Steve Hayes of The Weekly Standard accompanied Vice President Cheney to Hamid Karzai's inauguration last week and tells the story. Hayes also notes:
The Washington Post played Karzai's inauguration on page A-13, a placement that suggested it was relatively less important than Eliot Spitzer's decision to run for governor of New York or the decision of the U.S. government to import flu vaccine from Germany.So why isn't there more of a sense of our accomplishments in Afghanistan? After all, as Hayes reports Karzai's words:
This is an embarrassment. The foreign policy of George W. Bush will likely be remembered for two highly controversial decisions: (1) to eliminate not only terrorist networks but also the regimes that sponsor them, and (2) to cultivate democracy in the region of the world long thought least hospitable to it.
"Whatever we have achieved in Afghanistan--the peace, the election, the reconstruction, the life that the Afghans are living today in peace, the children going to school, the businesses, the fact that Afghanistan is again a respected member of the international community--is from the help that the United States of America gave us. Without that help Afghanistan would be in the hands of terrorists--destroyed, poverty-stricken, and without its children going to school or getting an education. We are very, very grateful, to put it in the simple words that we know, to the people of the United States of America for bringing us this day."It may be that George W. Bush will have to wait another fifty years before he can claim the credit for such achievements. But for now? It's all about Abu Ghraib and Halliburton.