Saturday, March 14, 2009

"All those who want a dialogue with the Taliban should go to hell."

We were talking in Pashto, but the young man’s prompt reaction came in English: "Dialogue? Taliban? My foot!" Then he returned to Pashto. "All those who want a dialogue with the Taliban should go to hell. No dialogue with the Taliban. The army must kill them all."

That's from Farhat Taj of the Aryana Institute, which has just released a public opinion poll conducted in Pakistan's "tribal belt" showing that the ordinary people are actually not so bent out of shape about American predator-drone strikes after all, and overwhelming support the proposition that the Pakistani Army should start getting serious and carry out targeted attacks on Taliban lairs. As Taj explains to the Washington Times, the west's mainstream punditry about the area is a joke. "They constantly distort the realities of our people and area. Most of them do not even bother to come and see what is happening." Poll results here.

Which reminds me. I am now aware of least 14 public opinion polls and focus group surveys that similarly refute common misconceptions about "what Afghans think" about foreign forces in their country, about the rights of women to education, employment, to hold public office, (in favour, in favour, in favour and in favour) and various other matters. For a sampling of that public opinion data (warning to hippies and stoppists: it will make you cry), a sampling is here.

Speaking of the capacity of mainstream punditry to be wrong, wrong, and wrong again, I see our brave and brilliant Comrade Sister Christie Blatchford is kicking ass with particular vigour today, right here.


1 Comments:

Blogger IceClass said...

Since when do we have to be nice to hippies?

I'd reserve a special place in hell for them myself but then half the population your beautiful province would vanish!

But seriously, since when do those buggers need facts and figures when a comforting meme will do?

8:34 AM  

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