Thursday, October 21, 2004

Rice Pudding(head)

You probably are not aware that there are TWO important Rices in this year's election. The first Rice is, of course, the intelligent, brilliant, and current National Security Advisor to the Bush Administration, Dr. Condoleeza Rice. The second, who is much less well-known, is an advisor to the Kerry campaign and a former Clinton Administration member, Susan Rice. The Weekly Standard's Stephen Hayes, has an article about the latter Ms. Rice, discussing terrorist Zarqawi:

Here's what Rice said Monday in response to a question about the Kerry campaign's "position on Zarqawi":
"Our position is that he poses a major threat now in Iraq, a threat that frankly wasn't there before the U.S. invasion. But now we have got to go after him and capture him or kill him. Before the invasion, he was in non-Saddam controlled area, very minor, and didn't pose any imminent threat to the U.S., and was not in any way cooperating with al-Qaeda."

She's right about two things: (1) that Zarqawi "poses a major threat now in Iraq;" and (2) "we have got to go after him and capture or kill him."

Everything else is wrong.

Well, who is this person and why should we listen to her? Well, it turns out as Hayes notes above, we shouldn't. Some googling discovers that Ms. Rice has a history of questionable judgement. For one, she was an advisor to the Howard Dean campaign prior to his implosion and exit from the Democratic primaries. To wit:

Dean's team includes Susan E. Rice, former special assistant to President Clinton for national-security affairs and assistant secretary of state for African affairs. Conservatives and hawks might have a natural inclination for a female African-American national-security specialist named Rice. But it's unlikely that Condoleezza Rice would ever utter words considering the domestic political effect of ignoring genocide. As Samantha Power wrote in the September 2001 issue of The Atlantic Monthly:

At an interagency teleconference in late April, Susan Rice, a rising star on the NSC who worked under Richard Clarke, stunned a few of the officials present when she asked, "If we use the word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?" Lieutenant Colonel Tony Marley remembers the incredulity of his colleagues at the State Department. "We could believe that people would wonder that," he says, "but not that they would actually voice it."

Rice does not recall the incident but concedes, "If I said it, it was completely inappropriate, as well as irrelevant."

So, here is the other Ms. Rice worrying about using the "G" word and the impact it might have on national elections. All style and no substance. Is it any wonder she migrated to the Kerry campaign after Dean's went belly-up?

What a puddinghead.

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