitude, it seems, is not terribly newsworthy. Neither is democracy. The Washington Post played Karzai’s inauguration on page A-13, a placement that suggested it was relatively less important than Eliot Spitzer’s decision to run for governor of New York or the decision of the U.S. government to import flu vaccine from Germany.” As columnist Charles Krauthammer commented on the mainstream media’s reaction to the inauguration, “Miracle begets yawn.”

Yet, ironically, one of the most comprehensive and most optimistic overviews of the tremendous progress achieved in Afghanistan over the past three years comes, of all places, from an official Chinese press agency Xinhua (just consider the surreal picture of Chinese newsmen celebrating democratic election and defeat of “anti-US” Taliban). If you want to read the “good news from Afghanistan” in one short, sharp piece, go Xinhua; if you are after more detail about all the positive – and under-reported, yawn-inducing – developments in Afghanistan over the past month, read on.

* Society
* Reconstruction
* Humanitarian Aid
* The Coalition troops
* Security

Posted by Winds of Change at January 10, 2005 12:13 PM | TrackBack

This is from the Command Post blog which I check regularly.

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace