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What I Read in the Waiting Room of Hell

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June 16, 2005

Comments

Idyllopus

Great graphic!

Missouri Mule

You nailed it hellhound! Heart, heart, and more heart.

eRobin

Yeah, great image of the fabulous Condi. Rummy gets the same treatment and he's arguably one of the worst SecDefs ever. If I knew more about the history of SecDefs, I'd say he's the worst. And yet, he gets asked questions like he knows what he's talking about.

Agitprop

I love what you did with that image H. Nice work comrades. More unholiness to come soon...

Diane

Fantastic image, Heretik.

What especially troubles me about Rice is that--unlike the others, who are Philistines and yahoos--she actually has the sensibilities of someone who should know better.

The conflict between Rice and Rumsfeld has intensified during the second term, and if I have to side with one of them, I side with Rice, who has at least kept the neo-Cons at bay, despite constant pressure on her to do otherwise. If the conflict explodes, I imagine it will be Rumsfeld who goes. His public image is worse, and his distance from Bush is greater.

Aaron

In a very real sense Condoleezza Rice could be characterized as, a little Southern black girl well out of her depth. She spent the balance of her academic career focusing on Russia and the Soviet Union, in the belief that the Soviet Union would be our major area of conflict in international policy in perpetuity. Well, that assumption was incorrect. She spent a lot of time playing catch-up learning about the Middle East and Africa later on, just as most of the rest of the Bush administration's Cabinet did, a cabinet which was much more geared towards Cold War thinking than anything in the modern world.

Condy's position in the government today is directly attributable to her past position as a trusted member of the oil executive elite which Bush has always relied upon for much of his information. As an executive for Chevron (having had a tanker named after) she seemed indifferent and showed no real interest in hearing the problems of the Nigerian people, problems that the oil industry was a direct contributor to, if not outright responsible for. Today the Nigerian economy is 80% oil driven, while the country's infrastructure and power companies can't even keep the lights on and water flowing. All the major hotels and businesses in the cities are forced to employ electrical generators on a regular basis, and keep barrels around for rainwater storage. Obvious Third World status for one of the planets first world oil producers.

Regardless of all that, I must say I like Condoleezza Rice, I think she's got a good mind and is quite capable. Unfortunately I don't know how she would exercise power, since the policy agenda of the Bush administration is not something she's had any real say in whatsoever. It is in fact the neocons in the government who have dictated that agenda to this day. In fact I would assert that Rice is little more than that agenda dressed up with an African-American female face. In fact within the hierarchy of the administration, regardless of her title as Secretary of State, she is little more than a token Black. The kinder gentler face of "Mamie" within government. She fulfills the the role that white conservative Republicans have always relegated to Black people in modern times... someone to clean up their mess.

Diane

Yes, the neo-Cons put the whole thing together, but since she has become Secretary of State, the proposed neo-Con appointments have all been deep-sixed by her. That's what I meant. Not one has gotten by her, so she must have some kind of power.

Aaron

Diane

That's right, there's no doubt that Secretary of State Rice is a willing participant, a cheerleader if you will, in the whole Bush administration approach, but that approach was never really Bush's, it was always that of those standing behind him, Wolfowitz, Cheney etc..

Since Colin Powell wouldn't sit still for what was going on, they had to put someone in there who was ostensibly a yes-man, or yes-woman as the case may be. But when Bush looked to his advisers and they had no answers, he basically did what every scared white Southern boy does, though I'll grant you he wasn't born in the South, he runs home to Mama. And in this case Mama is Condoleezza. Whatever happens now is on her head. So she's not going to just sit back and let someone else do her job, but she's surely going to pay attention to George, and we know who George is paying attention to.

Now that Paul Wolfowitz is out of the government, he's probably got more control than he ever had while he was in it. No doubt he and George are on the phone every night, and he's telling George, much like what von Rundstedt told Hitler, "you can still win this thing." And every morning Condoleezza has to remind Georgie that the president has to pay attention to the Constitution and abide by law. Now especially with the Downing Street memos revealed, and things going badly in Iraq, they are desperately searching for a way to salvage their plans. I think Condy is the voice of reason however hobbled she may be. A bit starstruck early on in the administration, it's likely the good sense she inherited from her mother is finally kicking in.

