Category Archives: Condi Rice

McCain and Graham: Hypocrisy Over Benghazi and Susan Rice

Humor always wins out over outrage. Case in point is the blatantly political, obnoxious campaign by Republicans to blame Susan Rice for screw-ups in Benghazi. To understand the context, once and for all, turn to Jon Stewart who makes concise points about senators McCain and Graham, along with another politician named Rice — Condoleezza Rice. More than concise, he demolishes them. (Watch Episode Here)

–In 2002, Condoleezza Rice declared that Iraq is importing aluminum tubes “that can only be used” for enriching uranium and making a bomb.

–Unlike Susan Rice, Condoleezza Rice knew that she was lying about Iraq, and like other members of the Bush administration blames bad information from the CIA. That excuse is exactly what senators McCain and Graham are using to criticize Susan Rice, who is in a far less authoritative position than Condoleezza Rice was 10 years ago.

–Jon Stewart also plays clips of McCain and Graham defending Condoleezza.

The report is so clear and crisp as to melt McCain and Graham in their own hypocrisy.

Meanwhile, let’s be serious, the wing-nut Republicans are just trying to force the president to choose Senator John Kerry as secretary of state, thereby opening a senate seat they believe that defeated senator Scott Brown might reclaim in a special election. Nobody says it as clearly or as concisely as the humorist main man, Mr. Stewart.

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Filed under Bush, Condi Rice, Journalism, Obama, Politics, Politics

Israel’s Show and Tell on Iran–Could be as wrong as Colin Powell’s claims on Iraq

Ten years after Colin Powell sold a war to Americans and the world on a fake premise — that Iraq was on the verge of having nuclear weapons, it just could be that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in the same market. The linkage ten years apart is a campaign to wage preemptive wars — perpetrated by the same alliance of neoconservatives.

Netanyahu appeared before the UN General Assembly in late September and, armed with a cartoon-like bomb diagram, said that Iran is within months of the point of no return–having nuclear weapons.

Netanyahu at the UN

Is that true? Or are the purveyors of agitprop at work again.

A dispatch from Reuters quotes intelligence analysts and nuclear specialists as saying Iran could be years, not months from being able to produce and deliver a nuclear bomb.

(Reuters) – Iran already has enough low-enriched uranium for several atomic bombs if refined to a high degree but it may still be a few years away from being able to build a nuclear-armed missile if it decided to go down that path.

Israel’s warning last week that Iran will be on the brink of developing a nuclear weapon by mid-2013 seemed to refer to when it could have a sufficient stock of higher-grade uranium to make a quick dash to produce a bomb’s worth of weapon-grade material.

But, analysts say, Tehran would need time also for the technologically complicated task of fashioning highly refined uranium gas into a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on a missile – if it opts for such weapons of mass destruction.

What if the same people who brought us the war in Iraq — some of whom actually still cling to the empty notion that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction — now are at their dangerous hi-jinks once again?

Propaganda is powerful business and so is manipulation of popular opinion. A large percentage of Americans still believe that:

–Iraq was responsible for the 9-11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon;
–Iraq was close to building a nuclear weapon in 2002;
–The United States acted in Iraq “based on the best available intelligence at the time.”

These are all lies.

Now, because Iran appears to be the enemy du jour, a sales campaign is underway to push public opinion toward the need for quick action against Iran. When will we learn? And will a new Obama administration follow through on diplomacy and neutralize the purveyors of lies?

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Filed under 1, Bush, Condi Rice, Intelligence, Middle East, Obama

#Romney and #Ryan: “Don’t Know Much About History.”#RNC

Note to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. A little Sam Cooke song for your iPods, across the generations.

Don’t know much about history
Don’t know much biology
Don’t know much about a science book
Don’t know much about the French I took

    Foreign policy notes after the Republican convention.

Romney sounds like he wants to attack Iran.This plays to Sheldon Adelson and the millions of dollars he is willing to dedicate to defeating Obama; and to Bush-era neo-cons in the wings. Will Romney and the image-makers be able to generate enough fear in America to push for a war with Iran? I don’t think there is a stomach for going back to the Bush-Cheney policy of pre-emptive war.

