Jim Kunder of USAID has cheery news from Afghanistan:
"The U.S. government is on track to provide the aid to Afghanistan that it pledged," Kunder said in a telephone interview from Washington.Which makes petty carping like this all the more irksome:
About 70 percent of Afghans do not have access to safe drinking water, a government minister said Tuesday at the opening of the first of a chain of hydrological stations to monitor water supply.An optimist would point out that this means 30% of Afghans do have safe water, and add that 8% have access to adequate sanitation facilities. Kind of puts matters in a different light, doesn't it?
Granted, mistakes have been made. But it's also true that America is not irrevocably bound to a tragic past.
Or to a tragic present, for that matter. The fact that we're concerned at all with something so esoteric as Afghanistan's sewers says much, much more about our essential nature than our alleged failures do. Who can deny that our eye is on the sparrow?
To argue otherwise would be to promote a static vision of America, in which military and economic and racial violence carry more spiritual weight than the ideals of our forefathers and the innocence of our children, and what we have done casts a shadow of doubt over what we might do. Make no mistake: We can do better, and be better, as long as we don't allow the bleatings of the professionally aggrieved to shake our faith in ourselves.
To her credit, Georgie Anne Geyer understands this perfectly. She's currently annoyed by the idea that Muslim women are asking for private access to one of Harvard's gyms (she's been to the Middle East, you see, and has "never seen young women in most of those countries hungering for athletics and workouts").
It's not just the nightmare illogic of Muslim women working out that troubles Geyer's honest heart. She also views this as further evidence that these...these....people don't have the proper respect for what America's all about:
What we are seeing is a wave of arrogance sweeping into America with the wave of Muslim immigrants and students. One searches in vain for an individual or organized Muslim voice showing real respect or even a minimal liking for America or American customs.How many of these insufferable auslanders have left Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Iran, or Syria, or some other officially designated cesspool of ethnic menace, I have no idea. How many of them have been singled out for cavity searches, or threatened and abused in our streets and shopping malls, is an utter mystery to me. But I do know this: Even if they hopped here on one goddamn leg after stepping on one of our landmines, and even if they're pelted with rotting garbage every time they step outside, they need to get off their high horses and respect our feelings, which are good and true and fine.
That we're a patient and generous nation, God knows as well as He knows anything. But at some point, we're going to decide that we've had enough of being the world's doormat:
Until America and Europe regain their voices and their self-respect, this problem, exemplified by such a small (but revealing) situation at Harvard, will only continue to grow.Heh infuckingdeed, with knobs on. I don't know when we'll regain our self-respect, and let our voice once again ring throughout this darkling world, given our masochistic agreement with the gloomy rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright and his ilk. But it'll happen. And when it does, I know of some ingrates who'll have a hell of a lot more to worry about than dirty water.