In her first return appearance in Washington since leaving the State Department, Condoleezza Rice reflects on her experiences in the Middle East, and her commitment to the education of children as a force against misunderstanding, terror, and war.
As National Security Advisor to a war-time president and then as Secretary of State for the United States, Dr. Rice has pursued peace while defending war. To honor the memory of the great warrior and peacemaker Yitzhak Rabin, former Secretary Rice joins Leon Wieseltier, literary editor of The New Republic, in a far-ranging discussion on how to think morally and responsibly about the ideal of peace and the reality of war and on how to teach these perspectives in our classrooms.
Dr. Condoleezza Rice became Secretary of State on January 26, 2005. Prior to this, she was the assistant to the president for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor, since January, 2001.
In June 1999, she completed a six-year tenure as Stanford University's Provost, during which she was the institution's chief budget and academic officer. As provost, she was responsible for a $1.5 billion annual budget and the academic program involving 1,400 faculty members and 14,000 students.
As professor of political science, Dr. Rice has been on the Stanford faculty since 1981 and has won two of the highest teaching honors -- the 1984 Walter J. Gores Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 1993 School of Humanities and Sciences Dean's Award for Distinguished Teaching.
At Stanford, she has been a member of the Center for International Security and Arms Control, a senior fellow of the Institute for International Studies, and a fellow (by courtesy) of the Hoover Institution. Her books include Germany Unified and Europe Transformed (1995) with Philip Zelikow, The Gorbachev Era (1986) with Alexander Dallin, and Uncertain Allegiance: The Soviet Union and the Czechoslovak Army (1984).
From 1989 through March 1991, the period of German reunification and the final days of the Soviet Union, she served in the Bush Administration as director and then senior director of Soviet and East European Affairs in the National Security Council and as a special assistant to the president for National Security Affairs.
In 1986, while an international affairs fellow of the Council on Foreign Relations, she served as special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In 1997, she served on the Federal Advisory Committee on Gender-Integrated Training in the Military.
Rice was a member of the boards of directors for the Chevron Corporation, the Charles Schwab Corporation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the University of Notre Dame, the International Advisory Council of J.P. Morgan, and the San Francisco Symphony Board of Governors.
She was a founding board member of the Center for a New Generation, an educational support fund for schools in East Palo Alto and East Menlo Park, California and was Vice President of the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula.
In addition, her past board service has encompassed such organizations as Transamerica Corporation, Hewlett Packard, the Carnegie Corporation, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, The Rand Corporation, the National Council for Soviet and East European Studies, the Mid-Peninsula Urban Coalition and KQED, public broadcasting for San Francisco.
Born November 14, 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama, Rice earned her bachelor's degree in political science, cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Denver in 1974, her master's from the University of Notre Dame in 1975, and her PhD from the Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver in 1981.
Rice is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been awarded honorary doctorates from Morehouse College in 1991, the University of Alabama in 1994, the University of Notre Dame in 1995, the National Defense University in 2002, the Mississippi College School of Law in 2003, the University of Louisville and Michigan State University in 2004. She resides in Washington, D.C.
Leon Wieseltier is literary editor of The New Republic, a post he's held since 1983. He is the author of Kaddish, among other books. His essays on political, literary, and religious subjects have appeared in many publications. He was educated at Columbia College, Balliol College, Oxford, and Harvard University, where he was a member of the Society of Fellows. His small acting career has included a part on "The Sopranos."
The insane Bush administration with their crazed neocons have damaged the US more than all of the previous 59 years. Nothing Rice said is credible.
We could have taken out Saddam out with a B1 saving 1,000,000 innocent Iraqis, 4000 of our guys and billions of dollars. Stupidity let 911 happen. If you support a terrorist country you should at least adopt their airline safety rules
The sentiment you all raise is exactly the kind of thinking that allowed 9/11 to happen in the first place. It's also the kind of thinking that allowed Hitler to rise to power.
We take threats seriously now. Saddam said he had WMDs. We called his bluff. Whether we found them or not is irrelevant. Whether he had them or not is irrelevant. That he had anything to do with 9/11 is irrelevant. We must not only destroy terrorists, but those who would harbor and aid them.
Palestinian terrorism.. !! What terrorism? One of the most powerful military power attacking poor Palestinian people, aided by another super military power, is not terrorism? Do I agree with suicide bombing? NO. Do I think all battle tactics used by Hamas is morally justifiable? NO. But to pretend that Israel holds some higher moral ground is utterly sickening.
