Thursday, August 10, 2006

The New York Times today has an interesting article on Condi Rice's interactions with the various groups she has to deal with as Secretary of State, such as the professional diplomatic career staff, and the shambling, brain-eating neoconservative zombies. The article praises Rice for achieving a deft compromise arrangement in which the zombies only get to eat half her brains. Much like the careful balancing acts routinely performed by journalists themselves in writing fair and balanced news articles such as this.

The article also discusses her diplomatic dealings with other parties, like the government of Israel:

Ms. Rice, Mr. Abrams, Mr. Welch and Richard Jones, the United States ambassador to Israel, had dinner with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. There, Ms. Rice showed a rare flash of impatience with him. When Mr. Olmert responded to her request to suspend airstrikes for 48 hours by saying that Israel had warned residents to evacuate, Ms. Rice shook her head, according to two American officials.

“Look, we’ve had this experience, with [hurricane] Katrina, and we thought we were doing it right,” she reportedly said. “But we learned that many people who want to leave can’t leave.”

An apt simile, conveying not only the flaws of the strategy, but also its benefits. The tardy evacuation order to the car-less poor of New Orleans, delivered after the bus and train lines to the city had already shut down, may have done nothing to spare their lives and ease their suffering. But it did a great deal to help the Republican administration, and its allies and supporters, to blame the victims, as they did for months afterwards.


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