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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Sounds like someone gets it

William Safire writes:

On a recent visit to Washington, President Harmid Karzai told me he expected that seven million out of the nine million eligible Afghan voters would register to vote. That seemed a vain hope, since nobody had the habit, and with opium growers and warlords roaming the precincts, voting would be risky.

What happened? So far, 9.9 million Afghans have registered, which is a little embarrassing, but the lust to get more than one registration card is only human to a populace that hid its oppressed womenfolk until the United States and its allies overthrew the Taliban. The Afghans don't take the right to vote for granted, as half of Americans do.

That cracked me up. Of course, the huge registrations don't necessarily mean that Afghans are enthusiastic about what will no doubt soon be their own bi-factional ruling party, as the minor - cough - discrepancy means that one has no idea who has been registering the masses.

US forces have freed two subjugated peoples from two evil regimes. I salute that. But a slave freed from one master is not necessarily a free man. For those who think we have brought freedom to the various Afghani and Iraqi peoples, I ask this simple question: the Kurdish people overwhelmingly favor independence. They are even using their own currency. Will you still believe that our mission is freedom if the Kurdish people are not allowed self-determination?

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