Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Poll in Afghanistan Opens Eyes

Upon reading the Toronto Sun today, I found this story to be of interest.

Afghan Poll Opened Eyes
Positively No Surprise to Soldiers
By Peter Worthington
The Toronto Sun

If the CBC had known that a public opinion poll it co-sponsored in Afghanistan would turn out the way it did, you can be assured the CBC wouldn't have had anything to do with it.
Conducted by Environics, the poll probes the attitude of Afghans towards Canadian troops -- both in the Kandahar region, where our guys are fighting the Taliban, and throughout the country.
Only 15% of Afghans wanted Canadian troops to leave immediately; the greater proportion of 80% wanted them to remain until the Taliban was crushed.
Among those admitting surprise in a CBC interview at the favourable opinion towards our soldiers was Janice Gross Stein, professor of conflict management in the University of Toronto's political science department and co-author of The Unexpected War: Canada on Kandahar.
The CBC and others also seem surprised that Afghan women were more positive about the future than men and appreciated the Canadians. Women were also more "negative" about the Taliban than Afghan men.
That's a surprise? Under the Taliban, women couldn't go to school; weren't allowed to be seen in public; were condemned to the burqa; could be beaten if they showed flesh; under Sharia law, adultery entailed stoning to death. In short, the Taliban, like Islam, is male oriented and male dominated.
The only ones not surprised at the poll were ... wait for it -- Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan and, possibly, members of the Harper government who have been to Afghanistan and tested the mood of the country.

Further: Progress in Afghanistan

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