Sunday, October 01, 2006

Are You Ready for Today's Lesson?

Afghanistan has been liberated, democracy is growing stronger every day, and Pakistan has ended its support for the Taliban. In Bushworld, all this is true:

Amid signs that the Taliban insurgency is regaining strength, President Bush on Friday defended his efforts to stabilize war-savaged Afghanistan and blasted critics who charge that his policies there are failing.

Afghanistan is reeling from its worst bloodshed since the 2001 U.S.-led intervention as the Taliban and allied warlords tie down 42,000 American and NATO-led troops and President Hamid Karzai struggles with colossal corruption, record opium production and nose-diving popularity.

In his most extensive remarks on Afghanistan recently, Bush sought to accentuate the positive, praising Karzai's democratic government, hailing the training of the Afghan National Army and noting the multinational contributions to the anti-Taliban fight.

"The liberation of Afghanistan was a great achievement," Bush told the Reserve Officers Association, which represents the interests of military reservists in Washington.

The president acknowledged setbacks, such as faltering police reform.

But he made no mention of the key reasons for the Taliban's resurgence: the diversion of U.S. troops to Iraq; America's failure to make good on a promise of a reconstruction program akin to the rebuilding of post-World War II Europe; endemic corruption; and the support the Taliban receive from Pakistan. Bush instead praised Pakistan as a strong ally in fighting terrorism.

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