Thursday, November 20, 2003

Survey says Afghan's optimistic.

KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghans in relatively stable areas of the country are overwhelmingly optimistic about the future of their nation, despite continued violence and political uncertainty, according to a survey released Wednesday.

Some 83 percent of the Afghans surveyed said they feel safer than they did three years ago, when the hard-line Taliban regime was in power. More than three-quarters of those questioned said Afghanistan (news - web sites) will be safer still in another year.

What was not clear from this article is what percentage of Afghan's live in "unsafe" areas.
David Frum goes to one of the protests in London for the Telegraph. His interviews are limited in scope but very telling.


The anti-Bush demonstration in Lincoln's Inn Fields was called for six o'clock, but at the appointed hour, journalists and camera crews substantially outnumbered protesters.

This is right on:

The war on terror has glaringly exposed the moral contradictions of contemporary political radicalism: a politics that champions the rights of women and minorities, but only when those rights are threatened by white Europeans; a politics that celebrates creative non-violence at home but condones deadly extremism abroad; and, perhaps above all, a politics that traces its origins to the Enlightenment - and today raises its voice to protect militantly unenlightened terrorists from the justice dispensed by their victims.

This is all too funny:

Mike (the name he gave) shrugged me off. "People in the Middle East are fighting because their own governments are repressing them. They come to feel that they have no alternative - and the mosque is always open.

"But I can't help thinking that it's just not very realistic that people are going to kill each other because they say my God is better than your God. Give people freedom and an opportunity for something better: that's what they really want."

I said: "You know, you sound exactly like Paul Wolfowitz." He flinched.

David Frum has a mission when he writes this report and there is a certain amount of bias. From my own experience with the anti-war crowd though, he is not off base from what I too have seen. The anti-war gives itself much more importance than it actually has. They have no moral currency, which is disappointing because that is what they bank on.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Glenn Reynolds, (over at MSNBC), has some very interesting insights into anti-war protestors and the lack of true perspective on their part. He weaves his own opinion with reporting on the subject from such sources as The Guardian, New York Times and BBC among others.

An interesting piece with a quote from a recent The Guardian article:

Antiwar folks are planning big anti-Bush protests in Britain when Bush visits later this week. This is too much even for many lefties. David Aaronovitch writes in The Guardian:

The double standards here are obvious but worth a reminder. During the week anti-Bush protesters will, we’re told, be splashing red paint to symbolise the spilled blood of the people of Iraq. No such red paint was splashed around London after Halabja, after the 1991 Shia and Kurdish uprisings or during the Iran-Iraq war, almost as if that were not real Iraqi blood. Blood, after all, is only blood if Americans spill it.
No crimson splotches were created during the state visit of Romanian tyrant Nicolae Ceausescu in 1978, a visit which - because of Romania’s semi-dissident position in the Soviet bloc - suited both cold warriors and sections of the Left. Earlier this year the Chechnya-enmired President Putin escaped almost any kind of demonstration.

The whole thing is worth a read.

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

According to the Guardian UK "Protests begin but majority backs Bush visit as support for war surges".

As you may know Bush is visiting England. There going to be many protests and anti-americanism is on a pretty pedestal. Most of the press seem to like to rpint that this means that Bush is hated. Yet this article based on a recent poll states something quite contrary.

The survey shows that public opinion in Britain is overwhelmingly pro-American with 62% of voters believing that the US is "generally speaking a force for good, not evil, in the world". It explodes the conventional political wisdom at Westminster that Mr Bush's visit will prove damaging to Tony Blair. Only 15% of British voters agree with the idea that America is the "evil empire" in the world.

and more specific:

The detailed results of the poll show that more people - 43% - say they welcome George Bush's arrival in Britain than the 36% who say they would prefer he did not come.

As for the war in Iraq:

The ICM poll also uncovers a surge in pro-war sentiment in the past two months as suicide bombers have stepped up their attacks on western targets and troops in Iraq. Opposition to the war has slumped by 12 points since September to only 41% of all voters. At the same time those who believe the war was justified has jumped 9 points to 47% of voters.

I have always had a hard time believing that protests were always a sign of a festering mayority, but I do think they are usually healthy.

Monday, November 17, 2003

An Italian anti-war group is raising money for Iraqi "resistance fighters". Via Instapundit.

Sad thing is that these "resistance fighters" have just killed 19 Italian soldiers. I am not sure how you can be an anti-war group that gives money to one side fighting a war.

Bits from the BBC article:

A group of Italian anti-war militants is raising funds to support the armed Iraqi resistance, the BBC has learned.

The discovery comes as Italy mourns 19 men killed in a suicide attack in Iraq last week.

The "Antiimperialista" organisation's internet campaign asks people to send "10 Euros to the Iraqi resistance".

They say they have collected 12,000 euros ($14,165) in the past eight weeks and admit the money used could be used to buy weapons.

The Antiimperialistas are a group of European anti-war and anti-globalisation supporters.

They are currently organising an anti-war demonstration in Italy next month, and it remains to be seen whether news of the fund-raising activities will deter more moderate anti-war activists from attending.

and most telling:

Independent Iraqi sources in London say the leaders of this group have a long history of association with the Baath party and are now back in Iraq supporting the armed resistance.

How can you possibly be for peace and back Saddam?

With the bar set at this level for who calls themselves "anti-war", coalition forces in Iraq may as well callthemselves an anti-war group. When will we hear more about an anti-dictatorship, anti-gas your own population and and jail kids group? The only one I know is the Bush Administration. Never thought I would say that.

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