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Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007 09:07 am

George W.’s war legacy

These goofs even bumbled things in Afghanistan

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Untitled Document One thing that President George W. Bush can count on is that history will wholly and harshly condemn his bumbled war effort — and I’m not talking about Iraq. A special spot in historical hell is being reserved for Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld because of their outrageous abandonment of the people of Afghanistan. This is the war that had legitimacy, for it was the tyrannical Taliban that harbored Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda as they plotted the 9/11 attack on America. By any standard, the Taliban was a cruelly repressive government, and the world cheered when the United States invaded to set things right. But, having ousted the Taliban rulers and promised the impoverished people a bright new future — Bush & Gang cut and ran! Filled with ideological fantasies, they rushed off to the suffocating sands of Iraq, taking the world’s focus, the U.S. treasury, and America’s credibility with them. Bush keeps hailing his handpicked Afghani president, Hamid Karzai — but Karzai’s “government” has no authority, for it is widely seen as corrupt, incompetent, impotent, and a Washington puppet. Meanwhile, after shoveling billions of dollars into corporate contractors to “rebuild” Afghanistan, the Bushites have little to show for it. Forget the schools and hospitals that were promised; there’s not even a police force to protect the people. DynCorp was given a billion dollars in 2005 to train police, but there’s still no effective program in place. Worse, the Afghan people are more impoverished than ever, they’re angry at America, the resurgent Taliban controls much of the country and is spreading its reach and suicide bombers into Pakistan and beyond, and Afghan opium production is booming — headed to America as heroin. Heck of a job, George.
Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, columnist, and author.
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