Bush's "Afghan Solution" for Post-Saddam Iraq
Bush Settles on “Afghan Solution” for Post-Saddam Iraq
By Dennis Hans
(Editor’s note: We’ve confirmed that this story is unconfirmable.)
WASHINGTON — President George W. Bush hasn’t made the final determination of whether to bring down Saddam Hussein via invasion or destablization, but he has decided on the best form of government for Iraq once the tyrant is toppled: warlord democratic federalism.
Warlord democratic federalism, or WDF, as it is known in the acronym-obsessed Bush White House, was first exported by the United States to Afghanistan in 2001. Today it’s firmly entrenched. The system is based on rule by U.S.-armed warlords in 99.9 percent of the country, and rule by a U.S.-selected, –protected and –directed businessman in six square blocks of the capital.
As reported December 15 by Jason Burke in the British newspaper the Observer (http://commondreams.org/headlines02/1215-08.htm), U.S. agents are already active in Iraq, buying the loyalty of tribal leaders, just as U.S. agents in 2001 bought the loyalty of Afghan tribal leaders (as reported by Bob Woodward in Bush At War).
Not reported by Woodward or the Observer, and revealed here for the first time, is that U.S. agents are smuggling out of Iraq the “best and brightest” of the tribal leaders. Their destination is Herat, Afghanistan, where Ismail Kahn — hailed by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as “an appealing person” (http://commondreams.org/views02/1219-02.htm) — runs the American-funded Warlord Democracy Academy.
“We take untested tribal leaders and in four short months turn them into ruthless — I mean respected — warlords,” said Kahn. By the start of the January semester, he expects to have a class of 48 warlord cadets representing all 18 of Iraq’s provinces.
“Our first task is to train them to protect Iraqi women, so as to make Laura Bush proud,” Kahn said. “Iraqi men are very backward in this respect, putting their women at risk by allowing them to drive cars and converse with men who aren’t close relatives. They even allow their wives and daughters to go out in public dressed like prostitutes! Have you seen those hoodless burqas that stop at the knee?”
A new report from Human Rights Watch, oddly titled “We Want to Live as Humans: Repression of Women and Girls in Western Afghanistan” (http://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/afghnwmn1202/), documents the good deeds and democratic practices of Khan and his band of manly men.
Afghanistan will serve as an economic as well as governmental model for Iraq.
Because of the general disrepair of the Iraqi oil infrastructure, which could suffer even more in the event of war, the first several years of a post-Saddam Iraq could be lean ones for ordinary citizens. President Bush first considered a multibillion dollar aid package before settling on a market-based, bootstraps remedy that’s a better fit for his business-oriented administration: crop substitution, modeled on post-Taliban Afghanistan.
In the year 2000, the Taliban forced opium farmers to switch to crops that had little value on the international market, resulting in a steep decline in the rural standard of living. The new WDF Afghan government, with a wink from the White House, reversed that policy. Once more, poppies are blooming and farmers are smiling.
As soon as Saddam is toppled, Afghan agronomists will travel to Iraq to train farmers on the fine points of opium cultivation, while U.S. tobacco executives will teach Iraqi warlords how to market the popular narcotic internationally. “We’re leaning toward Joe Camel as the pitchman for Iraqi smack,” said one veteran of the cigarette branding wars. “He still tests well among teens with addictive tendencies, and he’ll have a nostalgic appeal to older junkies.”
Administration sources say Vice President Dick Cheney is convinced that heroin exports can give the Iraqi economy a shot in the arm and generate the extra billions in hard currency Halliburton requires to rebuild the oil industry.
Drug czar John Walters sees another benefit. “We’re trying to break the link between drugs and terrorism, and the more drug profits that wind up in the hands of democratic warlords, the less that flow to terrorists,” he said. “That’s why our upcoming ads will urge addicts to fight terrorism by looking for the ‘Made in Afghanistan’ or ‘Made in Iraq’ label.”
But for many in the Bush bureaucracies, it all comes back to fostering within the Iraqi people the pride that comes from self-sufficiency. “There’s an old saying in development circles,” said a senior official at the Agency for International Development. “Give a farmer some heroin and he can get high for a day. But give him opium seeds and a hoe and he can supply the world.”