Tag Archives: Rice

Condi Rice Said OK To Torture

Former Secretary of State spent years in the world of academia where she was part of an intellectual community of scholars. But, the trappings of power were more attractive than sitting in an office dealing with students. A new Senate report indicates Rice gave permission to the CIA as early as July, 2002 to use waterboarding techniques of obtaining information. Most probably she was swayed by concerns that physical abuse might be contrary to the Geneva Conventions by a remark from Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld who said: “I stand 8-10 hours a day. Why is standing limited to 4 hours?”

Last autumn, Rice insisted she had only attended meetings where there was discussion about torture, but could not recall details of these sessions. Senator Carl Levin of the armed services committee, says bluntly, “the paper trail on abuse leads to top civilian leaders” and that includes the former scholar from Stanford University.

Perhaps, the best punishment for Condi Rice would compel her to return to Stanford and teach students and face them every day knowing they understand what she did in her quest for power and glory.

Rice Checks Out On Trip To China And Stays Home

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had planned to visit China this week in order to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of establishment of ties between the People’s Republic of China and the United States, but events in the Middle East have caused a delay in her travel. However, Rice said at this point she had not plans to travel to the Middle East. The president of China, Hu Jintao, urged that a diplomatic solution be found to halt the fighting in Gaza and restore peace to the region. Israel tanks and soldiers continued their push into Gaza while Hamas vowed to kill the invaders.

The foreign policy of the Bush administration in the Middle East has always been rather confusing. One would think that Secretary of State Rice’s primary focus at this time is working to immediately end the fighting and bring peace to the Middle East, but, aside from Bush remarks that Israel had a right to defend itself, the United States has remained rather silent on this matter. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, the United States will have a secretary of state who wings her way to the Middle East and focuses on discussions and compromise.

Send In The Tanks Argue Israelis

The incessant bombing of Gaza continues causing huge devastation in terms of physical destruction of facilities and the death of hundreds, most of whom are members of Hamas security forces. There are reports that Israeli tanks are prepared to lead a ground invasion of the area. However, Israeli military officials do not wish to have their troops become embroiled in fighting in urban areas, and will most probably seize certain key points rather than a full scale invasion which would inevitably result in fighting the 15,000 well armed Hamas forces. White House sources refuse to respond to questions concerning America’s attitude towards a land invasion, preferring to simply state: “those will be decisions made by the Israelis.”

Secretary of State Condi Rice made clear she has no present plans to visit the Middle East in order to broker peace. However, throughout the Arab world demonstrations of anger reflect feelings of millions of people. Although people are demonstrating in the streets, their governments remain silent since most are furious at Hamas for provoking the current conflict.

Rice Warns Hamas-Hamas Warns Israel-Israel Warns Hamas

The warning game is being played in the Middle East as Secretary of State Condi Rice warned Hamas that acts of violence only damaged the cause of Palestinians.”I sincerely hope that there will not be a resumption of the violence because that is not going to help the people of Gaza. United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-moon urged rocket attacks to cease and called upon both sides to cooperate. A spokesperson for the Egyptian Foreign Ministry urged Israel to be more flexible about opening the Gaza crossings while urging Hamas to avoid rocket attacks.

President Bush told reporters we’ve “made a good deal of progress” in the Middle East while Israeli officials insisted there could not be a half truce,but there must be an end to rocket attacks.

The only conclusion any reasonable person could make is that everyone is “urging peace” but no one has the slightest interest in actually bringing about peace. Of course, people have been “urging peace” for almost half a century.

Condi Rice Cuddles With Syria

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moualem met with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in New York last weekend and discussed issues relating to attempts by Israel and Syria to resolve their conflict. Rice naturally attacked Syrian efforts to aid terrorists, but both sides agreed there was need to continue the dialogue. The Syrian diplomat let it be known to the media his nation looks forward to the upcoming American election because there is hope a new president would focus more intently on acting as a mediator in the Middle East. Syrian leaders do not believe Iran will play a negative role in efforts being made to deal with Middle Eastern issues.

There is no doubt Bush has lost all his power in the Middle East and has become a bystander rather than an active role in solving anything. He is irrelevant and the world simply will have to wait until January before any serious negotiations can begin in the Middle East.

War Of Words Between West And Russia

Dueling words have replaced dialogue as the conflict between Western nations and Russia over the Georgia incident continues to escalate. Fortunately, at this time both sides are using words in their conflict rather than armed force. US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, warned Russia its actions would result in being isolated from the world while President Medvedev asserted his nation is not retreating into a war like stance but will continue working with other nations. Secretary of State Rice charged the Russian government has no friends other than leftist nations such as Venezuela and Cuba even as Medvedev made clear Russia was not returning to a Soviet Union sense of isolation from the world. He mocked NATO for being unable to provide support for Georgia during the crisis and sarcastically noted “NATO only provoked the conflict and nothing more than that.”

