that Condi Rice is one great improvisational liar. If she were a drummer,
she’d be Buddy Rich. If she played a horn, she’d be Charlie Parker.
We all knew Condi had arrived as a trickster when she stood calmly in
front of the 9-11 Commission and said nobody in national security ever
dreamed hijackers might fly planes into buildings.
But she really stepped into her own at her recent testimony before
Congress. With a face fairly beaming with sincerity and honesty, she told
some major league whoppers. My favorite was that the key to success in
Iraq is to follow the Afghanistan Model.
In many ways, it appeared the U.S. was already applying the Afghan model
in Iraq. The basic model is this:
1. Invade as violently as possible, using the most destructive weapons
ever manufactured short of nuclear bombs. To make the point, kill
thousands of civilians. Be sure to bomb at least one wedding.
2. Drive the existing government into hiding.
3. Declare victory and install a CIA asset as the new national leader.
4. Sit back and watch increasing chaos, murder, and civil war ensue.
5. Build an economy based on the opium trade
6. Start looking around for the next country to ruin
But that’s not Condi’s model. Instead, she sees the U.S. military helping
rebuild the Iraqi homes, hospitals, schools, factories, and plumbing that
they spent the past fourteen years demolishing. That, along with democracy
and security-training would be the
keys to decisive victory.
And it might well be, though it is news to me if it’s being done in
Afghanistan. The physical reconstruction there is nothing to brag about,
at least according to Margaret Coker and Ann Usher. The title of their
recent article for the Austin-American Statesman sums it up well: “Four
years later, much U.S. aid in Afghanistan has had little impact.”
Their article cites such examples as an American re-built school that is
already crumbling apart. And they quote a July 05 Government Accounting
Office report as follows: “U.S. agencies fell short of most of their own
[construction] targets and misrepresented their progress to
decision-makers in Washington.”
Democracy is taking its lumps there, too. The day before Rice recommended
the Afghanistan Model, a Berlin-based group called Transparency
International released its 2005 Corruption Perceptions Index. Afghanistan
scored 2.5 out of 10, putting it among the
corrupt countries in the world and the single most corrupt of all the
former Soviet Republics.
The very same day, a human rights group warned that Afghan warlords were
rapidly infiltrating the country’s government. Afghanistan officially bans
anyone with links to armed groups from running for office. And yet
“More than 80 percent of winning candidates in provinces and more than 60
percent in the capital Kabul have links to armed groups.”
On the other hand, Condi may have figured that some of the bad news about
Afghanistan is in the past and no longer relevant. Heck, it has been a
full two months since we learned that
more American soldiers have already been killed in Afghanistan in 2005
than in any year since the 2001 invasion.
In any event, the Afghanistan Model sums up everything new that Condi had
to offer. But she said it as if she really meant it, and for all we know,
maybe she really did.
Jim Glover can be reached at his
blogsite, Plagiarize This:
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