after toppling the fanatical Taliban, Hamid Karzai is expected to sign an
agreement for economic assistance from more than 60 donor countries. The
Afghanistan Compact is just the latest of many plans to restore security
to the war-torn nation and revive the fragile economy. It is a poignant
reminder that the Bush administration’s promises to rebuild the country
and establish democracy have never been realized.
Afghanistan has been
a policy disaster from the get-go. The country is ravaged by war and
unemployment, security beyond the capital of
Kabul is virtually nonexistent, and
malnutrition rates among children are higher than they are anywhere other
Africa. Now, Karzai, who has seen his
funding from the
year after year, is forced to take his begging bowl to the world
community, asking for the crumbs they can spare to bandage his failed
in one thing alone; the production and export of opium, a booming business
which now provides 90% of the world’s heroin.
Is this what Bush
had in mind when he promised Americans to rebuild and democratize the
battle-scarred country: a modern day drug colony, occupied by legions of
indifferent volunteers who rarely venture beyond their
promise of a Marshall Plan was similar to all of his promises: just more
hot air hissssssing from a punctured tire.
the Taliban Bush made this commitment to the people of
We know that true
peace will only be achieved when we give the Afghan people the means to
achieve their own aspirations…We're working hard in
clearing minefields. We're rebuilding roads. We're improving medical care.
And we will work to help
Afghanistan to develop
an economy that can feed its people without feeding the world's demand for
drugs…By helping to build an
Afghanistan that is
free from this evil and is a better place in which to live, we are working
in the best traditions of George Marshall.
Marshall knew that our
military victory against enemies in World War II had to be followed by a
moral victory that resulted in better lives for individual human beings.
“Building roads?” “Improving medical care?” “Developing the economy?”
Bush’s penchant for hyperbole has not been lost on the Afghani people.
“The new Afghan
government promised us new schools, clinics, water pumps, but it has done
nothing at all. People are so disappointed. At least the Taliban would
grade the roads, build madras’s, while this government has done nothing,”
said Nyamatullah, Zabul tribal leader.
has done nothing” is a fitting summary of the
failure. The Bush administration had no intention of rebuilding or
democratizing the country, rather the full thrust of the American effort
has been to paper over the obvious deficiencies of the policy with glowing
media reports. The Western media has done an impressive job in convincing
the American people that progress is being made in
when, in fact, the country continues to languish in destitution and chaos.
On a recent trip,
Secretary Rumsfeld said that
was “a model” of a growing democracy.
The majority of the
new Afghan Parliament is comprised of warlords and ex-Taliban fighters
reintegrated into the system by a reconciliation program endorsed by the
United States. This
has weakened the central government and ensured that the countryside has
remained under the control of regional warlords. American puppet Karzai
has no power beyond the capital and must be protected by 40 to 50
bodyguards wherever he goes.
Is this Rumsfeld's
model of democracy?
Secretary of State,
Condoleezza Rice is equally disingenuous in her praise of
is remarkable but incomplete, and it is essential that we all increase our
support for the Afghan people.”
There’s been no
Afghanistan. As the
New York Times reports, “Afghanistan
does not have a viable economy. Its government is largely reliant on
foreign aid (while) it struggles with an insurgency” . . . . “The country
of 25 million people has some of the worst economic and health indicators
in the world. Six million people rely on food aid, 80% of the people are
illiterate, and there is virtually no industry.”
In the last year,
the resurgent Taliban have increased their attacks, further destabilizing
areas in the south and prompting President Karzai to publicly announce
that he would provide amnesty for Taliban chieftain Mullah Omar.
Have him “get in
touch” if he wants to talk peace, Karzai said.
show us how far we have come from the swagger and bravado of George Bush
who promised to capture Omar “dead or alive”? Now even Bin Laden’s closest
allies are being offered amnesty in an effort to quell the violence.
What does that say
about the administration’s claim that “We will never bargain with
Bush’s dystopia, a failed narco-state run by American puppets, Islamic
fundamentalists and human rights abusers. The corporate media has done the
American people a grave disservice by characterizing this drug-dependent
settlement as a burgeoning democracy. Nothing could be further from the
truth. The Karzai regime has no popular mandate and will vanish in the
first hours after the American occupation ends.
And, it should end
troops have become the catalyst for hostilities, the focus of blame for
the country’s grim predicament. The recent incident of American servicemen
burning the corpses of dead Taliban soldiers has only exacerbated the
tensions that exist between the native Muslims and the Christian
occupiers. The cultural divisions, and the violence they incite, are the
inevitable upshot of the imperial project.
The invasion of
sold to the American people by a silver-tongued executive and a battery of
public relations fraudsters. Four years later we can see that all the hype
about “democratic revolution” and “liberation” was just baseless twaddle.
The country is a basket-case and “ranks among the half-dozen poorest
countries in the world”…. “with the highest level of malnutrition in the
world at 70%.” (Jim Lobe)
This is Bush’s
definition of success: endless bloodshed surrounded by grinding poverty.
administration will never rebuild
fact, they are ideologically opposed to “nation building” as a waste of
revenue that can be siphoned off to multinational corporations. So, too,
they are against any form of governance that does not conform to the
economic diktats of the central banks and their satellites at the IMF,
World Bank, and the Federal Reserve.
illustrates the shortcomings of a foreign policy that depends entirely on
war to achieve its objectives. Neither peace nor security can be achieved
needs to withdraw its troops so that sovereignty can be restored, order
can be reestablished, and the long march towards economic recovery can
lives in Washington state, and can be reached at:
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