Wednesday, May 04, 2011

The Preposterous Ms. Rice

If at first glance, the following statement appears stupid, remember: this individual has been, unofficially, given immunity from criticism by American media. Media Matters, with emphasis, has reported this exchange (video, below) between GOP TV's Brian Kilmeade and former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice:

BRIAN KILMEADE: The president in his speech — did a great job on his speech Sunday night — talked about coming together like we did on 9/11, he wants to see it happen again. Do you think a nice gesture would be to invite President Bush out on Thursday when he comes down to Ground Zero to greet the families?

RICE: Well, obviously, I'll leave that to the two of them and to the administration. But President Bush had at Ground Zero probably the most important moment maybe in American history. It was when this wounded nation watched their commander-in-chief stand on that rubble and say that they will hear us, we are going to avenge this. And it's not just avenging Osama bin Laden, as important as that is. But it's all the field generals that have been brought to justice over the last years, it is improving now the prospects for an Afghanistan that might actually be stable, it's a worldwide net against al Qaeda, it's victories of democracy in places like Iraq. And so, slowly but surely this is all coming into place and President Bush began that with that call to the nation — that clarion call to the nation at Ground Zero.

In December, 2001 the Administration (with the advice of General Tommy Franks) let Osama bin Laden escape from Tora Bora into Pakistan as it outsourced the operation to local Afghan warlords. Four months later, President Bush declared of bin Laden, "We haven't heard much from him. And I wouldn't necessarily say he's at the center of any command structure. And, again, I don't know where he is. I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him. I know he is on the run." In June, 2005 the C.I.A. closed "Alec Station," the unit dedicated to tracking down bin Laden. Three months later, Weekly Standard Editor Fred Barnes commented President Bush "just said that’s not a top priority use of American resources."

And now, the GOP's 2008 vice presidential nominee exclaims "We thank President (George W.) Bush for having made the right calls to set up this victory." The House Majority Leader says "I commend President Obama who has followed the vigilance of President Bush in bringing Bin Laden to justice."

Republicans are not speaking with one voice and their remarks about the bin Laden kill have varied dramatically. But only one person has:

-with hearty machismo, paraphrased George W. Bush as declaring "we are going to avenge this" as the President was preparing to use the attack as an excuse to invade Iraq;

-refered to "victories of democracy in places like Iraq" (places like Iraq- were there several?), now the beneficiary of a regime friendly to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran); and

-claimed "President Bush began that with that call to the nation — that clarion call to the nation at Ground Zero." The eloquence of that "clarion call"- an effective use of the bully pulpit- led to two wars paid for with borrowed money as the President ran up a huge debt so he could bestow tax breaks on the wealthy. Bush neglected to use his "clarion call" to ask of Americans any sacrifice while he ran two wars- and the more important one, Afghanistan, on the cheap.

There always will be persons of teflon, such as General David Petraeus. But the mainstream media has a couple excuses there- Petraeus is a man in uniform (see Powell, Colin) and he did enjoy considerable success in Iran. But why no scrutiny of Condoleezza Rice? The mushroom cloud woman was a failure as a foreign policy figure in the Bush Administration. That didn't prevent her, however, from incomprehensibly claiming "President Bush had at Ground Zero probably the most important moment maybe in American history." Posting at DailyKos, Joan McCarter nails it:

Gettysburg, Yorktown, Pearl Harbor, 4 July 1776, 20 July 1969.... Bush shouting inanities. Yeah, that seems right.

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