Condi Rice " I was supposed to be a music major and concert pianist, and here I sit." Issues Beyond Palo Alto, posted by Dr. Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford, on Jul 22, 2007 at 2:01 pm
Yay! It all makes sense now: "I don't know what I'll do long-term. I'm a terrible long-term planner. I was supposed to be a music major and concert pianist, and here I sit. I love serving on corporate boards, and I find American business and our corporations to be the engines of innovation for this country and, therefore, an engine of innovation for the world. One thing I've tried to do is to institutionalize the public-private partnership. The government can't do it all. When you talk about winning hearts and minds around the world, we are but a small part of what most of the world encounters about America.
Posted by sarlat, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2007 at 12:58 pm
I have no doubt she loves serving on corporate boards. If her talent as a musician is at all similar to her talent as national security adviser and secretary of state, she would be the worst musician the world had even seen. She is also correct that government can't do it all, except the government she part of has done it all terribly wrong and very badly. Other than that, I wish she would just go away and we never hear from her again, the sooner, the better.
Posted by Joan, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2007 at 10:24 pm
Madeleine Albright was no great shakes, but I'd take her over Rice any day. "Her resolve has never wavered..." I'll bet. The certainty, the utter, reckless righteousness of Rice and this arrogant, illegitimate regime in Washington are key ingredients of the recipe for disaster that we are now stewing in.
Rice played a significant role in blowing the chance of preventing the September 11 catastrophe. Richard Clark and others have given credible evidence of that fact. In summer 2001, she and others in this administration ignored the red-flag warning signs that a terrorist attack was imminent. And her lies regarding the government's ability to have prevented the attacks (for example, claiming that the government couldn't have imagined that people would fly planes into buildings, when documents show that the government was warned of just that) are despicable.
She has been a key player in a disastrous administration (though not the worst player, I fully acknowledge). Considering all the human carnage and suffering, and the damage to our reputation and credibility in the world that has resulted from an administration in which she has been such a crucial player, I don't know how anyone can defend her. If her talent as a pianist is comparable to her abilities as a public servant, I hope my ears are forever spared the assault of hearing her perform.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2007 at 7:28 am
At least Dr. Rice has not been romantically linked with dictators.
Would anyone care to snapshot all the potential threats against the United States the same time that one generic threat was named? Would anyone care to remember why the FBI and CIA were not allowed to exchange threat information? [hint - check the panel on the 9/11 study]
Posted by Deko, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2007 at 8:31 am
Rice is considered a lightweight not only in this country, but around the world. She is a yeswoman in the worst, most criminal and most incompetent administration in our nations history. Her shocking incompetence and hubris in the period leading to 9/11, as documented and revealed by Richard Clark and other national security professional can only be classified as criminal. Medeleine Albright was light years ahead and better than Rice in every aspect as secretary of state. Rice is, without any competition the worst SOS/NSA this nation ever had. If her ability as a musician resembles in any way her ability as a public servant, she should be banned from playing music by law.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2007 at 10:46 am
I have it from sources on campus that while Ms. Rice left Stanford on very good terms after her time as provost, she will not receive a warm welcome back by and large. The NeoCons in the Hoover Institution feel betrayed, the academics in poli sci and international relations department are having some difficulty getting past what is pereceived as "intellectual dishonesty" she has displayed on the job these past 7 years.
No inside information from the graduate school of business or the law school, but I suspect her managerial skills and respect for international law are the subject of some concern in those hallowed halls.
Posted by Joan, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2007 at 11:11 am
Walter, Your comment, "At least Dr. Rice has not been romantically linked with dictators," has me totally baffled. What on earth are you alluding to? Or are you just trying to derail this discussion about Condi Rice's job performance with an explosive non sequitur because you know there's no real defense for her?
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice finds that her star is fading
Sunday, July 22, 2007
I remember the heady days for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
About 2 1/2 years ago, when she was new in office, I accompanied her on her first trip around the world, with stops in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, South Korea, Japan and China. Crowds gathered to see her limousine drive past; people whistled, waved and cheered. Interviewers routinely asked her whether she was planning to run for president. One TV reporter in India told her she was "arguably the most powerful woman in the world." She chuckled but did not exactly agree -- or disagree.
