"Making progress"

Condoleezza Rice goes back and forth on whether Iraqis should continue to "enjoy politics." Yesterday, the answer was an emphatic no:

"They don't have time for endless debate of these issues," Rice said during a news conference aboard her plane. "They have really got to move forward. That is one of the messages that I'll take, but it will also be a message of support and what can we do to help."

But later in the day, she seemed to have changed her tune:

“What the American people see on their television screens is the struggle,” she said. “It is harder to show the political process that is going on at local levels, at provincial levels and indeed at the national level.” Iraqis, she said, are “making progress.”

Iraqis are confused! Which is it, Dr. Rice?

As the NY Times piece states, the progress that Rice cites was less than evident on her arrival in Baghdad:

It began inauspiciously when the military transport plane that brought her to Baghdad was forced to circle the city for about 40 minutes because of what a State Department spokesman later said was either mortar fire or rockets at the airport.

On Thursday evening, during her meeting with President Jalal Talabani, the lights went out, forcing Ms. Rice to continue the discussion in the dark. It was a reminder of the city’s erratic — and sometimes nonexistent — electrical service.

That account brings to recollection a World War II anecdote from William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: a November 1940 conversation in Berlin between Soviet Foreign Commissar Vyacheslav Molotov and Nazi Foreign Minister Wilhelm Joachim von Ribbentrop. During a banquet, a British bombing raid forced the ministers into an underground shelter. Ribbentrop tried several times to convince the Soviet commissar that Britain was finished as a military power, to which Molotov icily replied: "If that is so, why are we in this shelter, and whose are these bombs which fall?"


Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus