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The dazzler that dimmed (Condi Rice)

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:27 PM
Original message
The dazzler that dimmed (Condi Rice)
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 09:28 PM by ProSense
Condoleezza Rice

The dazzler that dimmed

Aug 16th 2007
From The Economist print edition

IT IS hard to believe now, but as recently as the spring of 2005 Condoleezza Rice was being touted for the presidency of the United States. She had just been appointed secretary of state in succession to Colin Powell at the start of George Bush's second term, and a world tour was going well. In Paris, the French ambassador to America remarked, everyone was determined to fall in love with her. She wowed the crowds in Wiesbaden by arriving in knee-high leather boots. Her spokesman went so far as to fuel speculation about a White House bid by planting a question with a helpful journalist.

Ms Rice's star, which rose so fast, has plunged back into obscurity, and the reason is easy for anyone reading this pair of biographies to see. As secretary of state, she has mostly failed in grappling with a web of problems that she herself helped to create when she was turning out to be a notably weak national security adviser. Mr Powell presciently said of Iraq, If you break it, you own it. That might serve as an epitaph for Ms Rice's career at the top of American policymaking.

Of the two books, Marcus Mabry's is the more comprehensive, a full-scale biography covering Ms Rice's life from childhood in segregated and violent Birmingham, Alabama, to the present day. He takes as his book's title a saying in the Rice family that, as a black American (let alone a female one), you needed to be twice as good to succeed. Yet much of what he recounts belies this. Ms Rice grew up in what may then have been America's most racially charged city; she herself heard and felt the explosion when white supremacists blew up the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church there in 1963. Her family, however, moved to far more tolerant Colorado when she was 12, where her father quickly rose to a senior administrative position at the University of Denver.
Click here to find out more!

Ms Rice's early careerfirst to a place at that same university, then to Stanford, then to the National Security Council in Washington, DC, then back to Stanford to become provost at the age of only 38shows doors opening readily enough. Mr Mabry produces nothing to suggest she needed to be anything like twice as good.

Her biggest break came in 2000, when Candidate George Bush chose her to coach him in foreign policy, of which he admitted to knowing almost nothing. Mr Mabry makes much of the instant rapport between these two very different types, the cautious blue-stocking and the reformed hell-raiser, though he cannot entirely explain it. Ms Rice has described the candidate as having an incredibly inquisitive mind. Mr Bush was later to describe Ms Rice as the most powerful woman in the history of the world.

Which makes it mysterious how she came to serve him so badly. The national security adviser is meant to co-ordinate foreign-policy making. Yet in that job Ms Rice seemed entirely unable to resolve the many disputes between Donald Rumsfeld at Defence and Mr Powell at State. Even without that failure, it would have been impossible not to allot her much of the blame for the mistakes in Iraq. If she realised America was sending too few troops and had rejected all post-war planning, she should have told the president: she had his ear, and access. If she did not realise, she should have done.

more


"Rice rolled her eyes, turned to US reporters and silently mouthed, 'Don't hold your breath.'"


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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
1. Behind every miserable failure
stand the people reinforcing their worst tendencies.

Thanks, Condi.

Oh, and by the way: you're never going to be NFL commissioner either.
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
2. There might have been a time when Condoleezza Rice represented the
Edited on Sat Aug-18-07 09:44 PM by Old Crusoe
ascent of her political party and its future prospects, with herself at the helm. Cheney might have stepped aside in summer of 2004, say, and Dubya appointed Dr. Rice as veep for the Republican ticket, a strategic ploy to lure Afro-American and female votes from the Democratic Party, to weaken the Democrats by draining two definitional components of their base coalition. In a tight race -- and both of Dubya's have been so tight he had to cheat to win them -- Dr. Rice might have tilted the demographics just enough to secure a more comfortable margin of victory for her Cowboy and establish herself as the future power to be reckoned with in GOP ranks.

That scenario seems long ago and far away -- and that's even as a speculative projection. Even further as a reality then, nevermind now.

I'm left with the sturdy, steady impression that she's in over her head, that her Russian studies did not prepare her for a post-Cold War world, that she is pointlessly willful, isolative, and bruises easily, and is scordnfully grudge-holding.

Dr. Rice smiles less than almost any public figure I can think of.

Her role at State appears to have been custodial at best.

I'll remember her for her abandonment of Brahms -- who in some ways is the perfect composer for an isolative personality -- all those intricate chromatics and byzantine fingerings -- and as a power-driven flibbityjibbit whose lies were circuitous and contemptous before Foreign Relation Committee and 9/11 committees -- panels comprised of men and women with less star power than Condi but more experience and insight.

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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #2
6. She was wrong about her speciality-Russia.
http://www.counterpunch.org/flanders04082004.html

(I know it's Counterpunch, but damnit--she was wrong.) She was not ready to accept that the enemy could turn.

Like Powell, Rice entered the second Bush presidency with her premier quality being not her know-how but her loyalty. "Rice? She was wrong, but she was loyal, and her views didn't seem to be too rigid," says American Enterprise fellow Anders Aslund who spent much time on Capitol Hill in the Gorbachev years.

After she left Washington to resume her position at Stanford in March 1991, (and to take up a position on the Board of Directors of Chevron,) Rice continued her service to the Bush administration in the media, appearing on ABC's Nightline and elsewhere defending her colleague, Robert Gates (Bush's National Security Council Director) who was just then facing stiff grilling during his confirmation to become Director of Central Intelligence (DCI.)


She displays a little "go along to get along" personality. She ignored the AUG 6 PDB because it was not in her world-view--the Bin Laden--so "Clinton era, really." (So WTF was Sandy Berger even on about?) So failures of the past, when we could totally have our own failures of the future...really. Why could we not totally concentrate on the Islamofakitupfascism instead of fighting the IslamoContras we created like 20-years ago? Really? Er--(and she duels Rumsfeld, him with a letter opener, her with a butterknife.) They take it seriously, each snubbing the other, and failing to cooperate--epecially crumby once she's in Colin's shoes...and he's still in Cheney's....

