December 20, 2005


Karzai praises Afghan rebirth (John Roland and Bill Sammon, December 20, 2005, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Police and soldiers sealed off blocks around the parliament building, where Vice President Dick Cheney; his wife, Lynne; and dozens of foreign dignitaries watched [President Hamid] Karzai speak to the 351 new members of the bicameral National Assembly.

"Today marks a new beginning for Afghanistan," declared Mr. Karzai, who broke down in tears toward the end of his more than one-hour oration.

"This immortal phoenix, this beloved Afghanistan, once again rose from the ashes of invasion and subjugation," he said. "We have the right to declare to all those who aspire the destruction of our soil that this country will never be vanquished."

Mr. Cheney described the ceremony as "another milestone" in the democratization of the Muslim world. giant millstone for the Islamicists.

Cheney and Afghan Milestone (CARLOTTA GALL, 12/20/05, NY Times)

The president and the lawmakers used the occasion to send a message that now that Afghanistan has its government and elected Parliament in place, no one, inside or outside, should try to undermine the country, as so often has happened in the past.

"We have the right to tell those who are after the destruction of this water and soil that this homeland will exist forever," Mr. Karzai said.

Sebaghatullah Mojadeddi, a member of the upper house and a religious leader, in his concluding prayers asked God to protect the country and said, "Those who want ill for this country, give them punishment."

Mr. Karzai and other speakers also called on the lawmakers, many of whom were involved in the civil war that consumed Afghanistan in the 1990's, to cooperate in the national interest.

Mr. Cheney, speaking later to American troops at Bagram air base, said the United States was "firmly committed" to nurturing Afghanistan's fledgling democracy.

"Once again, in free elections, the Afghan people have shown the world their determination to chart their own destiny," Mr. Cheney said. "In this journey of freedom and progress, they will continue to have the full support of America and our coalition."

Hey, look what I made....

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 20, 2005 8:00 AM
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