Monday, July 28, 2003

More Aid For Afghanistan: It's A Good Thing

Better late than never is increasingly the essence of Bush administration policy.

Annouce a policy. Pronounce it bold. Then a success. Ignore contrary facts. Attack critics, and alternate policies. Then, when the inadequacy of the original policy is reaching political mass, do what your critics have been saying for months needs doing and pretend it was your idea all along.

The Bush administration will soon propose a $1 billion aid package for Afghanistan aimed at bolstering the government of President Hamid Karzai and countering criticism that U.S. officials have lost interest in rebuilding the country as their focus has shifted to postwar Iraq, senior administration officials said yesterday.


The proposed $1 billion in aid resulted from "a comprehensive, strategic update on Afghanistan," said Douglas J. Feith, undersecretary of defense for policy, who confirmed accounts of the program provided by other officials but declined to provide further details.

"We noted that there's a lot that we're spending in Afghanistan and there's a lot at stake strategically," Feith said. "And we asked ourselves are we investing enough, given the expense of everything that we're doing, the importance of success and the benefits, strategic and financial, of completing our mission there sooner rather than later."

Just happened to notice, don't you know.

South Knox Bubba calls this administration tendency, "Bush's struggle with reality." Cal Pundit calls it "George Bush VS The World, (it's a two-parter). Joe Klein to whom both link, considers it less a case of Bush deceiving us, than Bush deceiving himself, if that makes a difference to you.

Afghanistan needs looking to, no doubt about it. More money better spent on infrastructure and such, which is what is being promised, is doubtless, what's needed.

Excuse me if I wait to see what the implementation looks like, and not only because of the hollowness of past promises, like supporting AmeriCorps. The real question seems to me to be whether or not policy makers who continue to insist that Iraq is the key element in our "war" with terrorism can really get a handle on the true signifigance of Afghanistan.