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Even by the rather warlike standards of the U.S. foreign policy establishment, she's a hawk.   The fact that Susan Rice will not be the next Secretary of State should give us some reason for hope, if no real relief from festering worry about the role of the United States in the ugly, contagious religious wars that are spreading in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Humanitarian intervention has gone badly wrong in Libya and Syria.  The hoped-for bloodless regime change has proven another terrible vanity of liberal internationalists, like nation building in IndoChina did four decades ago.  U.S. involvement in conflicts in MENA have marred the first Obama term, and now threaten even greater carnage and another major American war in the Persian Gulf.

As much as anyone in this Administration, except perhaps Hillary Clinton, Rice is intimately associated with the wars of the last decade, going back to Iraq, she has been a cheer leader for U.S. military intervention.  I was surprised to see how few on DailyKos were really aware of how far to the right her views on the Middle East really are.  But, here's a reminder:

- MORE -
Susan Rice Vocally Supported the Iraq War, and Every Mid-East War Since

[Nov. 28] After weeks of dog whistles and GOP bullshit, the truth about Susan Rice is finally emerging. It may not be what those Democrats who have circled their wagons around her may expect or want in the next US Secretary of State:

Susan Rice was a cheerleader for Bush’s invasion of Iraq (11/02, 12/02, 02/03)
Assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration, Rice has been a prominent foreign policy spokesperson for the Obama campaign. Here are some of her claims shortly before the invasion of Iraq:

“I think he has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don’t think many informed people doubted that.” (NPR, Feb. 6, 2003)

“We need to be ready for the possibility that the attack against the U.S. could come in some form against the homeland, not necessarily on the battlefield against our forces. And I think there, too, is an area where the American people need to be better prepared by our leadership. … It’s clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It’s clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that’s the path we’re on. I think the question becomes whether we can keep the diplomatic balls in the air and not drop any, even as we move forward, as we must, on the military side.” (NPR, Dec. 20, 2002)

“I think the United States government has been clear since the first Bush administration about the threat that Iraq and Saddam Hussein poses. The United States policy has been regime change for many, many years, going well back into the Clinton administration. So it’s a question of timing and tactics. … We do not necessarily need a further Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions. (NPR, Nov. 11, 2002)[/blockquote]

Susan Rice advocated the US stay in Iraq “for many years to come” (04/03)

- MORE - [/div]

Susan Rice Was Not Scapegoated Over Benghazi

Questions have been raised about why Susan Rice rather than Hillary Clinton, or a Deputy, came forward as the principal Administration spokesperson following the Benghazi attack.  Indeed, Clinton has also avoided comment on Rice's withdrawal, just as she avoids making firm statements about many things lately, except for her certainty that Iran must be confronted, as she expressed last night in her interview with Barbara Walter. (See her comment at 3:30-4:30, the rest is about Hillary's hair):

Was Susan Rice scapegoated over the Benghazi incident? Remember, that Rice, the UN Ambassador, was put forward as spokesman on Benghazi because the State Dept had embargoed comments by Department spokespersons.  That embargo came about because of concerns already raised about inconsistencies in statements being made by various people at Foggy Bottom. and the already audible stirring of Congressional protests to David Petraeus' very misleading initial briefing given to Congressional leaders shortly after the attack.

I'm sure Rice volunteered to serve at the point. She was deeply invested in the Libyan regime change, so she felt determined to shape the public perceptions of the attack in order to defend the policy. That decision, however foreseeably, blew back on her.

There's more to the Benghazi "intelligence catastophe," as the NYT headlined it, than is being alleged publicly by John McCain, et al. That's why Hillary has been staying away from any and all personal contact. Everyone knows in DC what Benghazi and the spreading MENA conflict is political and career poison, it's like VX nerve gas.  Don't let it touch you.  Look what's already happened to David Petraeus, a cluster of generals, and now Susan Rice.


