Sidney Blumenthal has an
item on Condoleezza Rice in the Guardian this week that gives the sorry history of how, put in charge brokering the
“Roadmap to Peace” with Israel and the Palestinians, she kind of made a hash of things.
If that topic still interests you, you might give it a read.
But the last paragraph is a killer.
See Some more questions for Condoleezza
Bush's national security adviser sabotaged the road map to peace
Sidney Blumenthal, The Guardian (UK),
Thursday April 8, 2004
Note this, paying attention to where the semicolons fall:
The story of the Middle East debacle, like that of the pre-9/11 terrorism fiasco, reveals the
inner workings of Bush's White House: the president -aggressive and manipulated, ignorant of his own policies and their
consequences, negligent; the secretary of state - proud, instinctively subordinate, constantly in retreat; the vice-president
- as Richelieu, conniving, at the head of a neoconservative cabal, the power behind the throne; the national security
adviser - seemingly open, even vulnerable, posing as the honest broker, but deceitful and derelict, an underhanded lightweight.
Cheney as Richelieu? An amusing notion.
see. Richelieu ordering the siege and finally the occupation Les Baux en Provence,
finally getting rid of the protestant rebels holed up there, way back when. Can’t
have religious fanatics holding a fortress and being a potential threat. Richelieu
- the power behind the throne making such decisions. The king was useless. Cheney ordering the siege and finally the occupation of Iraq, getting rid of the troublesome
terror-master holed up there – can’t have religious fanatics holding a fortress and being a potential threat. Cheney - the power behind the throne making such decisions. The king was useless. Works for me. Except the Hussein Baathist folks were a secular crowd. But
Also on Condoleezza Rice –
over at The Washington Monthly discusses Condoleezza Rice's first book, written in 1984 - The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army, 1948-1983: Uncertain Allegiance. He points out that this tome was met with immediate skepticism from at least one scholar
of Czechoslovakian history who seemed to think that she had an unfortunate tendency to formulate opinions without regard for
the actual facts on the ground.
He covers what Joseph Kalvoda, a history
professor at Saint Joseph College, had to say about it in American Historical Review.
Joe thought she was full of crap.
You can investigate this through
the link here, and Drum’s links.
Let's review: Problems distinguishing
facts from propaganda. Too quick to pass judgment without adequate knowledge. Failure to properly assess sources who have an obvious axe to grind. Ignorance of regional history.
Does any of this sound
Well, we all saw her testimony
to the 9-11 Commission this week with its one key question – “So, National Security Advisor Rice, what were YOU
It was fun.
my trove of odd pictures of places I have visited, the old mountaintop fortress at Les Baux en Provence, some miles south
of St-Rémy and an hour’s drive north of Arles.
Cocteau filmed Orphée
here – well, in the rocky valley below, actually. That would be the Val
d'Enfer (The Valley of Hell?) of course.
In 1632, Richelieu razed the
feudal citadel to the ground and fined the population into penury for their disobedience.
From that date until the nineteenth century, both citadel and village were inhabited almost exclusively by bats and
crows. The discovery in the neighboring hills of the mineral bauxite (whose name
derives from "Les Baux") brought back some life to the village. It’s quite
the tourist attraction now. Today the population stays steady at around four
hundred, while the number of visitors exceeds one and a half million each year.
As one friend commented
– “From time to time
I think about something I read or heard - that one of the lunatic counts of Les Baux used to throw his prisoners off one of
those cliffs, every Wednesday at sunset. What a mental picture! Probably best if Rumsfeld and the keepers at Guantánamo don't hear about that.”