Polly Toynbee’s article on Afghanistan one year later is excellent reading, and her writings may be instructive to those who assume that opposition to war on Iraq only comes from dedicated leftist pacifists. It’s clear from her article that the citizens of Afghanistan are really glad that the Taliban is gone, and going in was the right thing. She also reminds us that there’s more to do.
“‘I was walking with my cousin and her husband outside here,’ said another man. ‘The vice and virtue police beat them both with big sticks, beat them to pieces, blood everywhere, because her ankles showed too much under her burka. I stood there, ashamed, but there was nothing I could do. I didn’t go out after that.’ He was a young Pashtun and no friend of this new mainly Tajik government, but he had no doubt that the Americans did the right thing.” That, but also this: “One woman was keen to set up a new charity for sufferers of type 2 diabetes: I suggested she look at the children’s hospital first. There had been no electricity there for two days when I visited: the two generators sent from Japan were unusable without money for the oil to run them.”
She’s four-square against war on Iraq, though. There’s middle ground, no matter how much the fringes would like to deny it.