Taking a larger view, the Benghazi catastrophe has more to do with the failure to quickly restabilize both Libya and Syria, and the flow of manpads, arms and Jihadis out of Benghazi than the tragic fact that Amb. Stevens and three CIA contractors were killed by al-Qaeda.  There appear to have been were some high-level (mis)representations made in the White House early 2011 akin to Tenet's "slam dunk" claims about selling the Iraq War to the UN and finding Saddam’s WMD.  These things tend to end some promising careers.

Outcomes in Libya and Syria, and indeed in the region, are far worse than any of those pushing regime change predicted, and we're on the verge of a regional Sunni-Shi'ia civil war with all sorts of blowback potential.

No, there's something much worse going on that the death of four Americans and some misleading statements by Rice five days later. Obama's very hawkish, neocon-influenced foreign policy team has been shown to be very, very wrong about outcomes of regime change across a very, very dangerous region.

The GOP don't know what to do with this because they're also supporters of the same "all roads lead to Tehran" regime change operation that's gone very, very bad.


I may be naive, but I thought Obama offered some hope for change and a new policy in the Mideast.

Early on in the Administration, John Kerry became Obama's personal emissary for back-channels diplomacy with Syria and was reportedly making significant progress when suddenly, in January last year, the Syrian opposition in exile declared a rebellion. The same thing happened almost simultaneously in Libya, and events in the two countries tracked each other closely leading up to the outbreak of armed insurrection and civil war.

On March 8, the first of a series of deadly confrontations between the Syrian regime and armed demonstrators broke out in Daraa. Snipers killed 16 policemen and a Sunni mob exiting Friday prayers attacked and burned the Ba'ath Party headquarters in that city. Within a week tanks were in the street, and the rest is history.

These early triggering events involving snipers and armed attacks on government buildings were largely overlooked by al Jazeera and the rest of the Gulf Arab media which were covering events live. Most of the western media got its reports of massacres of unarmed protestors, not what actually happened in Daraa to trigger the civil war, directly from the opposition spokesmen in London and Paris, and broadcast it unfiltered and unconfirmed. Diplomacy ended.

The big winner in Syria and Libya is the most radical Sunni Jihadis sponsored by Saudis who were rewarded with huge amounts of Gulf Arab money along with arms shipments coordinated by the CIA, the British, and the French intelligence agencies to bring down the Syrian regime. It looks like militarily, they may finally after tens of thousands of casualties succeed, but the US and its western allies will then have to deal with a much larger, better armed Salaafist military movement than the one that emerged from similar covert operations against the Soviets and Serbs in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Serbia. That, by the way, also happened under a Democratic Administration under many of the same leadership and top intelligence officers running this operation. The potential for blowback from the Sunni-Shi'ia wars as the present conflict grows and spreads regionally makes 9/11 seem almost insignificant by comparison.

If we're really lucky, it may be that some of the smarter people in Washington, including this President, have come to finally recognize the terrible risks and may be changing course and getting rid of some of the principal regime changers.


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Comment Preferences

  •  He never nominated her. So why the uproar? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FiredUpInCA, doroma

    And I find it really, really hard to believe Obama thought she would make it through if nominated. He knows the game by now, so why use your best piece first?

    Rice was too easy a target and her withdrawal far too predictable - and early frankly. Not buying it.

    If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

    by DoctorWho on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:34:54 PM PST

  •  Hope Obama looks outside the box (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and nominates Biden for Secretary of State.

    Then he could nominate Hillary Clinton for Vice President.

    •  Put down the crack pipe n/t (13+ / 0-)

      The 47% also "pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more" but when Romney does it he thinks it's a virtue, while when they do it, he thinks they are deadbeats.

      by jsfox on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:54:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  hahaha, good one (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I assume it's a snark 'cause it ain't close to reality

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:28:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe, but it has something for everyone. (0+ / 0-)

        Hillary Clinton gets to be the first female VP and a not very demanding position while she decides if she runs in 2016.

        Obama gets to advance the cause of equal rights for women and pays back the Clintons for their support.

