Susan Rice

Yes, apparently race does matter:

For all the president’s condescending talk daring Rice’s critics to come after him instead, we should note that Rice herself apparently welcomes being in the arena. Here is what she undiplomatically remarked about potential critics in an interview for a book earlier this year: “People know not to mess with me. And if they haven’t learned, and they try, then they will learn.” So it is left to her supporters to make the case that Rice had an inspired diplomatic career in the Clinton administration, or that her current tenure at the U.N. has been characterized by adroit diplomacy, which we perhaps saw on display with the U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

It also was recently announced that Susan Rice reported a net worth of somewhere between $30 and $40 million – information that appeared in the popular media only after one of the nastiest campaigns in modern memory, whose central theme was that Mitt Romney and his supporters were 1 percenters whose affluence was prima facie proof of some sort of moral or legal failing.

But don’t point that out, because…racist.

5 thoughts on “Susan Rice”

  1. From today’s Wall Street Journal:

    The best account of Ms. Rice’s time in that office comes from a 2002 article in Current History by Peter Rosenblum of Columbia University. Ms. Rice was the architect of a policy that invested heavily in a new crop of African leaders—Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia; Isaias Afewerki in Eritrea; Yoweri Museveni in Uganda; Paul Kagame in Rwanda—presumed to be more progressive-minded than their predecessors.

    In May 1998, Ms. Rice had an opportunity to prove her diplomatic mettle when she was sent to mediate a peace plan between warring Ethiopia and Eritrea.

    “What is publicly known,” notes Mr. Rosenblum, “is that Rice announced the terms of a plan agreed to by Ethiopia, suggesting that Eritrea would have to accept it, before Isaias had given his approval. He responded angrily, rejecting the plan and heaping abuse on Rice. Soon afterward, Ethiopia bombed the capital of Eritrea, and Eritrea dropped cluster bombs on Ethiopia. . . .

    “Susan Rice was summoned back to Washington in early June after the negotiations collapsed. Insiders agree that the secretary of state [Madeleine Albright] was furious. According to one, Rice was essentially ‘put on probation,’ kept in Washington where the secretary could keep an eye on her. ‘Susan had misread the situation completely,’ according to one State Department insider who observed the conflict with Albright. ‘She came in like a scoutmaster, lecturing them on how to behave and having a public tantrum when they didn’t act the way she wanted.”

    An estimated 100,000 people would perish in the war that Ms. Rice so ineptly failed to end. And the leaders in whom she invested her faith would all become typical African strongmen, with human-rights records to match. Yet that didn’t keep Ms. Rice from delivering a heartfelt eulogy for Meles at his funeral three months ago, in which she praised him as “uncommonly wise,” “a rare visionary,” and a “true friend to me.”

    A 2011 State Department report offers a different perspective on Meles. It cites his “government’s arrest of more than 100 opposition political figures, activists, journalists and bloggers,” along with “torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces.”

    1. Here’s another choice one.

      So when a genocide began in Rwanda the following April, the administration went to great lengths to avoid any involvement—beginning with the refusal to use the word “genocide” at all. Giving voice to that sentiment was none other than Ms. Rice:

      “At an interagency teleconference in late April [1994],” writes Samantha Power in her book “A Problem From Hell,” Ms. Rice “stunned a few officials present when she asked, ‘If we use the word “genocide” and are seen as doing nothing, what will the effect be 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.’ “

      1. And while I’m at it, Rice has a conflict of interest with the Keystone XL pipeline. She apparently owns a decent amount in Transcanada, the would-be owner of the pipeline and about a third of her wealth is in Canadian oil and related industries.

        Glancing through her released financial records from 2008-2011, it appears that she greatly increased her investment in Transcanada (depends when she bought, there was a big dip around the time of her filing in 2008 and she might have bought a relatively small amount then or a much larger amount later) and the rest of her Canadian investments after her appointment to ambassador to the UN (though it appears these investments rose considerably on their own).

  2. We are talking about someone who Richard Holbrooke couldn’t stand, who in turn was someone who Serbs found to be obnoxious and unreasonable.

    Robo Secretary of State!

    1. That’s not necessarily a negative, nor, on the other hand, a positive, either. Holbrooke was infamous for being an insufferable maniac with the personality of a buzzsaw. Unfortunately, the more I hear about Rice, the more it seems like she sports a similar set of personality disorders as the late Holbrooke. I get the impression that both got by on the strength of the United States’ temporary Nineties advantage of being the sole and overwhelming diplomatic power on the stage. Our diplomats could get away with bullying and disrespect in those days, because it was a seller’s market. Today? Let’s say the days of unipolar diplomatic leverage are gone, and leave it at that.

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