Monday, October 03, 2005

Afghanistan succeeds despite Western doubt

Rumsfeld's editorial in yesterdays New Hampshire Union Leader.

Critics doubt US motives. They say Bush's talk of Democracy is just a shame. They should look at what we and the people of Afghanistan have done.

That's the plan. That's the "exit strategy".
The result, today, is a country where annual economic growth has been above 20 percent since January of 2002, with a stable currency and rising foreign direct investment; over 4.8 million children are enrolled in school, the largest number in Afghan history; about 95 percent of known heavy weapons have been collected by proper authorities; Some 60,000 militia forces are disarmed and demobilized; the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police are growing by the thousands; and President Karzai’s “Strengthening Peace” program is reducing the power of warlords and convincing once hostile elements to disarm and join in Afghanistan’s political and economic progress.

The most demonstrable sign of progress, perhaps, is that Afghans are voting with their feet. Some 3.6 million refugees have returned to Afghanistan — possibly the largest repatriation operation in history. Yesterday’s refugees are today’s citizens — and voters.
Most importantly, we're fufilling our plan with Muslim Allies. We've attacked radical Islam allied with moderate Muslims seeking a Democratic future. We can't let these people down.
Those voters are demonstrating again today that there exists no conflict between Western values and Muslim values. What exists is a conflict within the Muslim faith — between majorities in every country who desire freedom, and a lethal minority intent on denying freedom to others and reestablishing a caliphate.
Bush needs more members of his administration hammering these points home every day. Afghanistan is the example of what were fighting for in the world.

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