        Biden gets a job that enhances his resume in an area that he is likely to do well.

        The Senate GOP gets to squirm and think up reasons that Biden and Clinton are not qualified when everyone knows they are.

        •  not really (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          SoS is a big step down from being the nations elected VP and next in line for the Presidency. Biden is also President of the Senate and is part of all cabinet meetings and anything else this administration does. So there is really no way he'd take such a big demotion.

          Hillary sure as hell doesn't want to step in as VP for another four years of being at Obama's beck and call. She'd stand a chance of being blamed for things not in her control be it war, economy or a terrorist attack. Right now she's sitting in the catbirds seat and all she needs to do is wait and decide. No way she'd agree to take Bidens place.

          and I see it wasn't a snark after all

          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

          by cacamp on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:26:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, whatever: (12+ / 0-)
    Humanitarian intervention has gone badly wrong in Libya and Syria.  The hoped-for bloodless regime change has proven another terrible vanity of liberal internationalists
    Libya is actually doing pretty well when one considers that they just stepped out of over 40 years of tyrannical rule.

    I know plenty of Libyans and they definitely don't see things the way that you do.

    "Thanks" for lending credence to the stupid RW conspiracy theories about Libya, though.

    And jfyi, there are virtually no Shia in Libya.

    "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

    by Lawrence on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:36:41 PM PST

    •  Libya is not really "doing pretty well" (4+ / 0-)

      If you do a search or RSS feed sweep of Libya in recent months, this is just the few items in the initial take that you come up with (not edited for effect):


      Reports: Armed Militiamen Besiege Libya's Parliament
      Nov 2, 2012 – Some 100 armed militiamen enraged over the Cabinet line-up of new ... Despite the latest political developments, violent clashes still break out ...
      Why is There Still Violence in Libya › ... › Middle East Issues › Countries › Libya
      The violence in Libya has crushed hopes for a happy transition to democracy after ... this before the country's political forces have even begun to discuss key issues, ... Qaddafi's opponents formed city militias, armed groups that recruited both ...
      Rival Libya militias battle on streets of Tripoli | Reuters
      Nov 4, 2012 – The violence underscored the challenge faced by Libya's first freely-elected government, approved just last week, to rein in militias which ...
      Libyan Counter-Protests: An Everyday Affair? | Political Violence ...
      Oct 1, 2012 – When Libyan protestors channeled their anger against the violent ... then stormed it, burning cars and forcing the militia members to flee. ... However, when illegal armed actors do exist in cities, they tend to be heavily armed.
      Armed and jobless militias worry Libya deputy PM - The National
      The new deputy prime minister of Libya discusses his concerns as the fledgling government moves forward. ... As many as 200,000 militiamen remain armed and unemployed, the deputy prime minister Mustafa ... in Libya have been widely reported, but Mr Abushagur downplays the threat of violence. ... Back to Politics ...
      Libya's army evicts unauthorized militias -
      Sep 25, 2012 – Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- A newly formed unit of the Libyan Army has carried out nonviolent raids on rogue militia positions in and around Tripoli ...
      Ex-head of milita
    •  I smell... (4+ / 0-)

      a Ron Paulite here.  Like Charles Pierce said:

      If you listen to a Ron Paul fan, or to the man himself, for five minutes, you will agree with everything he says. However, at precisely the 5:00.01 mark of the conversation, they, or he, will say something so completely drawn from the archives of the Planet Zontar that you will find yourself sidling towards the door at an alarming rate.
      And here we have some reasonable discourse over Rice's hawkish views.  OK, fine.  And then, yeah, at 5:00:01 into reading this, it went into cuckoo conspiracy land about what really happened in Libya and Syria.
      •  Get your sniffer recalibrated. This isn't part of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        truong son traveler

        some GOP conspiracy.  The election's over.  Can you still think outside partisan terms?

