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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

 

In defense of Condoleeza http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2007/10/24/nytfrontpage/20071024POD_6.html

posted by Aziz P. at Wednesday, December 12, 2007 permalink View blog reactions


How typical of Code Pink. To be honest, I'm pretty disgusted it. For one thing, Code Pink is a typical activist organization that is very big on public displays but offers very little in terms of actual policy (other than "capitulate immediately to our extreme agenda"). For another, Secretary Rice is probably the sole reason that we haven't invaded Iran (at least until the NIE was released). And Rice is maintaining a diplomatic relation with Syria despite recalcitrance from the Boss.

I'm not a big fan of Ms. Rice's performance overall - she arguably lied to the 9/11 commission - but at State she is a voice of relative moderation in the Bush Administration and that should be recognized. Granted, Rice has not been very effective - she's the inspiration for the term, lecondel, after all - but she has had her moments, notably recently in Egypt. Imagine how much energy that the Secretary of State normally would expend on diplomacy, that is wasted merely to swim against the Cheney current in the Bush Administration. Then scale expectation for Condoleeza's performance accordingly. Soft bigotry of low expectations? Yes, in this case, since that's the best we can hope for. It's far better to have Ms Rice around than the alternative - which is basically anyone else Bush might appoint.

Meanwhile, cheering on Code Pink is simply counterproductive. All Code Pink achieves wit their antics is furthering the politics-as-spectacle atmosphere that undermines our national debate, rather than politics-as-process, which is what this nation sorely needs to solve our numerous issues with principled pragmatism. Genuine criticism of the Bush Admininstration's various policy failures is not blunted in any way by refusing to stoop to Code Pink's level.

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Discussion

Aziz, you really think Condoleeza Rice is strong enough within the Administration to have stopped them -- this cabal of world-destroying, warmongering savages -- from "invading" Iran if they otherwise had wanted to do it?

There's not a shred of proof that they did or do want to do this, or believed that doing so could be successful, but I'm even more skeptical that if they were who you think they are that they wouldn't steamroll right past the little lady and unleash their genocidal fury.

 

Ron, since I havent referred to the Bush Administration as either world-destroying, warmongering, or savages, nor have I alluded to their genocidal fury, I dont see much value in replying to your comment. Maybe you'd like to rephrase.

 

It's sort of funny to see the people who support the UN criticizing the concept of "to come and go for meetings that produce few results." Hell, isn't that essentially the basis of American left foreign policy?

 

no, but it is the basis of right wing stereotypes of foreign policy.

 

And what do you think of Obadiah Shoher's arguments against the peace process ( samsonblinded.org/blog/we-need-a-respite-from-peace.htm )?

 

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Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.