The Yellow Dog Blog

More meaningless ramblings from another guy you don't know

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Condi's good start

It's quickly becoming apparent that the new Secretary of State will be taking a much tougher, more pro-active stance with America's enemies that did her predecessor. Reuters reports comments she's made directly criticizing Syria and the active roll they've taken in supporting the Iraqi insurgency.

"I cannot say it strongly enough. You cannot say on the one hand that you want a process of peace and on the other hand support people who are determined to blow it up," said Rice, on her first overseas tour since becoming secretary of state.

This is exactly the kind of straight talk that the State Department has actively avoided previously. They've traditionally been far too worried about angering states like Syria to challenge them. They held the ridiculously naive belief that they could get farther by engaging these awful regimes than by criticizing them. This was only interpreted as weakness on America's part and further encouraged the very behavior we opposed.

Rice urged other world leaders to join Washington's campaign to get "states that continue to support rejectionists and terrorists (to) stop doing that," while dangling the prospect of further sanctions against Syria if it failed to tow the line.

All that seems to have now changed, and it's long past due. Condi and the president have apparently decided that there's no reason to endure four more years of his policies being undermined by his own foreign service.

Rice will undoubtedly soon pay a price for all this in the form of media and international criticism for 'unhelpful' or 'beligerent' rhetoric. Don't be shocked if at least some of this carping originates from inside her own department, as well. I expect to see the same rash of resignations (and the subsequet sniping stories in the media) as have resulted from Porter Goss's apparently successful efforts to clean out decades of accumulated dead wood at CIA.

Seymour Hersh, call your office.

MORE: Further evidence that Rice won't be bound by the hypocrisies of traditional international diplomacy.


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