        If it isn't self-evident that the US carried out regime change operations in both countries, you are the one who needs to be talked down from the Planet Zonar.  The only question is when, exactly, did the US, UK, French, Saudi, Qatari, and Turkish intelligence take an active role in arming, financing, and leading the opposition.  The second question that isn't being asked in the corporate media is what role, exactly did foreign controlled fighters have in the early shooting stages that ignited the civil wars.  

        As I pointed out, it's no great secret that the US has been intimately involved with exile groups from both countries for many years.   That part isn't Zonar - to deny it, however, is willful blindness.

    •  "Doing pretty well" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, allenjo

      From the Australian Government:

      This Advice was last issued on Monday, 12 November 2012.  

      It contains updated information under Civil unrest/political tension (security environment remains fragile throughout Libya and violent clashes could occur without warning). We continue to advise Australians not to travel to Libya due to the unpredictable security situation throughout the country.

      There have been a number of attacks on Western interests in Libya in 2012.


      Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

      by truong son traveler on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:41:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What? (8+ / 0-)
    The hoped-for bloodless regime change has proven another terrible vanity of liberal internationalists
    There was no intervention in Libya until it was requested by the Libyans and it already wasn't bloodless. And Syria was a bloody mess long before we even spoke of getting involved and we still haven't.

    Starting out with incorrect fact or hyperbole throws the entire diary into question.

    Oh and Rice is heading to the White House tomorrow more than likely to get offered the job as National Security Advisor.

    The 47% also "pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more" but when Romney does it he thinks it's a virtue, while when they do it, he thinks they are deadbeats.

    by jsfox on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 05:38:14 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leveymg, truong son traveler

    the situation is complicated and in flux; i appreciate having an  informed overview to add perspective.

  •  The revealingly substance-free fight over Rice (5+ / 0-)

    The revealingly substance-free fight over Susan Rice
    Her record of war advocacy and close ties to tyrants is notably missing from the debate over whether she should be Secretary of State

    Glenn Greenwald on the choice.

  •  Are You Suggesting That U.S. Foreign Policy Was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    responsible for the Arab Spring?  

    After Tunisia, IIRC, other Arab states experienced similar unrest.  And, in the case of Egypt, it was to the administration's chagrin.  
    Libyans were already in open revolt against Khaddafi and dying before the US and its allies decided to prevent a massacre in Benghazi.

    I'm just recapping the sequence because the diary indicates that the US at some point had a strategy and some control over these still developing events.  

    What evidence is there that the U.S. was pulling strings (or that those strings broke) in Libya?

    Susan Rice aside, it's so easy to blame the administration for things that they have no control over and that have not even come to fruition, IMO we should leave that to the GOTP.

    •  As of April '11, we were openly involved in Libya (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      That's the date when Chris Stevens arrived in Benghazi to coordinate the militias in Benghazi.  

      Prior to that, the US, UK and France were funding, training, and advising the very same leading exile groups that called for the uprisings beginning with the Feb 2 "Day of Rage" in Syria and similiar, simultaneous calls to arms in Libya that eminated from opposition internet sites in London and Paris.

      Yes, we were involved in arranging the Arab Spring for many years before it 'happened' in early 2011.  

      That much is simply self-evident.  One has to look back at the timelines and see the striking pattern of parallel events that unfolded in the two countries leading up to the civil wars in March.

      It's a  self-evident fiction that Syria regime change hasn't been US policy for a long time.  The only question is what role the US took directly in the initial stages preceding the armed uprising.  The timeline tells us that occurred in Daraa.  The peaceful protests lasted for less than two months before the battle for Daraa started on 04/08/11 with killings on both sides.

      Same chain of events happened, virtually simultaneously in Benghazi. The pattern in both countries, focused on these two cities, was broadly as follows:

      Month One: The Twitter Factor - exile groups promote “Days of Rage.” Largely ignored.
      Month Two: Demonstrations grow, calls for overthrow of regime. A few serious casualties.
      Five-Six weeks: Militants shoot at police and demonstrators during riots, Police/Army overrreact, massacres.
      Seventh week, and thereafter: Mob Anger, Storming of Gov't buildings, arsenals looted, troops attacked, foreign fighters and al Qaeda carry out bombings, civil war.
      Coverage of events by “liberal” western media fixates on Month Two phase of the opposition, armed mobs and killings of police not covered; coverage of the regime focuses almost exclusively military response; PR for Islamic Revolution and "humanitarian intervention."  

