By the Way, We’re Winning the War
By: Leigh Patrick Sullivan
Iâ€™d like to steal your attention away from the endless news reports of dead soldiers and suicide bombers for a moment, if I may. Give me a minute of your time and I promise to let you go right back to the clips of anti-war protesters, anti-war poll results, and Sean Penn-Hugo Chavez love-ins.
Just in case no one else has told you, we are winning the war in Afghanistan. Really.
Feel free to reread that last statement as often as it takes before you realize it isnâ€™t a typo. Given the lack of media reports acknowledging any kind of success it is understandable that this comes as a bit of a shock. For example, I doubt that you know that, according to the NATO website:
â€œThree years ago, there was no (Afghan National Army) to speak of, but today the ANA stands at 35,000, many of whom are conducting operations side by side with ISAF forces. In many cases, the ANA is now engaged in or leading major operations.â€
Lost in the rush to be the first to report the latest Coalition death is that fact that 83% of the Afghan population now has access to medical facilities, compared to 9% in 2004; 76% of children under the age of five have been immunized against childhood diseases; and more than 4000 medical facilities have opened in the last 4 years.
Those in the anti-war crowd who claim to champion issues such as womenâ€™s rights seem willing to make Afghani woman an exception to their rule. In demanding the pull out of soldiers from Afghanistan they are choosing to ignore the fact that women in the nation have benefited greatly since the Taliban were send into the hills. Currently, more than 25% of parliamentarians are women, millions of girls who were not previously allowed the right to an education, are now back in school (with more than 400,000 new female students starting this year), and over 100,000 Afghani women have received financial assistance to start their own businesses.
Millions upon millions of dollars are being spent repairing and reconstructing the national infrastructure. Clean water and electricity are now available in parts of the country that never had them before. Per capita income, while still nowhere near acceptable, has almost tripled in the last 3 years. The Afghan economy, thanks to the reconstruction and security efforts of both Afghani nationals and NATO forces, has become one of the fastest growing in South-East Asia.
But donâ€™t expect to hear about any of these achievements on your nightly news.
Instead, we will hear of the car bombs and the failure, so far, to capture bin Laden. We will hear of the spiraling expense and the rising death tolls and of Hollywood celebrities selling out their own country.
Maybe itâ€™s time to start hearing about our victories. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.
Rants From The Moderate Seperatist
The Moderate Separatist