Tuesday, September 12, 2006

War of Ideology Gets More Recruits

Last night President Bush cited the war of ideologies in his speech to the country commemorating 9-11. On another channel, Anderson Cooper interviewed a fundamentalist Muslim leader, the enemy of freedom according to the American President.

The Islamic cleric said attendance at his Koranic school and donations are up 40%. Apparently people in Pakistan are free to attend these madrassas and have the liberty of donating money to their conservative faith organizations.

The Taliban resurges in Afghanistan, five years after the U.S. granted the country freedom. CNN’s Peter Bergen had this to say:

There are about 31 million people living in Afghanistan. On average, men and women here live just to be 43 years of age. Imagine that. By the age of 43, you die. That's the average life expectancy. The country has one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world -- the unemployment rate, an incredible 40 percent. And the average gross income per person is a meager $250 a year. You can understand why a booming drug trade is a -- is an incentive for a lot of people, and is contributing to a lot of corruption in the Afghan government.

The good news is the Afghans got a 4 star hotel and Coca Cola plant. And the new Iraqi government is leaning towards production sharing agreements with Western oil companies. Democracy is synonymous with high unemployment and low incomes in Afghanistan and Iraq. It appears we have an uphill battle in winning the hearts and minds of the people of the Middle East.

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