How things change.
A few months ago, she decided to write an opinion piece about Lebanon. She enlisted John Chambers, chief executive officer of Cisco Systems as a co-author, and they wrote about public/private partnerships and how they might be of use in rebuilding Lebanon after last summer's war. No one would publish it.
Think about that. Every one of the major newspapers approached refused to publish an essay by the secretary of state. Price Floyd, who was the State Department's director of media affairs until recently, recalls that it was sent to the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and perhaps other papers before the department finally tried a foreign publication, the Financial Times of London, which also turned it down.
As a last-ditch strategy, the State Department briefly considered translating the article into Arabic and trying a Lebanese paper. But finally they just gave up. "I kept hearing the same thing: 'There's no news in this.' " Floyd said. The piece, he said, was littered with glowing references to President Bush's wise leadership. "It read like a campaign document."
Floyd left the State Department on April 1, after 17 years. He said he was fed up with the relentless partisanship and the unwillingness to consider other points of view. His supervisor, a political appointee, kept "telling me to shut up," he said. Nothing like that had occurred under Presidents Bill Clinton or George H.W. Bush. "They just wanted us to be Bush automatons."
Does that sound familiar? Earlier this month, former Surgeon General Richard Carmona told Congress that Bush administration officials had repeatedly tried to weaken or suppress important public health reports because they clashed with administration dogma. He said he was ordered to mention Bush three times on every page of his speeches. Floyd's experience shows that the same close-minded zealotry afflicting many departments of government under Bush has descended on the State Department, too. In effect, as Rice's power and influence has waned along with Bush's, intolerance and monomania have taken its place.
Rice did have her moment. But little came of it. Under her predecessor, Colin Powell, major foreign policy decisions were made at the White House or Defense Department. The neo-conservative heavyweights -- Vice President Dick Cheney, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, among others -- set the policies in Iran and Iraq, North Korea and Israel.
Powell left frustrated. But Rice came into office with Bush's inarguable support; she wore their close relationship on her sleeve. And, for awhile, that worked for her. She called mini-summits on Iraq, Israel and other topics. Everyone showed up. In many countries, she met with the president instead of her bureaucratic counterpart, the foreign minister. Wherever she went, she was a star.
But what has she accomplished? Iraq has slid far downhill in the past 2 1/2 years. Iran is no closer to giving up its nuclear weapons than when she took office. Even though the Bush administration has done more than any other country to help the victims in Darfur, the carnage there continues unabated. Last week, the Sudanese government began bombing Darfur civilians again.
Relations with Russia, her area of speciality, have steadily worsened; a week ago, Russia dropped out of a key arms control treaty. Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela, has evolved from an irritant to a menace as he moves to nationalize Venezuela's oil industry. Despite many visits to Israel and the Palestinian territories, she has had no appreciable impact on events there.
North Korea has shut down its nuclear reactor. That's an accomplishment. But I give most credit to Christopher Hill, the assistant secretary of state who continued pushing for a diplomatic solution even as administration hardliners disparaged his work. Hill despised them, and ultimately outlasted them.
From his new position at the American Enterprise Institute, John Bolton, the former U.N. ambassador, continues to call for "repudiation of the Feb. 13 deal" that Hill negotiated. But now Bolton is powerless.
Where does that leave Rice?
"I think there is nothing they can do now," Floyd argues. "It's too late. The negatives," primarily Iraq, "are too big. They take all the oxygen out of the room."
Joel Brinkley is a professor of journalism at Stanford University and a former foreign policy correspondent for the New York Times. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2007 at 3:50 pm
I refer, of course, to Albright's dancing and wine sipping with Kim Jong Il to celebrate giving him a reactor for his promise to not make a bomb.
My one disapointment with Dr. Rice was her failure to flush State and start over with people who were aware of who they represent. I might say that if she earned the hatred of State and Academe, she is halfway to the stars. When Bolton and Rumsfend are elected president and vip, the Gaggadine cleanup might commence.
Tell us about Lebanon's successful rebuilding without Dr. Rice's insight. The world is waiting.
