|Man Without Qualities|
Saturday, September 06, 2003
Surprisingly, one country that has done better than ever this year is Afghanistan, where the cereal crop will be the largest on record, due in large part to good rainfall and better access to seeds and fertilisers.
Afghanistan enjoys a legitimate government, confirmed by a representative loya jirga. There is considerable progress in writing a constitution and organising elections for next year, with suffrage for women. The new national currency, the afghani, is widely accepted and stable. The economy grew by 28% last year, according to preliminary IMF estimates. Two million or more refugees have returned home to rebuild their lives. That—together with the remarkable absence of any ethnic separatist movements—underlines Afghans' belief in their own country. There has been no major humanitarian crisis. Donors remain committed to their promises. America has tripled its aid to $1 billion this year; it will pressure others to do the same.
For more than a year, Afghanistan has been sinking deeper into poverty, chaos and despair while the White House focuses on Iraq. Now the administration is promising to double Afghanistan’s reconstruction aid to $1.8 billion. Even loyal Republicans fear that it’s not nearly enough. They know what happened the last time America ignored Afghanistan. The anniversary is next week.
Which is all strange enough. But what to make of that reference to what happened the last time America ignored Afghanistan? Most of the relevant "ignoring" must have happened during the eight years of Clinton Administration preceding the September 11 atttacks. Is this Newsweek's odd way of arguing that the Clinton Administration should be blamed for September 11?
Comments: Post a Comment