Poll finds surprising optimists
Iraqis and Afghans are among the most optimistic people in the world when it comes to their economic future, a new survey for the BBC suggests.
...In Afghanistan, 70% say their own circumstances are improving, and 57% believe that the country overall is on the way up.
In Iraq, 65% believe their personal life is getting better, and 56% are upbeat about the country's economy.
The experts at polling firm Globescan, who conducted the survey, venture the guess that war may have created a "year zero" experience of collectively starting again.
NormBlog has other ideas:
Here are two other suggestions: (1) Perhaps their recent past, before the experience of war, serves as a reference point for them, and they hope for a better life relative to their sufferings under the Taliban and the Baathist regime. (2) It may be that they allow themselves some optimism because their priorities are not the same as those of so much of the Western liberal-left.
No matter the cause, I have a solution: Send our business and economic reporters over there for about 12 months. Iraq's and Afghanistan's optimism will come back to earth, but the mood in the US will (finally) reflect reality.