Romney and his running mate used the tired old phrase that President Obama had “thrown Israel under the bus.” There’s nothing to sustain that. Obama has been as supportive of Israel as every other president since 1948. Israel under Benjamin Netanyahu—propped up by the way by Sheldon Adelson –has not been in a mood to work with the Obama administration toward compromise and negotiations with the Palestinians.

Only those with no memory and no sense of context can listen to Condoleezza Rice seriously about foreign policy. Exactly 10 years ago, she appeared on American television and fear-mongered:

“We know that there have been shipments going…into Iraq, for instance, of aluminum tubes that really are only suited…for nuclear weapons…We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.”

If she didn’t know that this was a manufactured lie, she didn’t know her job. Rice has no apology and now is declared “presidential” by some. She shilled for a fake policy on Iraq as secretary of state. See my book with Knut Royce – The Italian Letter – which disproves the claim she still makes today, that the Bush administration acted on the best intelligence available at the time. That is a lie.

What this business about saber-rattling with Russia and using Vladimir Putin as a convenient foil? Are the Republican foreign policy advisers buried in a safe room since 1990? It was reckless.

That brings us back to Sam Cooke. I suspect that Romney does know the lessons he learned. He does know “the French he took.” He just doesn’t want to let on in the party he dances with. That is sad.

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Filed under 1, Bush, Condi Rice, Elections, Middle East, Obama, Politics

Condoleezza Rice–The Egypt Story Writ Wrong

The Washington Post Opinion page, in its latest attempt to rehabilitate and give ink to the Bush 43 presidency, gave empty space to Condoleezza Rice to opine on Egypt. Rice goes so far as to suggest that in 2005, she presaged democratic rule in Egypt in a Cairo speech.

She writes: “Following in the vein of President George W. Bush’s second inaugural address, I said that the United States would stand with people who seek freedom. This was an admission that the United States had, in the Middle East more than any other region, sought stability at the expense of democracy, and had achieved neither. It was an affirmation of our belief that the desire for liberty is universal – not Western, but human – and that only fulfillment of that desire leads to true stability.”

She is wrong, of course, about the United States–it sought neither stability nor democracy in Iraq, rather a chimeric vision of imposed American order, and failed.

Rice’s opinion piece comes several weeks after a similar foray by Elliott Abrams, a former Middle East point man at the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration. These are part of an effort to recast the Bush administration and its disastrous Middle East policy as a prescient system that only now is bearing fruit.

In fact, Rice and Abrams and their team perverted U.S. values in the Middle East when they invaded Iraq– creating the concept of and precedent for preemptive war–war that can be waged whenever the United States so pleases. My colleague Knut Royce and I wrote a book, The Italian Letter, which debunks a central claim of the former members of the Bush administration on the U.S. invasion of Iraq — that they were acting “on the best intelligence available at the time.” The book shows that statement to be a lie, even though a majority of Americans probably think the statement is right. Propaganda, in the hands of skilled apparatchiks, such as Karl Rove and Michael Gerson — the latter another denizen of the Wash Post opinion pages — is hard to beat back.

Empty words are empty however they are coated; Rice’s article is a poorly threaded garment draped over the truth.

Rice, under orders from the White House PR squad in 2002 that created the image of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, warned the world with tremulous voice that we should fear mushroom clouds on the horizon. So doing, along with Colin Powell, Dick Cheney and the rest, she helped wreck the image of the United States in the world. Not to mention the war itself, which cost countless lives and billions upon billions of dollars.

At least, in the present Washington Post article, Rice comes close to reality in one disjointed phrasing–“The fall of communism unleashed patriots who had long regarded the United States as a “beacon of freedom.” Our history with the peoples of the Middle East is very different.”

Other than that, Rice’s splattering of words on the page adds up to a tone-deaf rendering of Chopsticks, a two-fingered song on the piano, little better than empty space and silence.

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