The violence of fighting in Iraq is only exceeded by the virulent angry in-fighting within the Bush administration. In the latest episode of who has the ear of the president, Secretary of State Condoeezza Rice clearly demonstrated she now sits on the right hand side at the throne of King George II. She was behind the dramatic shift in Administration policy which breaks from previous stands of no interaction with Iran to one in which a high ranking officer in the State Department has been sent to participate in discussions with Iran. “The point that we’re making,” said Rice, “is the United States is firmly behind this diplomacy, firmly behind and unified with our allies and hopefully the Iranian will take that message.”
Her decision to send William Burns to attend talks with Iran in Geneva has unleashed cries of anger and fury among conservatives all over Washington D.C. and the nation. John Bolton, former UN envoy for President Bush, angrily commented: “This is a complete capitulation on the whole idea of suspending enrichment. Just when the administration has no more U-turns, it does another.” What will he say if Secretary of State Rice proceeds with rumored re-opening of a diplomatic presence in Tehran?
Reports from observers said Iran’s Foreign Minister Maoucher Mottaki was visibly stunned to receive information about America’s participation in talks with Iran. He sent a letter to Rice in which he emphasized there was an opportunity to “find common ground through logical and constructive actions.”
A cynic might raise the issue as to whether Condoleezza Rice is considering the idea of entering the political arena and by recasting herself from the angel of war into the angel of peace she may be opening new political possibilities in her life.