Posted by Joan, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2007 at 5:04 pm
Oh, of course. Behaving like a social creature at a celebration equals romantic involvement. Of course. By the way, remember that photo of a grinning Rumsfeld pressing the flesh of a grinning Sadam from back in the good ol' days before Sadam was Satan? Suppose they were romantically involved, Walter? Think I've got to side with Chris of Professorville in assessing your sanity, dude.
"But it does seem odd that Gannon was there at least 32 times on days when there were no briefings, or returned later in the day to the presidential mansion after a briefing. Seems he'd spend about an hour or hour and a half in the White House on these occasions. Or he'd be there for an hour or hour and a half before or after the briefings. I suppose that it could be shown he was there to consult with someone about what sort of questions he might raise in the next briefing, that could produce a small scandal. But the media hasn't really taken on the president's manipulation of reporters to date and protested and exposed it effectively.
The records also show days when Gannon checked in but never properly checked out, beginning in July 2003 or five months after he started his White House journalistic activities. This doesn't necessarily cry out "Scandal!" since lots of people have slept over at the Bush White House. But usually they're big fundraisers or family members. For someone like Gannon to be there, apparently sleeping over, on twelve different nights seems curious. Surely he had his own lodgings nearby. But after all, in his "reporter" capacity he was a friend of the administration and like Jacko says, friends often let friends sleep over. Dowbenko indicates that the president was in his house on all these occasions, but I imagine Laura and the Secret Service people were there too. Of course it is a big house, room for everybody and a degree of privacy even in these terror-haunted, well-monitored times."
Posted by Manfred Mann, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2007 at 6:17 pm
It's been reported that Condoleezza Rice is dating a high level Canadian diplomat. Sources say you can tell because Rice has an extra bounce in her step and is giggling a lot as she prepares for the invasion of Iran.
Posted by Dr. Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford, on Jul 25, 2007 at 6:40 pm
I'm guessing the romance rumor is a half-hearted attempt at damage control, possibly orchestrated by her handlers, some of whom might hope to rehabilitate her public image so that she can be used to murder more Muslims down the road.
We see the syndicate recycling same criminals from one leadership position to the next, including Kissinger, George Schultz, James Baker III, Lee Hamilton, Elliot Abrahms, John Negroponte, John Poindexter, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, David Wurmser, Newt Gingrich, William Bennett, Colin Powell, Stephen Solarz, et al.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 1:46 pm
At the time Saddam and Rumsfeld shook hands, Saddam was an ally against a nation at war with the United States. Iran, I believe it was called. When Albright danced with Little Kim he was the head of a state still at war with the United States, who had just extorted a couple of billion bucks from us, again.
Don't know about Jeff, but I suppose even presidents have friends. I hope they sterilized the Lincoln Bedroom furnishings when it finally came out that Yassar, Clinton's and Carter's buddy died of AIDS.
Posted by Boaz, a resident of the Greater Miranda neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 3:54 pm
Operation Opera was a brilliant execution of a tough mission. Israel is an independent nation--the nuclear reactor being built in Iraq would have been used to build nuclear weapons for the destruction of Israel.
While Israel was condemned at the time, the world has since seen that Israel's actions saved the world a lot of grief with regard to Saddam and his plans.
Posted by The Cohen Brother, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 4:22 pm
The invasion of a single nation by another nation or group of nations is only legal under the UN Charter if such an invasion has been sanctioned by the vote of the UN Security Council. This did not happen in the case of the Iraq invasion, since the United States and Great Britain, led by the U.S. Secretary of State Powell, withdrew on March 17, 2003 their resolution to stage such an invasion from consideration by the UN Security Council when they realized that the majority of its members would vote against it. Instead, Powell and others insisted that this approval was unnecessary, since UN Resolutions 687 and 1441 (the latter of 8 November 2002) had already granted this right. However, this is simply not true. As demonstrated by a close examination of the UN Charter and these particular resolutions, there is no possible interpretation that preempts the need for a final decision by the Security Council. Because the U.S. and U.K. withdrew their resolution, there could be no decision permitting an invasion. As a result, the invasion of Iraq was illegal, and those who brought it about, including the bumbling, extremely incompetent Condi Rice, can and should be held responsible for war crimes by an impartial international tribunal, for example the International Criminal Court (ICC). The collaboration of the US with Saddam's genocidal actions in the 1980's, should add a number of defendants to those trials, such as Bush Sr.