I guess we should be thankful that there is a levelheaded Black woman in the administration trying to prevent George from turning this little war on terrorism into some kind of biblical conflagration or a true exercise in commercial empire building, which is exactly what the neocons would like.

The underlying purpose of Condoleezza's posting to Secretary of State is the hope that she'll be able to salvage this debacle, and if not, well hey, the expandability of black women is well known down in Texas. Unfortunately, as I stated, she doesn't really hold the power that a Secretary of State should have, much like what Colin Powell was faced with when he held the post. In a deep sense, they both represent the archetypal black conservative Republican, lots of show, with only the power their white Massas allow them.

I wonder whether they ask themselves whether it was really worth it, selling off a part of their soul in the hopes of subverting the system to gain some semblance of power, eventually winding up little more than figureheads. There is no little irony in the fact that the two African-Americans who have arguably held the most powerful posts in US history, actually had less real power than any other secretaries of State in history. I wonder how they'll answer that question in the end... was it worth it?

Either Condoleezza will come out of this a shining star or she'll take the fall for the administration, one or the other. Either way the neocon, corporate and evangelical interests that really drive this administration's policy will undoubtedly appear in succeeding Republican administrations.

Now all we need is an act of God that eliminates George, Dick, and the speaker of the House so that Condoleezza becomes president. Then she would really be in charge, a black woman leading the most powerful country on the planet, that would be interesting to see.

Grace Nearing

Regardless of all that, I must say I like Condoleezza Rice, I think she's got a good mind and is quite capable.

Well, I respectfully disagree. Anybody who has spent any time in the world of post-graduate studies would spot Rice for the poseur that she is -- because Lord knows they grow like weeds there.

Scourge

It seems that Condoleeza Rice is credited with lots of book learning - and we all know just how strong a correlation there is between one's actual competence and one's educayshun, don't we?

In fact, her technical abilities are irrelevant to the issue at hand. No good can come of whatever abilities she may genuinely possess, given her clear willingness to apply any such talents in the service of malevolent and rapacious greed.

barbaramcgee

ihad to laugh at chris mathews interview with condi what a joke.thats what you call soft ball. what happened to chris.imus called him sissy boy he is so afraid of bush hes afraid to critize him.he only cares about keeping his show on the air

Aaron

Grace

Well if you'd been in that world, then you realize how permeated Ph.D. land is with poseurs. But perhaps you confuse posturing with pretending, another one of those things few can avoid on the road to attaining a doctorate. Without a little pretentious posturing many a Ph.D. student would falter. And of course such things are helpful in politics as well, if our own Congress is any measure.

Back in the 80s I was fortunate to get ahold of some of her writings from her postgraduate studies, impressive to say the least. I've seen plenty of people walking around out there with doctorates that don't have a quarter of her mind. After reviewing some of her work I got the impression that underneath that polished academic veneer, was a true ideologue lurking, a true believer, maybe even an idealist. Granted this work was from her 20s and 30s, before she became enmeshed in American corporate structure, but I think she's held on to her beliefs. While I may not agree with her, I much prefer such people in opposition to me politically, as opposed to those who are completely co-opted by the political meat grinder in America. Those who will do and say most anything to make political hay, like what we saw in the Schiavo case. I don't see Condy doing things like that. And I'm grateful to have someone in the Republican Party who will step up and say, I'm not going to go there.

I guess that's why I'd like to see her in power, at least it would be someone on the right who would actually follow their own internal morality, as opposed to one that's been fabricated for them. As far as Commander-in-Chief's go, I much prefer someone who has an established ethical structure from their youth. As opposed to one that's been manufactured after disillusionment, much like what we see with George W. Bush. Such people are far too easily lead, in my opinion. And that's also exactly why he is so appealing to corporate interests in this country.

I guess, like Jean-Paul Sartre, I'm a believer in humanity, though I find human beings to be rather a disappointment.


Scourge

I assume Chris Matthews first priority, as far as his career is concerned, are his ratings. But I don't think he has any problem articulating his personal viewpoint, though you don't see a lot of that on his show, which I think is to his credit.

I saw him on Real Time with Bill Marr before the election, and I thought he laid out the political choices for the American people beautifully, while at the same time establishing exactly where he stands. I was delighted and surprised actually at how forthright he is with regard to his political position. Before that I was not too sure where he stood.

He's a freakin liberal, or a least as liberal as anybody with his background can be.

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