KABUL - It was a regrettably typical comment from an American reporter in this part of the world. "At least it's news," he said of the Afghan election scuffle over the weekend. "Otherwise, this is just a success story."
God forbid it be a success story.
But that's what it was here, no matter how hard the international media tried to spin it. There were no car bombs raining body parts all over the polling stations. There were no last-minute assassinations. There were no drive-by shootings. The best they could come up with for "news" was grumbling from hopelessly trailing opposition candidates about washable ink and threats of a boycott. The media's disappointment was palpable.
Turnout was described as "massive." Men in turbans and baggy sharwals lined up in orderly fashion to cast their ballots, many of them with uncharacteristically chipper looks on their faces. One guy I saw at a mosque in central Kabul actually had mist in his eyes. Women voted beneath tents at one poll near a block of wretched Soviet-era apartment blocks, lifting their burqas even in the presence of foreign cameras. In Bamiyan, home of the giant Buddhas destroyed by the Taliban, they stood in line to vote in the first snow of the season.
Read it all, and smile.
(Mug tip to Instapundit.)