      •  Here are more specific parallel events in Libya (0+ / 0-)

        A "Day of Rage" in Libya and by Libyans in exile was planned for 17 February.[107][122][123] The National Conference for the Libyan Opposition asked that all groups opposed to the Gaddafi government protest on 17 February in memory of demonstrations in Benghazi five years earlier.[107] The plans to protest were inspired by the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution.[107] Protests took place in Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Derna, Zintan, and Bayda. Libyan security forces fired live ammunition into the armed protests. Protesters torched a number of government buildings, including a police station.[124][125] In Tripoli, television and public radio stations had been sacked, and protesters set fire to security buildings, Revolutionary Committee offices, the interior ministry building, and the People's Hall.[126][127] According to a report from the International Crisis Group, "much Western media coverage has from the outset presented a very one-sided view of the logic of events, portraying the protest movement as entirely peaceful and repeatedly suggesting that the government's security forces were unaccountably massacring unarmed demonstrators who presented no security challenge".[126]

        On 18 February, police and army personnel later withdrew from Benghazi after being overwhelmed by protesters. Some army personnel also joined the protesters; they then seized the local radio station. In Bayda, unconfirmed reports indicated that the local police force and riot-control units had joined the protesters.[128] On 19 February, witnesses in Libya reported helicopters firing into crowds of anti-government protesters.[129] The army withdrew from the city of Bayda.

  •  Very little in your diary about Susan Rice (5+ / 0-)

    involvement. Where was the connection to Susan Rice in the other conflicts you mentioned. By the way, would this also disqualify Hillary Clinton, considering she actually voted for the Iraq war? There are few if any clean hands.

    •  Thank you. (0+ / 0-)

      At least be honest about the rant here.  If this person wants to criticize the Obama Administration on what I find as the same talking points as the GOP, then be up front about it.  Don't attack this woman, because I view it as something else.

    •  there are plenty of clean hands (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      in the democratic party, people who saw what iraq would turn into and voted against it, but non-hawks are not considered "serious" on matters of foreign policy by the DC establishment. agreed that clinton ain't one of them.

    •  For more about Rice see follow-on diary (0+ / 0-)


      In response to your second point, Hillary and Barack had a deal going back to the first Convention that Clinton would be SoS for one term.  Obama made that deal despite her vote on the Iraq AUF and has kept it regardless of what has happened during the past couple years.  Time, now, for a clean start.  

  •  Look. This woman is no hawk. (4+ / 0-)

    Not anymore than anyone else Obama would nominate, including Senator Kerry, so stop it with the besmirching of her name already.  It is hardly a damn blessing.

  •  yes, she was scapegoated to thwart Obama (3+ / 0-)

    She may be a hawk but she was badly misused by the McCain gang. But you never back up your claim she wasn't scapegoated. In fact the responsible parties were there with her when McCain and gang grilled her in seperate meetings. The acting CIA director told them she was speaking from a fact sheet they had provided so it's very clear who made the assesment and it wasn't Rice.

    Everyone concerned knows it but they kept the pressure on Rice for more nefarious reasons such as getting Kerry out of the senate and Brown back in his seat. It's also obvious that McCain et al didn't scapegoat her for being a hawk since hawks of a feather usually stick together.

    I also don't think she had the support of the powerful Clinton faction within the administration. She was damned hard on Clinton during the primary and getting even is a Clinton trait.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:16:14 PM PST

    •  You know what I want to happen now? (0+ / 0-)

      For Kerry to get nominated, for him to resign as Senate...

      and for Patrick Deval to resign from Governor of Mass. and run for Kerry's seat.

