I just read a letter to the editor of a local paper describing what the writer believes Bush will be remembered for. Good timing, considering my post below about what I believe will be Bush’s legacy. Included in the writer’s prediction was that Bush will be remembered for “destabilizing Afghanistan.” I wouldn’t normally comment on letters to the editor of a local paper except for the fact that opposition, or at least indifference to, U.S. involvement in Afghanistan appears to be held by a frighteningly large number of folks on the left.
My question is, “why?” In addition to the fact that the country played host to Osama’s terror camps, the Taliban regime was among the last century’s most brutal totalitarian regimes, ruling like it was back in the stone ages. While all were repressed, women faced constant terror at the hands of the morality police – women were routinely flogged for such benign conduct as showing their legs and they would face stoning or death for such indiscretions as making or falling in love without approval. Women were essentially “kept”, not being allowed to work or attend educational institutions. It was no wonder then that women came out in droves during their first elections, notwithstanding that they faced the threat of death in going to the polls.
Surely the belief that “destabilizing Afghanistan” is a negative thing is based on ignorance. And there’s no doubt that part of that ignorance stems from partisan bias – the desire to not believe that which conflicts with one’s own ideology. But there comes a point where such an ignorant belief should collapse under the weight of verifiable facts. Why isn’t this happening?
People lead busy lives. Most don’t have the time or inclination to go online or otherwise do research to inform themselves – they rely on snippets of articles, bold headlines, and thirty second sound bites to inform themselves of complex events happening thousands of miles away. The window of informational opportunity is small indeed. So when every sound bite, headline, or snippet of news (and I mean every one) looks like this, it’s no wonder people are ignorant.
I have no ill will towards the writer of that letter. He just doesn’t know any better. The media….well that’s another story.