When a person of Rice's position can stand in front of public and lie like this, I lose hope in humanity.
Rice's inability to understand, let alone discuss, some level of responsibility in the Bush administration's tinkering with consitutional government was made obvious in her testimony (or lack of it) before the 911 panel.
She has learned nothing in the intervening years and her excuse that "it was a really difficult time and you have to understand the context" would not save a speeder from a ticket; why then should it serve to mitigate her colossal hubris and strategic incompetence?
Unfortunately, with people like "phiscal", who cannot bring some level of factual egagement to bear on the question, all that is left is the sound of the sizzle, and the flash of the filigree. And that seems sufficient to them.
"...appeasing hussein would not have avoided war..." Rumsfeld was shaking Hussein's hand and giving him chemical weapons he used on the Kurds. Hussein had NO nuclear capabilities. The US unilaterally attacked Iraq and caused the death of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians directly, and hundreds of thousands indirectly (food and medicine embargoes, contaminated water, no utilities).
Iraq did NOT (regardless of the offhand comments and implications of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice) have anything to do with Al Qaeda's attack on 9/11.
Does anyone else realize how garbage this woman is. She can say nothing to defend her administration against the torture accusations, so she resorts to circumnavigating the question completely. Her method of retort is to attempt to appeal to the American pride and fear like she has become accustom to due to her role as Secretary of State. Several times she referenced the farce that the United States were ignorant to this whole event, and this was a blooper that would never happen again. She claims they didn't know anything about Al-Queda, and that the attack was a complete shock that nobody had been able to perceive until its occurrence. Of course we knew everything about Al-Queda and of the attack.
What The Fuck do you think we're spending Billions of dollars on?!
In the middle of the clip, it is apparent that Condoleezza quickly loses her confidence in her defense and responds to her nervousness by scratching by her left ear, desperately straining to regurgitate the bullshit that is spewing through her earpiece.
This woman single-handedly made me lose respect for the entire republican party; that a puppet of this extent can be the Secretary of State is unbelievable, and incredibly, the administration she represents cannot even construct an amorphous excuse to the heinous war crimes they committed.
I give you 0 out of 5 stars Condoleezza, for completely avoiding the central topic of the question, and an F for eFFort for your lack of preparedness.
Ms. Rice is an eloquent spokesperson for the mythology of the Right. Her defense of the indefensible is simply incompetance and mendacity, piled atop revisionism. She is taking the "long term" view of the tragic mistakes of the Bush empire because any short term view is disaster. Perhaps she would be more truthful if this speech was not presented in the midst of a Jewish council.
Ms. Rice is simply a modern day "orientalist".
I deviate from the popular line on Iraq. Judging by his actions on Gitmo, extraordinary renditions, and interrogation techniques, Obama apparently does, too.
Appeasing Hussein would not have avoided war, but only delayed it to a time of his choosing. Condi was part of reasonable, rational, and hopefully successful effort.
As unsavory as it is, one must pay sometimes for justice by giving up peace. Iraq is such a case.
Let's sum it up: Hans Blix is no longer playing cat and mouse with any of Iraqi's seven former secret police organizations. Hussein no longer runs the country as his personal possession. Chemical Ali will not use WMD on his own people or Iranians again. Uday and Qusay will not inherit Baghdad, nor torture (the real thing) any soccer players as a team performance enhancing technique.
Thanks to Blair and Bush, the UN Security Council has some small measure of credibility again. The UN's cancerous corruption via the Oil for Food program is removed. Iran stubbed its toe badly in Iraq. Al Qaeda has largely pulled out. Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites are attempting to share power. The firebrand Muqtada Al Sadr is quiet, the quiet Sistani is heard.
Typewriters no longer have to be registered with secret police in Iraq. The Iraqi people have a fledgling democracy and a measure of control over their own oil revenues. They have a chance for peace, prosperity, and progress in a part of the world racked by tyranny, intolerance, and terrorists.
It is true, we lost roughly as many soldiers in five years in Iraq as we lose to drunks in the state of CA in a single year. A terrible price. And over its five year duration, the most hostile accounting of the war costs puts it at about 20% of a single year's US government spending.
If the war succeeds, we'll have less reason to do more of it in other places.
It was expensive, but it was not fruitless by any means.