      The look on Brown's would be priceless.

      •  When Mitt was governor the legislature (who (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        really runs things in MA) changed the Senate replacement rules to an election so Mitt could not get his way.  Now, with some lead time (unlike when Kennedy died), the corrupt hacks there could easily vote to give Patrick the wheel again.  

        •  by corrupt hacks you mean whom? (0+ / 0-)

          Democrats? And by "wheel" you mean what, the ability to appoint a sucessor? Kindly explain I may have misinterpeted your meanings.

          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

          by cacamp on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 10:17:16 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the old money Democrats at the state level in (0+ / 0-)

            Massachusetts ... yeah plenty corrupt - they changed the rules for filling senate seats so Mitt could not fill a Senate seat.

            And yes the state easily has it within itself the capability - with a Democratic governor - to pass a law giving him control of the Senate choice.

  •  Earth to Diarist: Hilary also supported & voted (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cacamp, RonV

    for the Iraq war

    "Rick Perry talks a lot and he's not very bright. And that's a combination I like in Republicans." --- James Carville

    by LaurenMonica on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:18:02 PM PST

    •  Earth to Commenter...that is the point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leveymg, truong son traveler

      Hillary did not trust anyone in her department to go on TV. She knew Rice would go on and befuddle the situation for yet another week and the whole Al Qaeda thing could be quietly brought up when the attention was well past.

      But it isn't just Hillary and Rice that anger me. It is all the neocons. The major western papers. And even some Arab newspapers.

      Even our hand-picked friends of Syria we picked to run the country don't want to confront Jubhat al Nusrah. And they are the ones we call secular. Meanwhile, the Al Qaeda group (in Arabic media, there is no 'alleged/supposed' before Al Qaeda) has picked a Jordanian to be the Amir of Jubhat Al Nusrah in Syria.

      These wonderful people that the friends of Hillary support blew up a car bomb next to a school in Qatana today and killed 7 kids.

      Col As'ad really hearts Jubhat Al Nusrah

      Al Jazeera reporting on Al Qaeda assigning Jordanian AMIR for Jubhat al Nusrah in Syria

      Bomb attack against school kills 7 kids

      Thanks to Hillary and her oil/gas friends in Qatar and Saudi, the Middle East is turning into backwards area. We have backed some really terrible people in our lust for control of the region and quick solution to the 'Iran Problem'.

      It is time for a completely different approach that doesn't include backroom deals with lying bastard arm dealers.

      •  So what is your solution? (0+ / 0-)

        It's pretty insulting to insinuate that Hillary Clinton explicitly and purposely supports terrorists that kill kids.

        They're fighting for their freedom and it just happens that Islamists happen to often be hardened fighters in that part of the world. I wish they would kick the Islamists out, but I'm not the one who might be randomly killed by sniper fire or by aerial bombings any and every day. So it's not surprising they're not kicking those guys out right now.

        Unless you're saying we should go around supporting dictators and telling the world how to act (George W Bush anyone) there's not much we can do except to promote democracy and try to teach them the lessons we learned back when we (we being white landowning men) got our freedom.

        When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

        by PhillyJeff on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 01:37:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think my last comment posted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    so I'm just trying to see if this posts.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 06:22:00 PM PST

  •  A lot of Obama bashing on Rachel tonight (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mickey, Churchill

    Dan Rather and Andrea Mitchell both said that Obama looked weak, didn't back up Susan Rice, there's a lot of Dems upset with Obama, etc.  Wow.

  •  Oh my - it would be nice to think that, but Obama (0+ / 0-)

    has shown no signs of being any less of a hawk than the folks before him ... I can list several reasons why, but the DNC Bin Laden touchdown dance should be sufficient ...

    What Rice's ouster here showed is that the President - per usual - is not going to really fight, not in that sort of public "I got yer back" sort of way.  Even with someone he is very close to.

  •  Level of CT in your diary isn't quite in truther (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    territory but it's getting there. You find mysterious connections between Petraeus, Susan Rice and Lybia. I think you need to add some freemasons and you're almost done.

