In the 1980’s the brood of neo-con chickenhawk assholes that we grew to know and love during the second Gulf War were just in their infancy. Inside the lower echelons of the Reagan administration, Birchers, Objectivists, and anti-communists “freedom fighters” all assembled together in a clubhouse of horrors that the experienced policy makers in the conservative movement used as a test kitchen of sorts to figure out new ways to make partisan advantage out of traditional red-baiting. One of the dimmest yet most enthusiastic members of this division of derp was Dana Rohrabacher, a man who now serves as the Congressional Representative for the douchiest part of Orange County.
Dana these days is known mainly for getting kicked out of a variety of countries in the middle east due to his unique ability to be a horrendous asshole where ever he goes, or just generally being one of the most corrupt politicians in SoCal and a friend to Jack Abramoff. But what you may not know is that Dana sees himself as a freedom fighter, a rough and tumble badass who is a one man army against the forces of Communism- or at least that is the way the press portrays him when he grants his umpteenth interview to the likes of Politico. In reality however Rohrabacher is less like a Rambo, and more like a bad Monty Python caricature of an American diplomat way over his head, to quote the essential OC Weekly article on this subject:
Rohrabacher opened negotiations with the Taliban at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha,Qatar, ostensibly for a “Free Markets and Democracy” conference. There, Rohrabacher secretly met with Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, an advisor to Mullah Omar. Diplomatic sources claim Muttawakil sought the congressman’s assistance in increasing U.S. aid—already more than $100 million annually—to Afghanistan and indicated that the Taliban would not hand over bin Laden, wanted by the Clinton administration for the fatal bombings of two American embassies in Africa and the USS Cole. For his part, Rohrabacher handed Muttawakil his unsolicited plans for war-torn Afghanistan. “We examined a peace plan,” he laconically told reporters in Qatar.
This meeting took place in APRIL OF TWO THOUSAND AND FUCKING ONE. This looked pretty bad for good ol’ congressman Mujahadeen once 9/11 happened, especially given that the Congressman had said in 1996 that the Taliban would provide “stability” & that they “intend to establish a disciplined, moral society”. However it gets worse, as it turns out that Dana’s little sojurn not only violated the Logan Act (which prohibits unauthorized dipshits like him pretending to represent the US abroad) but that he frankly did not know what the fuck he was doing:
What’s remarkable is not only Rohrabacher’s attempt to rewrite history after Sept. 11, but there’s also his glaring naivete, evident in his bungling assessment of the Qatar meeting. One member of his entourage, Khaled Saffuri, executive director of the Islamic Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based group that partially bankrolled Rohrabacher’s trip, said he was impressed by how “flexible” Taliban officials appeared. Rohrabacher came away equally impressed. He announced he would travel to Afghanistan to work out details with the Taliban.
But Rohrabacher was out of his league. In the Afghan capital of Kabul the next day, Muttawakil presented Rohrabacher’s plan to the Taliban. Mullah Omar immediately issued a statement denouncing American efforts to orchestrate a new Afghanistan government. “The infidel world is not letting Muslims form a government of their own choice,” he declared.
Since that time Dana has made sure to be as anti-Taliban as possible in his public statements and has generally avoided commenting on this understandably touchy subject. However he continues to act as his own State Department, and also carries the usual GOP attacks against the President’s foreign policy. That is why I was surprised to him commenting on Libya this morning with the bravado of someone whose incompetence did NOT place us in a worse position to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan:
Just remember that it’s geniuses like this dude who will be high ranking members of a Romney foreign policy team if he wins next week.