Wednesday :: Feb 6, 2008

Rice tries to shift the blame for Bush's Afghan disaster


by Turkana

The Bush Administration's endless attempts to absolve itself for its own failures in Afghanistan continue apace. As I've previously noted, the Administration failed to win the war in Afghanistan, then blamed our NATO allies for that failure, thus enabling the failure of Afghanistan. So, the Administration has recently taken to trying to pin the blame on Germany, which, not surprisingly, Germany doesn't like. Now, comes this, from Agence France-Presse:

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday played down fears that Afghanistan could become a lost cause but admitted Washington faced a "bumpy" ride to press allies into sharing the burden there.

Sharing the burden? Our allies have been sharing the burden since day one, since we were attacked on September 11, 2001, and they joined us in going after Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Of course, that burden changed dramatically when the Bush Administration changed its focus from bringing to justice those who had attacked us, and turned, instead, towards a country that had nothing to do with those attacks. As the New York Times reported, last August:

President Bush’s critics have long contended that the Iraq war has diminished America’s effort in Afghanistan, which the administration has denied, but an examination of how the policy unfolded within the administration reveals a deep divide over how to proceed in Afghanistan and a series of decisions that at times seemed to relegate it to an afterthought as Iraq unraveled.

Statements from the White House, including from the president, in support of Afghanistan were resolute, but behind them was a halting, sometimes reluctant commitment to solving Afghanistan’s myriad problems, according to dozens of interviews in the United States, at NATO headquarters in Brussels and in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

At critical moments in the fight for Afghanistan, the Bush administration diverted scarce intelligence and reconstruction resources to Iraq, including elite C.I.A. teams and Special Forces units involved in the search for terrorists. As sophisticated Predator spy planes rolled off assembly lines in the United States, they were shipped to Iraq, undercutting the search for Taliban and terrorist leaders, according to senior military and intelligence officials.

But it's Germany's fault. NATO's fault. Anyone's fault but Bush's. And the result is this, as reported by the BBC:

Her comments came as a respected thinktank warned that Afghanistan would be unable to hold presidential elections next year unless security dramatically improved. The Senlis Council said the west's much-vaunted idea of democracy for Afghanistan was in danger of collapse if the country could not hold elections a year from now. It said failure to hold the poll would be tantamount to conceding control of southern Afghanistan to the Taliban.

As AFP continued, before Rice's arrival:

She made the comments shortly before arriving in London for high-level talks with her close British allies about their common drive to draft more NATO forces into crushing a resurgent Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

Alluding to ruffled feathers within the alliance, Rice said she hoped the need to "tell the truth" about mission needs would not be taken as a "desire to denigrate" contributions some allies have made.

The truth is that Bush and Rice and company are the ones deserving of denigration. The perpetrators of the worst ever terrorist attack on American soil got away with it, and the Bush Administration is solely to blame. More than six years later, Osama bin Laden is still on the loose, because Bush let him get away, at Tora Bora, and then somehow decided Saddam Hussein was more important, anyway. And after all the help our allies have given us, in Afghanistan, all the Bush Administration can do is try to blame those who are helping us for not doing the job that Bush himself should have done six years years ago.

Turkana :: 2:07 PM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!