Stupidest Thing Bush Said All Week
February 17, 2007
It occurred at the American Enterprise Institute on February 15.
Bush was giving his speech on Afghanistan, and he offered a typical AEI solution to the civil war that is raging there: free trade zones, or what he called “reconstruction opportunity zones.”
Here’s what he said:
“Oftentimes people support the Taliban . . . because it's the only job they can find. If that's the case -- and I believe it's true -- we need to help these folks provide an economy that gives hope. And so one way we can do this is what we call reconstruction opportunity zones that exist on both sides of the Pak and Afghan border. These zones will give residents the chance to export locally made products to the United States, duty free. That's our contribution. Got a vast market, wealthy country with a lot of consumers, and it's not going to take much to provide hope if we can get little manufacturing enterprises set up, local entrepreneurs to be able to manufacture goods and sell them here in our countries. It's a tiny contribution for us and a major contribution for providing the conditions necessary for stability.”
A major contribution?
For Bush, and for the folks at the AEI, there’s nothing like exporting the United States to solve a country’s problems.
But to imagine that people along the remote Pakistan and Afghanistan border, where neither government has been able to establish order, are going to all of a sudden want to abandon their tribal loyalties because they can now sell to us duty free is pure fantasy.