Man, 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
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 most corrupt
countries in the world and the single most corrupt of all the former Soviet
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 get
“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.