    •  Ok, it's all just a big coincidence. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      truong son traveler

      There, are you happy now?  But, that doesn't change the basic facts: we've conducted two regime changes in as many years. 10,000 dead Libyans, and 40,000 Syrians will attest to that.  With thanks to the leading role played by Susan Rice during the past four years, we're now well along the way to a state of war with a third, much more formidable Mideast country.

      Ok, Susan Rice had nothing to do with any of this.

      •  Sure, keep doubling up on your CT. (0+ / 0-)
        •  I remember the same sort of response a few (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler, FG

          months ago when I first posted that the Benghazi attack had little to do with anger at bad cinema and more to do with al-Qaeda, looted anti-aircraft missiles and the pipeline for both to Syria.

          Well, that's become the accepted narrative after the Administration backed away from the really absurd CT that the attack was "uncoordinated" and "not premeditated."  To be fair, perhaps we shouldn't wouldn't call Ms. Rice's statement a CT; let's just call it what it really was, an official lie to protect policy.  

          Yes, Susan Rice was just zealously doing her job in that and a thousand other assignments, but that doesn't mean we should support her being promoted for it.

  •  Don't forget cozying up to African despots like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, condorcet

    Meles Zenawi: )
    and Paul Kagame:

    and other African leaders.

    I'm not a fan, but I think she was treated poorly by McCain and friends and Obama alike.

  •  Thanks for your excellent diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    susakinovember, allenjo

    and continued courage to buck the the partisan viewpoints at this site.

    The "CT" comments are nothing more than ad-hominem attacks, posters unable to refute what you have written.

    Foreign policy continues in the same vein as it operated under during the Bush - Cheney years. The players have changed but most of the policies and foreign policy goals remain.

    This is important to note. The objectives of the power elite can be achieved much easier when a Democratic Administration is in power. There will be little or no resistance from the R side. On the other hand with the previous R administration in power we saw plenty of opposition here and elsewhere.

    There was a time when most people here could see through the smoke and haze of the establishment propaganda. That ability appears to be absent at this time.

    Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

    by truong son traveler on Thu Dec 13, 2012 at 09:05:28 PM PST

    •  Again, what does this have to do with Rice? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This poster says that this was a 'reason for hope'.  Hope for what?  If you have all of these problems with the 'hawkish' Obama Administration, why in hell would you think that he would replace Rice with another any less 'hawkish' nominee, from this line of logic?

      If you want to complain about Obama's foreign policy decisions, then don't coat it all up with Rice.

      •  From what I gather (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        this had as much to do with her abrasive undiplomatic style as it did with her "hawkishness".

        Rice had made "an impressive array of enemies".

        Back when she was an assistant secretary of state during the Clinton administration, she appalled colleagues by flipping her middle finger at Richard Holbrooke during a meeting with senior staff at the State Department, according to witnesses.

        Colleagues talk of shouting matches and insults.

        Link - which refers to an article in the Washington Post.

        The article also quotes an unnamed Russian foreign ministry official as saying that Rice is "too ambitious and aggressive,” and her appointment would make it “more difficult for Moscow to work with Washington.”

        And then there is this from someone who claims to have some inside information. This is in the form of a comment on a Susan Rice open thread.

        ... this individual told me that Ambassador Rice would never be Sec of State - and that the realist in the BHO second term would be bringing' to heel " the MENA 'neo Wilsonians " - and there will be no intervention in Syria...

        And that this former Foggy Bottom refugee is very confident that the BHO 2nd term administration is still digesting the Libya intervention and what to do about the jihadist there.

        No intervention in Syria? It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

        Orwell - "Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable"

        by truong son traveler on Fri Dec 14, 2012 at 05:25:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There's another good, informed post on Sic Semper (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          truong son traveler

          Tyranis.  Later in the same thread:

          Harper said...

