my pissant two cents

Monday, November 15, 2004

condi rice, our international face

i'm just starting to wrap my mind around colin powell's resignation-- or as i like to describe my departure from a few jobs, his acceptance of an "invitation to leave"-- and it's not altogether a good image.

powell has long had the reputation as a company man. the guy who was always ready to do what's best for the team. the guy who followed orders and got things done. this is not exactly what you want in a secretary of state. sure, you want someone who can go with the program and get the rest of the world on board, or at least not make himself and the country laughingstocks in the effort to do so. but you also want someone who can think on his feet, express an opinion cogently and concisely, and call b.s. when needs be.

powell, for all his shortcomings, was not so bad as secretary of state. i'm not excusing his lying to the u.n. security council in pounding the drums for war against iraq. that is inexcuseable, and helped get a bunch of people killed. however, his widely reported outrage at the inclusion of well-debunked pseudo-evidence of iraq's attempted procuring of uranium in his u.n. statement demonstrates something of a soul and/or backbone. he brought gravitas and solemnity to the role, distracting attention from the other yahoos whispering bloodthirsty sweet-nothings in the cowboy's ears. that said, when one is described as the voice of reason in the bush white house, it's essentially condemnation by faint praise....

i'm a little curious what powell's next step will be. there will be a great call-- and, i suspect, a rather vigorous auction-- for his memoirs. he's a homer, so the likelihood of his penning a kiss-and-tell is not so great. on the scale from big wet kiss for the bush people to a warts-and-all expose of their knavery and hubris, i suspect we get something closer to the former than the latter.

so the odds-on favorite to succeed powell is condoleezza rice. i'll give you a moment to shudder. the woman described an august 6, 2001, presidential briefing called "holy shit! they're going to blow us up! an assload of people are going to die! duck and cover! DUCK AND COVER!" as a "historical document."

she sat in front of the 9/11 commission and lied. shamelessly, remorselessly. the commission knew she was lying. she knew she was lying. i knew she was lying. everybody knew it. it would have been funny if it weren't so gut-wrenchingly disturbing.

she also pooh-poohed the notion that the aforementioned yellowcake uranium issue was exposed as pure shite long before the president used it in his "munich '33"-esque state of the union address. the controversy, she said, involved taking "16 words" and making a big deal out of them. not the fact that the president was using patently false information to build support for an unnecessary war. let's not forget that said war has cost an awful lot of lives and untold billions of dollars.

i'm no expert on such things, but shouldn't the national security adviser advise on matters of national security? when the people you pay to tell you when things are about to go haywire tap you on the shoulder, you should probably pay attention. this seems like the sort thing the president would want to keep tabs on. hindsight being what it is, you have to say the red flags should have been pointed out.

only, rice didn't do that. instead, and only after her failures were exposed, she obfuscated, meandered, dodged and lied. anything to keep the president and herself out of the blame game. instead, she, and presumably the president, asked george tenet to fall on his sword. he did. she should have done it.

so just to make this clear: the intelligence community debunked the uranium sale, but rice thought nothing of its inclusion in the president's speeches. the intelligence community warned of impending terrorist doom a month before 9/11, and rice calls that ancient history.

now that i reflect on it, when 51% is a mandate and occupation=liberation, i can't think of a better person to represent the bush administration and the american people on the world stage.


  • awesome dude... great stuff... glad to see you out here!

    By Blogger Minnion, at 2:37 PM  

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