Charge and counter charges make headlines in the morning press but have nothing to do with resolving issues between nations. It is time for NATO to abandon Bush policies of deliberately provoking Russia and engage in comprehensive negotiations which would reduce Russian fears of being threatened by the West. In return there must be Russian evacuation of Georgia. It would help if Western leaders acknowledged the role played by Georgia in precipitating the entire conflict.

Israel Folly Continues In Palestinian Negotiations

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made clear to the world that Israel was not engaged in any discussions with Palestinian leaders about the future of Jerusalem. His comments were a sharp rebuke to statements made by the head of the American consulate in Jerusalem, Jack Walles, who was quoted by a Palestinian newspaper as saying that Israel has agreed to discuss the future status of Jerusalem during its peace talks with Palestinians. Walles told Al-Ayyam, United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had told both sides her country assumed any peace discussion included Israel return to the borders of 1967 and what would be the future of Jerusalem.

The history of Israel entails repeated delay in confronting issues in hope that time is on its side. Now, is the time to discuss Jerusalem, not a year or two years from now. Delays reinforce the power of militants and make difficult efforts by moderate Palestinian leaders to construct the bridge of peace.

Israel Continues Violating Peace Agreement

Israel is among the few genuinely democratic societies in the Middle East, but its policies in the west Bank only reveal that a democratic nation can be stupid and warlike. Peace Now, an Israeli based organization, issued a report which clearly proves the present Olmert govenment has been violating agreements and pledges it made to Palestinians and to the United States by refusing to halt construction of new housing on the West Bank. According to Peace Now figures, the Housing Ministry began construction during the January- June period of 433 new settlement housing units which represents double the number built-240- last year in the same period. More than 1000 new buildings representing 2,600 housing units were under construction. Of these, 55% were built on the eastern side of the concrete and steel barrier Israel has built on the West Bank.

According to the US initiated road map to which Israel agreed, new housing construction was to cease. Secretary of State Rice who has arrived in Jerusalem today, has said: “I think it it no secret I have said it to my Israel counterpart that I didn’t think that settlement activity is helpful.” Israel Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni insists “the Israel government’s policy is not to expand settlements, not to build new settlements and not to confiscate Palestinian land.”

Perhaps, the foreign minister might get together with the housing ministry and inform them of her beliefs because either the housing people don’t know about Israel foreign policy or someone is lying. As Peace Now notes, “construction has continued” and “undermines the possibility of a peace agreement.” That is the bottom line.

Condi Rice Warns Russia To Respect Georgia Borders

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned the Russian government the world would not stand by idly and watch it redraw the boundaries of Europe. “A new line in europe where Russia somehow asserts that there are those who cannot pt for a trans-Atlantic ffuture is unacceptable.” She demanded that Russia withdraw its forces from Georgia while NATO reaffirmed its offer of membership to the Georgians. NATO insisted it would send aid to help restore conditions in Georgia to what existed prior to outbreak of hostilities. NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said relations with Russia would be limited until its troops withdraw from Georgia. “There can be no business as usual with Russia under the present circumstances.”

There is talk of observers to monitor the situation in Russian occupied Georgia. Somehow, lost in the rhetoric of anger is any awareness of how the United States and NATO helped create conditions for discord. Georgia does not belong in NATO at this juncture in history. It is time to end construction of military bases in Poland and the Czech Republic and to extend membership in NATO to Russia.

Secretary Rice In Georgia As Sign Of Support

Secretary of State Condi Rice is in Georgia where she is dealing with the complex issues raised by events in that region of the world. On one hand, the United States is working to get Russia out of Georgia and restore conditions to what they were before fighting broke out in the area, but, on the other hand, Rice must deal with actions of the government of Georgia which created the present situation. The United States is assuring Georgia it will not be forced to accept any decisions which run counter to its self interests. However, there is a difference between what Georgia views what should be done in the region and what most Western nations are willing to accept.

President Saakashvili thundered to the world that “Russia’s invasion of Georgia strikes at the heart of western values” and to allow it sends a message that authoritarian government can exist anywhere. However, he initiated the war because of a desire to impose Georgia’s will upon South Ossetia. The West supports Kosovo’s decision to breakaway from Serbia which places it in a dilemma. Does South Ossetia have the right to breakaway from Georgia if that is the will of its people?