Saturday, December 11, 2004

Good Saturday Morning Reads

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Steven Hayes attended the inauguration of Hamid Karzai as President of Afghanistan, after the first popular election in that country in 5,000 years. This event was (surprise!) not covered in the Western press, let alone the American news media. You'll find it here. It's very much worth reading. An excerpt from Karzai's inaugural speech:



Karzai told the story of an elderly woman from the Farah province who came to a polling station with two voter's cards:

She went up to an election worker and declared that she wanted to vote twice, once for herself, and again for her daughter who, she said, was about to deliver her child and unable to come to the polling station to vote. "We are sorry, but no one can vote for another person, this is the rule," the elderly lady was told. So she voted--for herself--and left the station. Later in the day, the election worker was shocked to see the elderly woman back, this time accompanying her young daughter to the polling station. Her daughter carried her newborn baby, as well as her voting card which she used to cast her vote.

Karzai made other comments, the tone of which may be the reason our old-line news media found the story uninteresting:

Whatever we have achieved in Afghanistan--the peace, the election, the
reconstruction, the life that the Afghans are living today in peace, the children going to school, the businesses, the fact that Afghanistan is again a respected member of the international community--is from the help that the United States of America gave us. Without that help Afghanistan would be in the hands of terrorists--destroyed, poverty-stricken, and without its children going to school or getting an education. We are very, very grateful, to put it in the simple words that we know, to the people of the United States of America for bringing us this day.
Sometimes I wonder if our American newsies find reporting such unabashed praise of the USA to be embarrassing.


Ben Stein, writer, economist, actor, lawyer

Ben Stein is one writer who's not embarrassed at all to be a patriotic, grateful American. In a short piece for the American Spectator entitled Col. Denman's Luger, he observes:

I have relatives and friends who get out of bed every morning and do an hour of exercise to keep them fit. I don't do that. My exercise is that I get out of bed and hit my knees and thank God for waking up in America, where I live in peace and freedom, no Gestapo chasing me, no KGB putting me in the Gulag, no Hamas blowing me up. All thanks to men like Col. Denman and the heroism he showed capturing this Luger.

That exercise does not keep me thin, most assuredly. But it does set me up for my day by putting me into an attitude of gratitude for the men and women who wore the uniform and still wear the uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan and everywhere.
Amen. Time to do some more Christmas shopping!

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