Good News Wednesday

January 20th, 2010 in Current Events by Frank Chadwick

Here are some stories which may bring a warm glow.

In Magdeburg Germany, 1,000 neo-Nazis got a permit to march to “commemorate” the 65th anniversary of the bombing of the city by the Western Allies in World War II. 5,000 counter-demonstrators showed up to form a “Mile of Democracy” in response. Here’s the Link to the story.

In Haiti, as terrible as the situation remains, including a 6.1 magnitude aftershock this morning, there are a couple bright spots. One of those is the speed and effectiveness of the “new media” in reporting on local conditions. Twitter and other social media outlets, cell phone pictures and video, and rapid updates of hard informational web sites, such as that of the US Geological Survey, are examples which brought a flood of critical information to the public quicker than would have been imaginable just ten years ago. That had something to do with the massive outpouring of financial donations as well. Here’s a good Link to further reading on the new media and Haiti.

In Afghanistan, a new poll by World Public found overwhelming rejection of al-Qa’ida and the Taliban by the Afghan people and strong support for US and international presence to combat them. Some quick numbers: 81% think al-Qa’ida is having a negative influence on the world versus 6% positive. 90% have an unfavorable view of bin-Laden versus 5% favorable. 88% have an unfavorable view of the Tabiban versus 8% favorable.

A similar poll conducted by ABC, BBC, and Germany’s ARD found broadly similar sentiments, with 70% of Afghans feeling their country is moving in the right direction, up 30% from last year.

As regular readers know, I have serious reservations about the Afghan war. I’d be much happier eating crow on this one than being right.

About the Author: The major landmarks in Frank's historical interests range from ancient Persia through the Crimean War, World War II, and the modern U.S. Armed Forces, with a lot of stops in between. Frank is fascinated by the unusual, the overlooked, and the surprising. He is the New York Times number one best-selling author of the Desert Shield Fact Book (1991) and he is currently writing an historical novel on Alexander's conquest of Persia – from the Persian point of view.

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4 Responses to “Good News Wednesday”

  1. Pete Settle said:

    Frank…good stuff! I too will be happy to eat crow on the Afghani war! The problems that remain make me still very nervous (i.e. warlords, corruption and infrastructure) but those are modestly encouraging signs. Keep writin! Stay cool!

  2. Pete, Thanks. I’ll keep on it.

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