Donald Rumsfeld, in yet another delightfully dark, Dr. Strangelovian turn, has called Afghanistan a “big success.”
The ex-Secretary of Defense was being interviewed for the October issue of GQ magazine.
“In Afghanistan, 28 million people are free. They have their own president, they have their own parliament. Improved a lot on the streets,” Rumsfeld says.
While “that’s been a big success,” he said, the Baghdad regime “has not been able to … create an environment hospitable to whatever one wants to call their evolving way of life, a democracy or a representative system, or a freer system. And it’s going to take some time and some effort.”
So I guess we can classify Afghanistan a “big success” in spite of the fact that the country’s production and export of opium has grown to unprecedented levels since its liberation from Taleban rule; in spite of the fact that suicide bombings are increasing exponentially; in spite of the fact that the Taleban itself is undergoing a successful resurgence there; that poor President Hamad Karzai presides over a government so shaky and underfunded that it could rattle to pieces just about any time and that Afghan warlords pretty much run the place outside of Kabul. Wow.
Rumsfeld’s “big success” seemingly includes the fact that the architect of 9/11 is still holed up somewhere in the mountains between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Bin Laden must have found the fountain of youth under all those tons of rock, because in the video he released just a few days ago, he was looking fine and healthy, his graying beard jet black again, his skin glowing with baleful exhuberance as he threatened more fire and brimstone.
And not only that. Why, if things aren’t quite as hunky-dory as we’d like them to be, don’t forget that the Department of Defense and the U.S. military are not responsible for any failures in Iraq or in Afghanistan, Rumsfeld said.
“In a very real sense, the American military cannot lose a battle, they cannot lose a war,” he tells the magazine. “On the other hand, they can’t win the struggle themselves. It requires diplomacy, it requires economic assistance, it requires a range of things that are well beyond the purview of the Department of Defense.”
Zat so, sir? Um … knowing that as you do … why … did we launch a war against Iraq?
Yet that “range of things” needed to “win the struggle” is not beyond the purview of America, Mr. Rumsfeld, sir. After all, the American people were told that we would be handling the diplomacy and much of the economic assistance Afghanistan and Iraq would need after we created more rubble in their countries. In Iraq, their oil would pay most of the bill. That didn’t really pan out. So far, we’ve spent some $450 billion in American treasure on the Iraq war alone. And once Gen. Petraeus tells us later today what a bang-up big success the “surge” has been, and Congress rolls onto its back and wee-wees all over itself with joy, Commander Codpiece is planning to tell them that he wants $50 billion more.
And they’ll give it to him.
Do you ever get the feeling that the whole world has somehow shifted into some Star-Trekian alternate universe? I keep looking for the Evil Cap’n Kirk to stick his manic head around the corner and flibble his tongue at me. Honestly.