Afghans are embracing democracy

In spite of the surge in violence in recent months there, it appears that nearly 10 millions Afghans are welcoming democracy into their country with open arms. Democracy brought to them by, who else, but the US:

Thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan may have failed to catch Osama bin Laden but they are credited with encouraging millions of Afghans to register for the country’s historic election in October.

Almost 10 million Afghans had put down their names and thumbprints as registration drew to a close on Sunday, though in the troubled southern province of Kandahar Pashtun tribesmen demanded more time to register.

There are some 18,000 U.S. troops in Operation Enduring Freedom, hunting bin Laden and his ally Mullah Mohammad Omar, whose Taliban militia was driven from power in late 2001 by a U.S.-led offensive.

A further 8,000 NATO-led peacekeepers are also deployed in Kabul and in the less troublesome north.

“These people are responding to the opportunity that has been provided to them by Enduring Freedom and the presence of the international community,” said Zalmay Khalilzad, Washington’s envoy to Kabul, who had expected only 6 million out of more than 25 million Afghans to register.

Viva la democracia!