          Chuck Hagel is co-chair of Obama's President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB), and is chairman of the Intelligence Oversight Board. He clearly has had some interaction with the President and there is a level of confidence in Hagel. He is also Chairman of the Atlantic Council of the US, which means he is already in the middle of all the track two military policy deliberations. He is a good choice, IMO, for SecDef, and the idea of a moderate Republican with Senate credentials in the post is not a bad thing at all. President Obama's own ideological leanings go with Rice and Samantha Power and the whole R2P crowd, as evidenced by his enthusiasm for creating the Atrocities Prevention Board at the NSC and naming Power as the first head. It was necessary to offset the pressures from Michelle Obama, Valerie Jarrett and David Axelrod, to appoint Rice that she got pillaried over Benghazi. When it looked like Obama might just dig in his heels and appoint her anyway, the NYT blew up her close ties to Paul Kagame in Rwanda, who is now in the process of launching a new genocide in eastern DRC. So much for her humanitarian interventionism. Scratch out the humanitarian part! And other news accounts raised her husband's financial ties to Iran. It was a tough fight to thoroughly close the Rice option, and a lot of people weighed in to block her. I think this means that it is premature to draw any policy conclusions about Obama's second term vis a vis a tilt towards realism. At the start of his first term, he had a strong national security team with Gates, General Jones at NSC and Hillary at State. They worked as a team, and one after the other, they left in frustration that Obama was inaccessible and relied far too heavily on his ideological compatriot, including Power, Rice, Jarrett and Axelrod. Hillary's "diplomatic illness" skipping the Friends of Syria meeting this week was further indication of her frustration with the policy direction on Syria, I am told by some of her close confidants. So a strong "realist" team is certainly an important counter-weight, but it will not be a guarantee that policy deliberation will be sane and balanced.

          From many people I have spoken with who have had personal interactions with Susan Rice, I concluded that she was not qualified to be Secretary of State. She had strong ideological biases in the direction of humanitarian interventionism (a politically correct version of the old British imperial "white man's burden" outlook), and she had none of the diplomatic skills required of a good Secretary of State. Clearly, foreign diplomats felt that Hillary Clinton possessed those skills, even when she was pursuing a policy that they disliked. Rice was nasty, arrogant and inconsiderate of others, even people with vastly more experience than herself. A good friend resigned from the Democratic Party Platform Committee over Rice's unilateral rewriting of the Middle East plank in a way that made clear that she had strong allegiances to AIPAC.
          Reply 14 December 2012 at 01:28 PM

          "Harper", and some of the other commenters on Pat Lang's SST seem as well-informed as anyone I've read on this, and I think Harper's comment hits it right on the head.

          Thanks for the links and your ever-thoughtful response.

          - Mark

  •  I overestimated Susan (0+ / 0-)

    Rice and am personally glad this post caught my eye. It certainly helps paint a better picture of President Obama's beliefs, which he does hide very well. I do agree that the last half of the post is disjointed from the subject and doesn't form any context to draw from. As for Ambassador Rice, the position which was speculated for her would be beyond her at this time and I am glad she chose to remove herself at this time.

  •  "The failure to stabilize both Libya and Syria"??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    How the hell can the USA reasonably expect to "stabilize" any part of a ME in the midst of their cultural upheaval?

    Never mind the fact that Americans know next to nothing about what motivates these various peoples, and really couldn't care less -- why in god's name should we be interfering with their struggles? Practically the only thing we know or care about Libya is what CNN tells us.

    What are we doing over there? Why are we meddling in their disputes? By what right do a bunch of overweight hill billies from Missouri get to decide who is supposed to rule Syria?

    Anyone who thinks that Hillary Clinton is some kind of an expert on the Middle East, needs to think again. Drop her in the middle of Beirut and it might take her a week to find the train station. Just kidding there, but really -- why should the USA assume the right and duty to determine how other nations govern themselves?

    Should we feel obligated to intervene in every fucking bloody civil war in the world, just because it outrages our delicate sensibilities? Or because taking one side might profit our oligarchs more than taking the other side?

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