The absurd fight over Susan Rice


Glenn Greenwald discusses how the fight over Susan Rice’s possible nomination to be the next Secretary of State illustrates all that is wrong with our politics.

There are plenty of reasons to dislike Rice. But she is pretty much your standard issue aggressive careerist, following the path laid by her predecessors of being pro-war, supportive of ruthless dictators as long as they are US allies, and extremely pro-Israel.

The Republicans are silent about all those things because that is how they think too. They have also not focused on her financial dealings because those are to their liking too. In order to try and derail her, they have latched onto the absurd Benghazi affair. There too Rice probably lied. Governments almost always lie in the immediate aftermath of a potentially damaging event in order to set the direction of the immediate media coverage. They know that when the truth comes out much later, people would have lost interest. So Rice is merely playing the usual game.

But once she became a symbol of the test of wills between the Republicans and president Obama, Democrats ignored all the reasons why Rice is an awful (but typical) choice and decided that she must be supported at all costs.

I think that progressives should stay out of this fight. As Greenwald says, “If it’s not Susan Rice as Secretary of State, then it will be someone with an equally long record of defending US militarism and supporting the world’s worst tyrants. Indeed, the person she would replace – overwhelming 2016 Democratic presidential favorite Hillary Clinton – was not only as steadfast in her public support for the attack on Iraq as Rice was, but also has at least as long and impressive a record in befriending the world’s worst tyrants.”

Comments

  1. trucreep says

    “Governments almost always lie in the immediate aftermath of a potentially damaging event in order to set the direction of the immediate media coverage. They know that when the truth comes out much later, people would have lost interest.”

    Great point, I’ve never really thought of it that way…

  2. slc1 says

    I think that it has yet to be proved that Ms. Rice knowingly and intentionally lied. Based on what we know so far, it would appear that she merely repeated the statements given to her by the CIA with no knowledge that they were, at best misleading and at worst bald faced lies.

    Actually, of course, the real reason that Prof. Singham and Glenn Greenwald don’t like Ms. Rice is because of here steadfast defense of the State of Israel before the UN. They would much prefer that someone like Stephen Walt or Chuck Hagel be appointed Secretary of State.

  3. brucegee1962 says

    I posted this earlier on the Zingularity:

    The sad thing about the whole Benghazi incident is that there really is a scandal there. But the scandal is the fact that the security for the installation was so poor in a location where a terrorist attack should have been foreseeable.

    I suspect that the reason the Republicans in Congress haven’t been focusing more on that is because some of the blame goes back to, well, Congress, for not giving the State Department the funds it’s been asking for to beef up security. Still, there are probably some senior officials who made poor decisions in the run-up, and the GOP could conceivably have made a case that the head of, say, the Under-secretatry of State for the Middle East ought to roll.

    But that isn’t a high enough target for them. By focusing on the post-attack press releases, rather than the pre-attack decisions, the GOP wanted to take out Rice and give Obama some splash damage. Never mind that this pretty much guarantees that we’ll pass up our best chance to prevent an attack like this from happening again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>