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.