Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rumfeld's Fingerprints All Over Bush's Forgotten Quagmire

A civil war in Iraq overshadows yet another Bush failure: Afghanistan where the Taliban is reorganized and resurgent. The task of containing the "resurgency" has fallen to a force of some eleven thousand American servicemen who cannot be expected to prevent the Taliban from regaining power. Like the much bigger force in Iraq, American troop strength is completely inadequate for the job –a situation that has Rumsfeld’s finger prints all over it.

Bush, of course, paints a rosy picture of the situation in Afghanistan, calling his attack on that country an “…unqualified success.” But that’s not the picture that emerges from a recent report by the Council on Foreign Relations:
Council Special Report No. 12

Afghanistan’s Uncertain Transition
argues that Afghanistan is still far from stability. While the country has reestablished basic institutions of government, it has barely started to make them work. The government and its international supporters are challenged by a terrorist insurgency that has become more lethal and effective and that has bases in Pakistan, a drug trade that dominates the economy and corrupts the state, and pervasive poverty and insecurity.
Bush will have made terrorism worse. Nations that harbor terrorists, Bush told us, would be treated like the terrorists themselves. The question no one bothered to ask was simply this: just who are the terrorists and which nations harbor them? Any recent history of Saudi Arabia is highly suspicious and full of Bush family cronies —but instead of following those leads, the Bush administration worked to cover up its own connections with the Saudi royal family. Prominent Saudi royals were ushered out of the U.S. surreptitiously; the public, the media, the world was distracted by smoke and shattered glass if not smoke and mirrors. No one in the Bush administration has ever come forward with an innocent explanation. Anyone daring to question the official conspiracy theory is a traitor by Bush's convenient definition.

Since that time, numerous stories have surfaced about how Bush had planned to attack Iraq immediately but was dissuaded by Colin Powell. Afghanistan was offered up because it was said that the Taliban was harboring Osama Bin Laden –although no hard evidence against Bin Laden has surfaced since 1998.

The mentality in the White House seemed to be never let a good pretext to war go to waste. Whose ass got kicked seemed almost beside the point! An angry American populace wanted revenge, quick results, and easy victories. Bush was just the man to supply revenge but not results. And victories are yet to be attained at all.

Enough history. Fast forward to the dismal present, a time in which Bush has failed to subdue the civilian population against whom he has waged aggressive war upon a pack of lies –none of them having anything to do with righting the wrongs of 911. An increasing number of conservatives now denounce the bone headed decision to wage war on Iraq. As a quagmire, it surpasses Viet Nam. And unlike Viet Nam where blame could be equally dispersed among GOP and Democratic regimes alike, Iraq is a tar baby that is stuck to Bush’s foot and bush’s foot alone. Bush broke Iraq and since the attack his every action has made the quagmire worse.

Bush had promised a “Marshall Plan” to rebuild Afghanistan, the tiny country where he had hoped to grab an easy victory on the cheap. The defeat of the Taliban may have been cheap but the price of victory seems beyond the ability of the United States to obtain. $3 billion has been appropriated but this hardly amounts to a “Marshall Plan”. Of that amount, some $2.3 billion is sucked up by security and military items. What's left is earmarked for public relations, i.e. making Bush look good in an election year. In simpler times that might have fooled a nation of “poltroonish goosesteppers” –as H.L Mencken called his fellow Americans.

It doesn't matter than Karzai is a photogenic puppet. He has been called derisively the mayor of Kabul as war lords, bandits and drug dealers operate with impunity outside the city limits.

Nor can Bushies cite a draft constitution as evidence of success. A proposed charter fashioned under the guidance of the United States, is hardly a result that can be pointed to as evidence of “victory”. Rather, it celebrates religious intolerance and affirms Sunni supremacy even as Bush seems to be presiding over the rise of Shias in Iraq. Afghanistan, like Iraq, is most certainly worse off since the U.S. Attacked and invaded.

The Bush administration has learned nothing from the experience. Bush’s ham-fisted, NeoCon approach ignored common sense. At last, the NeoCon approach ignored J.S. Mill's admonition that tyranny by a majority is still tyranny. What has been said of the French Bourbons can be said of Bush: that his regime forgot nothing and learned nothing.

For an update, click the pic:

Gunmen attack US-funded Afghan firm

KABUL (Reuters) - Taliban guerrillas have attacked a U.S.-funded Afghan construction company, killing an Afghan guard and wounding two, the director of the company said on Sunday.

Police said that in a separate incident Taliban gunmen killed a senior government official in Ghazni province to the southwest of the capital, Kabul, on Sunday.

The attack on the construction company happened on Saturday night in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, where four Canadian soldiers had been killed by a roadside bomb earlier in the day.

The firm targeted, Tawazo Construction Company, is building a road linking the southern province of Kandahar with neighboring Uruzgan province -- a U.S. government-funded project.

"The Taliban opened fire at the company's guards, killing one and wounding two others before setting ablaze 14 vehicles and fleeing," company director Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters.

Southern Afghanistan has seen rising violence since the Taliban announced last month they had launched a spring offensive.

Ousted from power by U.S. and Afghan opposition forces in late 2001, the Taliban have declared a war on President Hamid Karzai's Western-backed government, foreign troops in the country, and anyone supporting it, including aid workers. ...

'Toons by Dante Lee; use only with permission

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