By Matthew Rothschild
Friday 28 July 2006
After being one of the most inept national security advisers in the nation's history, Condoleezza Rice is now earning the same grade as secretary of state.
Her description of the conflagration in Lebanon as the "birthpangs of a new Middle East" was about as callous as it gets, matched only by Bush's remark that the conflict represents "a moment of opportunity." The 400 Lebanese who have died, an overwhelming number of them civilian and many of them children, were not feeling any birthpangs. They were feeling deathpangs.
Nor were families of the Israeli victims (about 50 so far, and most of them soldiers) cheering the new day, either.
Rice's cruel opposition to an immediate cease-fire has left the whole world outside of Israel (and Tony Blair's kennel) aghast.
And U.N. Ambassador John Bolton's sneering about a cease-fire not being "the alpha and omega" only reinforced the arrogance.
More than half a million people in Lebanon have been turned into refugees in just a matter of weeks.
Israelis are bunkered in bomb shelters.
And all Rice can do is issue hollow words of concern and then sabotage any immediate cease-fire?
The expediting of U.S. bombs to Israel at the same time sent an all too obvious message. Did they fly in carriage on the same plane that took Rice to the region? Is she bringing another load with her this time?
As Rice did in the lead up to the Iraq War, so she is doing now: She's drinking her own propaganda.
The Iraq War was going to redraw the map of the Middle East.
Now the Lebanon War is going to do the trick?
The Iraqi people were going to welcome the Americans with open arms.
Now the Lebanese people are going to rise up and somehow defeat Hezbollah when Israel can't even do the job?
Politically naïve, Rice also appears woefully jejune about human nature.
When people are being attacked by a foreign power, they rarely rally to that foreign power's side.
And when a group in their midst fights back against the invaders, that group doesn't lose support, it gains support.
The United States and Israel have succeeded only in making heroes of Hezbollah thugs.
Rice's green light for Olmert's spilling of red blood has managed only to further enrage the Arab and Muslim world and isolate the United States among its allies (except, of course, for Tony Blair, who is still wagging his tail and licking Bush's face).
It is not in the interests of the United States, and it is not in Israel's interests either, to show the international community utter disdain. And the war crimes of Israel, and Rice's blessing of them, will long be remembered.
Where was Condoleezza Rice when Israel bombed the only power plant in Gaza, bringing about a humanitarian crisis?
Where was Condoleezza Rice, when Israel inflicted collective punishment on the sovereign people of Lebanon?
Where was Condoleezza Rice, when Israel was killing more than 100 Lebanese children?
Condoleezza Rice was in Israel's corner.
For five and a half years, Rice did nothing about the most serious problem in the Middle East, and now she's done worse than nothing.
Rice believes in is the diplomacy of the F-16.
And that style of diplomacy is crashing and burning.