04 May 2007

Shameless Woman Wanders the Middle East Head Uncovered and Unenlightened

Condoleezza Rice is wandering around the Middle East trying to win support for the Bush administration's worldview.

Thus far, George and his office mates have been hollering loudly in a dark room, the one group with a megaphone trying to convince everyone else that they know how the furniture is laid out. Anyone who has tried to follow their advice now has bruised shins or lies helplessly on the floor, tripped up by an unseen ottoman or rare vase. George himself has a lampshade on his head and one foot stuck in a trash can. Nonetheless, their blissful obliviousness has done little to dissuade the administration from their belief that their worldview, their map of the room, is the right one. None of the mayhem that has ensued from their handling of the megaphone has seemed to create the least doubt in their minds. Theirs is a faith-based policy, unencumbered by supporting data or coherent theory. By this point, any historically accurate reenactment of this administration’s governance would require casting the three stooges.

And yet, Rice is visiting heads of states in the Middle East, still offering advice. This from a woman who helped to craft and defend a policy that has gotten these results:

Cost of Iraq war: $500,000,000,000

U.S. reconstruction funds disbursed: $17 billion

Completed Iraq reconstruction projects that are again in need of reconstruction, according to a recent audit: 7 of 8

Average hours that electricity is available in Baghdad: 5.8

Percentage of Iraq’s 34,000 doctors who’ve been murdered or have fled the country: 41

Fraction of 20,000 people killed in global terrorism last year represented by Iraqi deaths: 2/3

Number of Iraqis who have been forced to flee their homes: 2.6 million

Number of refugees who have fled the country: 1.8 million

Number of U.S. visas issued to Iraqis: 466

Number of daily insurgent and militia attacks: 185

The reason Condi Rice says we can’t impose benchmarks of accountability on the Iraqis or any other “so-called consequences”: it “doesn’t allow us the flexibility and creativity that we need to move this forward.”

Why this woman is offering advice about Middle East policy rather than hiding her head under a burka escapes me. It must be that the room in which the Bush administration has locked themselves is not only dark but lacks a mirror. Shameless.


Chrlane said...

So the idea is to blindly agree with this, and everything else you say, right? You're absolutely correct. Americans are idiots. Present company excluded of course.

So how is Her Majesty the Queen of England doing? I think that hat is a nice compromise.

David said...

Gee Ron, I'm beginning to get the picture...you don't like war, invasions, whatever. Take out the stat book for WWII just after it was over, measure the condition of the nations we fought and you'll see it for the travesty it was. That is if you don't count our win. Then it really cost us money. Americans are idiots, all except for you and chrlane of course.

Dave said...

I'm not following your critique David. Went to your profile; but, it goes nowhere. If I'm reading you accurately you are equating WWII with IraqII. On the face of it, the comparison makes no sense to me.

Enlighten me please.

Ron Davison said...

yep, that's the idea.

war is not the picture. The picture is that this administration has a worldview that they've used to predict the efficacy of certain actions and even as though actions have gone against every prediction they've made, they have yet to adjust their worldview. Nothing has gone as predicted and yet their models are correct? I don't even get that.

I'll leave this for David to answer, thanks.

Chrlane said...

I am not following the war all that closely. From the outset, things were done differently than I would have done them. I was kicked out of the community and so stressed that I could not contribute while all of it transpired.

Because Thomas can't bear to face criticism. Because Thomas is so think-headed, and he presumes so much about the intentions of others, and because he is so very quick to judge, that he forgets to keep his eye on his own actions.

I am reluctant to lay blame, but there are times when this must happen.

And so, I wait for people to come to their senses so I can once more find the energy to follow these events.

Chrlane said...

And I do not mind other people having more than one identity so long as I am not deceived on purpose by this. I understand the need for it t times, but it is the WAY it is done that I have minded in the past.

I am not saying I am easy to understand, but know that I have always had my reasons, and that they have been in the greater interests of humanity.

We cannot deny that people have a sexuality, and it is something which must be contended with if there is to be balance. Hiding it does not address it, but merely creates tensions which erupt in undesirable ways.

And so, I must pass judgment now, as this has gone on too long.

Thomas, in my eyes, you are guilty of blindness, cruelty, jealousy and hypocrisy.

David is guilty of caring too much, and trying too hard, and of caring too much what others think.

"What are the remedies?" Is the next question.

David said...

Oh I thought it was about civilian killings and soldiers dying and things going wrong (the media focus) as such things did often during WWII. Equate it with Iraq no. WWII killed many more people on both sides, millions more. I see Iraq as part of WWIII, which only those in denial refuse to see. I do agree with Ron that this administration should stop predicting. I think Rice's visit is part of a change in strategy in reponse to public sentiment, which as Dave and Ron can predict, means nothing to me. Who is in charge of world views these days.

David said...

Thank you, I do care. I try hard to stay caring and it's difficult for me. As for caring what others think, on Ron's site I don't. In my life I do.

Ron Davison said...

Now I'm starting to feel like commenting on the comments is like interrupting dinner guests.
It's probably healthier for you not to pay too much attention to this war / occupation / reconstruction or whatever it is. At this point, it is probably true that paying close attention to it does more to raise one's blood pressure than to improve things.

what is the Deming quote? "Management is prediction." I don't think that the Bush Admin can avoid prediction - but when things work out differently than predicted it suggests one ought to reconsider the model. That is the main point of my rant against Condi in this post.

I don't get the whole identity thing but as to your comments about David trying too hard, it's just not true. David is retired now. He only tries when he wants to. (David, David, I'm only teasing.)

exskindiver said...

how about those steelers???

Ron Davison said...

You don't even want to get me started on sports. You think that I get disgusted with Bush? You should hear me rail on Terry Bradshaw or whoever is the pitcher for the Steelers now. I'm a complete sports nut.
Seriously, this venting is so cathartic. Although the reasonable part of my brain tells me that this has about as much impact on policy as talking to my neighbor's dog, I stupidly feel like I'm at least doing something. Naive on my part, I know, but we're all entitled to a few irrational acts, otherwise we could be replaced by machines.