Alackaday! She is a-shopping of the shoes when Hurricane Katrina and its waves catch her...and herself..she's so not like that--not shallow...not playing piano while our liberties burn nor wearing SM fantasy gear to summits--she isn't about that--whoever her..hus...band...er...hmm...meanwhile in her happy place...

Chevron loves her.

Somebody somewhere might want to be her.

But deep in her heart she knows--she taught W how to pronounce the names of those he hates, and taught him who hates his daddy--enough to have tried to kill him--back in '93 or 4 (according to Kuwaiti intelligence, they of the incubator nonsense) , when Clinton was President, and had the bombs to retaliate....damn, why wasn't George more smart? To be relevant earlier, and be there, then? Presidential, even? How he internally grumbled eight long years--and how she had to hear it as she flipped those flashcards....

How little he or she knew...

It all lead to Baghdad...and war...and the Neo-con fantasy...and Cheney's Haliburton...and oh so much more...

and not any of it statescraft, not at Scowcroft and Baker level...and all of it so nearly dumpable on her--for not saying no, or even knowing she should. What the consequences are. Why it's not out Viet Nam, but our Afghanistan, while we're, damnitall, in Afghanistan, too.





Sometimes these guys really forget what they started lying about in the first damn place. Truly Reaganesque.

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GeorgeGist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:39 PM
Response to Original message
3. Dazzler to the Dim
an empty shell.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:46 PM
Response to Original message
4. Yeah, condisleaze made a hellava
national security adviser too..going down in infamy as the adviser to do nothing even with warnings of impending disaster with the August 6, 2001 memo. If we had a free press she would have fucking been excoriated in the press as well as bushit.

I cannot wait for the pendulum to swing and knock them off their bar stools.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. Heckuva job Condie!
BushCo SOP: Fuck up and move up.

In any rational government, she would have been unemployed on Sept 12, 2001.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. A rational press
would have been calling for her head.
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Wiley50 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. What I Want to Know: How did she get on the board of Chevron?
It leaves that part out, notably
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MadMaddie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 10:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. She may have been book trained but she NEVER had the people
skills....that goes for anyjob...if you cannot understand people and the simple fact that people change according to situations then you are fucked...she apparantly has been that way her whole life...

What an embarrassment she is....she and her family have always thought they were above the common blacks in this country....her father thought Martin Luther King should be arrested.....

Sad, Sad woman.....
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-18-07 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. The woman has no "alma" - soul!!!
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Tatiana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:04 AM
Response to Original message
10. Condi has been wrong, like everyone else in this administration, on EVERY critical issue.
Edited on Sun Aug-19-07 12:06 AM by Tatiana
We can go back to Russia, if need be to prove her predictions incorrect.

It is criminal that a NSA who had no clue about national security or foreign policy in today's world would actually get a PROMOTION. I can't think of anyone who has had a greater failure at diplomacy abroad. Oh, well there was that time that they sent Karen Hughes oversees...

Condi, along with all the other Iran-Contra relics, should be banned from working in federal government.
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:40 AM
Response to Original message
11. I don't get that statement - "Dazzler" ?@???
Since when? She was never anything but an idiot, from day 1. She was never a Star which Lost its Luster. She was always a bottom-feeding crustacean, a person devoid of principles, and internal sense of direction, other than following orders from "Big Daddy" Dick Cheney.


The press must truly be starved for some stories, ain't it the truth.

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Mandate My Ass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. They tried this same tactic with Rumsfeld. It didn't work then either
Neither of them had an iota of "star quality" or whatever sunshine they were trying to pump up the public's collective skirts. He's abrasive/inept/unethical and she's sullen/inept/oblivious.
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BrotherBuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
12. Condoleezza Rice was the poster girl for the reich
She was a powerful icon. In substance her persona was completely impotent, delivering the PR message,designed by her corporatist puppet masters.

Having an afro-American Secretary of State for a fascist junta imposed by sequential coups was the ultimate hypocrisy. She was the perfect disguise. How does one address a walking, talking, living, breathing lie? She was an animated programed Potemkin village for a society and foreign policy based upon brutal force, inequity, racism, and class warfare.
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scarletwoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. Wow! Awesome post! "She was an animated programed Potemkin village...
for a society and foreign policy based upon brutal force, inequity, racism, and class warfare."

Beautifully said!

sw
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saltpoint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-20-07 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. There is a palpable element of betrayal in Dr. Rice.
Part of it is the natural byproduct -- a career discharge if you will -- of rising to the level of one's incompetence. For national security and diplomacy, you simply have to be This High to ride this ride, and Dr. Rice never measured up. She was one of dozens of absolutely miserable appointees by George W. Bush.

Agree with you that another part is her perfect disguise. A mannequin enabler on one hand and a betraying powermonger on the other. An unmarried esoteric Brahms adept who is using Bush to feed her craven ego. Brahms wouldn't have cared much how fashionably she dressed, and the music was never good enough for her, or it was for a while maybe until she allowed the power game to consume her initial instincts. Long ago she must have been Good Condi -- the bright, bright student, the advanced affirmer rising from humble start to stellar heights. But time spent on the Directors' board of big oil companies changed Good Condi into Political Condi, forgetting that the destination for Political Condi would likely expose Incompetent Condi.

"Memo? What memo?" The 9/11 committee rightly mocked her answer. Condi predictably accelerated her lying. No one cared that she was a Russia expert. Even fewer that she had mastered Brahms. She'd abandoned them herself; why should anybody else care?

The woman's a disgrace.
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