Posted by Deko, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 4:37 pm
It's wrong, immoral and impossible for decent people to defend the policies, words, and actions of Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, Condolezza Rice, Paul Wolfowitz, George W. Bush, Michael Chertoff, Scooter Libby or Alberto Gonzales. The jury is still out on Secratary Gates. I have a few acquaintances who are Republicans. They mostly hang their heads in shame whenever the subject of the Bushies comes up. Yet, every day you can see some Republican congressman, right wing pundit, or apologist "journalist" defending and making totaly ridiculous and unsupportable argument in favor of the cabal and the neocon agenda. If cognitive dissonance caused brain tumors these guys would be falling out left and right.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 5:40 pm
Dr. Froggy, situations change, FDR drank with Joe Stalin as I recall. C/B, the G/1 war was still on and the conditions of the cease fire were continuously being violated. Deko, I recall when I was a soldier in the fight to eliminate Jim Crow, so many of those arguing for the status quo would start "Some of my best friends are..." Now it is "I've always been a republican until..."
some recent jimoke who made that claim was found to have give 5 or 6 times as much to democrats the past few years but he was still referred to in the kept press as a "Staunch republican." Go figure.
Bush, like most politicians and their critics is neither perfect nor too high in my esteem, but this mindless insane deranged BDS, Bush Derangement Syndrome, makes rational debate impossible. Grownups realize you don't always get your way, even if you hold your breath until you turn bluestate.
Posted by Dr. Ferragamo, a resident of Stanford, on Jul 26, 2007 at 6:02 pm
Even today we find Walter using the old lies and propaganda about WW2 to further conflate FDR's relationship with Stalin in order to conflate Rummy's relationship with Saddam.
If only we had had the internet during WW2, perhaps it wouldn't have been so easy for the "American" press to whitewash the insanity of sending American troops into WW2 only to hand Eastern Europe to the Soviets when it was well understood that Bolshevik filth had murdered over 20 million Christians by the 1933 or so.
Posted by Deko, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 8:06 pm
We helped Saadam commit genocidal acts of mass murder. By doing it we stooped to his level, became his accomplice and that should put an end to the rubbish blabber of us having any moral right to topple him. We invaded in clear violation of international law and our own constitution. The hatred of Bush is not only fully justified, it's grossly too passive and mute. He should be impeached or removed from office by law enforcement cuffed and shackled along with his entire cabal of neocon criminal lunatics. The sentence should swift and equal to those he was so happy to sign while governor of Texas.
Posted by A Boomer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2007 at 8:50 pm
Review the Senate hearings with AG Alberto Gonzales this week. Especially telling are what highly respected Republican Senators are saying in public to this Shrub official.
Listen and read what journalists who are regarded as fairly balanced in their craft are writing about what many Repubican leaders on Capitol Hill are saying behind closed doors about this administration. The comments being made by these Republican elected officials are not exactly favorable or supportive of Shrub and Company.
This situation and this adminstration is something far worse than what mere partisan politics conjure up day in and day out, irrespective of who is in office. Unfit for office applies so pervasively throughout this bunch that any constructive action that they might take would not even get noticed.
This is not a sports team that has its good years and its bad years, with loyal fans pontificating on talk radio and in letters to the sports editors about what needs to be done to win this year. With a member of my family working at the VA right here, dealing daily with a growing clientele, I understand directly we are playing for keeps, folks. Fools are sending good people off on fools' errands, and way too many of our fellow countrymen were fools themselves in election years 2000 and 2004.
We are witnessing in our collective lifetimes the worst Presidency in the history of this country, and we don't have to wait 50 years from now to uncover this sad truth.
Posted by Walter Admirer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2007 at 11:11 am
Walter: Dead on, as usual, with perspective and facts. Keeping your cool very well, also, against the escalating verbiage. Don't lose your calm. Reasonable adults always win out, because most of us are reasonable adults.