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Condoleezza Rice Exercises Foreign Policy at the Gym

Condi

You by now have heard about the Mideast peace talks this week at Annapolis, which Reuters reports Arabs are already calling a sham: "Arab commentators on Wednesday dismissed the relaunch of Israeli-Palestinian talks as a U.S.-staged media event unlikely to lead to Middle East peace. Some argued that U.S. President George W. Bush's real aim in convening Tuesday's conference in Annapolis, Maryland, was to rescue his image after failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, or to persuade Arab states their deadliest foe was Iran, not Israel."

CondigymJoe at Americablog and Michelangelo Signorile pointed me to this searing passage in Maureen Dowd's column about Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her assessment of foreign conflicts, citing bits from a new biography by the NYT's Elisabeth Bumiller:

"In 2006, when Israel invaded Lebanon and many civilians died, including children, Condi and W. drew Arab and U.N. ire for not forcing Ehud Olmert to broker a cease-fire faster. That same year, in another instance of spectacular willful ignorance, she was blindsided by the Hamas win in the Palestinian elections. As she described it to Bumiller, she went upstairs at 5 a.m. the morning after the Palestinian elections in 2006 to the gym in her Watergate apartment to exercise on her elliptical machine. She saw the news crawl reporting the Hamas victory. 'I thought, ‘Well, that’s not right,’ ' she said. She kept exercising for awhile but finally got off the elliptical trainer and called the State Department. 'I said, ‘What happened in the Palestinian elections?’ and they said, ‘Oh, Hamas won.’ And I thought, ‘Oh, my goodness! Hamas won?’ ' When she couldn’t reach the State Department official on the ground in the Palestinian territories, she did what any loyal Bushie would do: She got back on the elliptical. 'I thought, might as well finish exercising,' Rice told Bumiller. 'It’s going to be a really long day.' It was one of the few times she was prescient on the Middle East."

Illustration above by Noma Bar from a review of another Condi bio in the New York Times (via wonkette).

Condi on the Elliptical [the gist]
Just like most of us, Condi learns about major international news from the t.v. She is clueless. [americablog]
NY Times Scales New Heights in Mean Condi Caricatures [wonkette]

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Condoleezza Rice Confronted by "Blood-Stained" Anti-war Activist [tr]
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Comments

  1. That elliptical bike makes a perfect metaphor for the futility of the Middle East peace process.

    Posted by: Mo MoDo | Nov 28, 2007 11:19:11 AM


  2. Worst Secretary of State in history along with the worst President in history, two lousy peas in a pod.

    Posted by: Sebastian | Nov 28, 2007 11:33:46 AM


  3. Is Condoleeza Rice REALLY our Secretary of State??? Seriously?

    Please tell me it's that flashback I've waited 35 years for and not reality.

    Posted by: jake | Nov 28, 2007 11:58:56 AM


  4. Bumiller's omniscience is astounding. Who needs waterboarding when she can read minds?

    The real mystery is where does one pick up the name Condoleezza?

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Nov 28, 2007 12:33:38 PM


  5. when she was first appointed to office in the bush administration, i wanted to like condaleeza. she was an african american woman, and i thought it spoke volumes about the progress in this country to have a woman of color fill such a high office. and then i began to realize that condaleeza rice is the whitest man in the bush administration. i hate her. and her ferragamo shoes.

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 28, 2007 1:18:11 PM


  6. Love it! If you don't like someone whom you're supposed to like (here, you're supposed to like Condi Rice because she's black), just deny her her blackness! That's right. She's not really black, she's white!
    I'm sure she'd love to hear that.

    Posted by: jmg | Nov 28, 2007 1:33:19 PM


  7. Andy: Can we please be rid of the stroboscopic flashing ads in the sidebar!!

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 28, 2007 2:39:51 PM


  8. For a more balanced look at the Annapolis conference than the one Andy posted (i.e., one that doesn't just cite the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Hayat as speaking for all Arabs), check out these recent CNN and BBC articles:

    http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/11/28/mideast.summit/index.html
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7116209.stm

    Posted by: Michael | Nov 28, 2007 3:56:57 PM


  9. JMG,

    I was commenting on the fact that I wanted to like Rice because I thought she, as a minority, might understand the plight of other minorities such as, oh, most everyone who reads towleroad (among others). I thought that viewpoint might help her soften the policies of the Bush administration. I also liked, as I stated above, what seemed to be a commentary on the progress Amerikkka has made in race relations. But then she proved herself to be aligned with racist, homophobic, war-mongering white men. So, yeah...I think her 'blackness' can be questioned, just as I would question the 'gayness' of someone signs on to help Mitt Romney legislatively bash queer folk.

    Oh, and one more thing, JMG...go fuck yourself!

    xo,
    peterparker

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 28, 2007 6:28:45 PM


  10. Well, now I know who to go to if I have a question about who is "really" black, gay, Jewish, etc.

    Thanks Petie!

    Posted by: jmg | Nov 28, 2007 6:50:23 PM


  11. Micheal....thanks. The article cited the most anti-Bush and America sources to be found(I'm including Maureen I'm an limo-liberal Dowd in that group).
    If anyone here bothers to read actual newspapers and watch BBC(the most anti-american new's org. in the world next to Reuters)you will discover that something major was accomplished at the conference and most middle eastern Arab groups are actually behind the conference but happy with the results.
    I dislike Bush as much as anyone....but even fools can on occasion do something right. Nixon created the EPA and normalized relations with China, so anything is possible.

    Posted by: Joshua | Nov 28, 2007 7:54:42 PM


  12. I forgot to finish my thread on the BBC...they are anti-bush and usually anti-american, but had good things to say about what the conference did.

    And the Arab League had people there to keep an eye on things and were very pleased with the results. Bush forced Olmert to make consessions and also Abba's.....you can't get anymore even handed than that.

    Posted by: Joshua | Nov 28, 2007 7:58:29 PM


  13. JOSHUA,

    Can you explain what the term 'limo liberal' means?

    Thanks.

    xo,
    peterparker

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 28, 2007 9:58:16 PM


  14. I, PeePee, am the utmost authority on Blackness in America and I say that because Condoleezza Rice does not think EXACTLY AS I THINK ALL BLACK PEOPLE SHOULD THINK, therefore I declare her to be not really Black!

    I, PeePee Have Spoken!

    By the way, did I mention that I, PeePee, once met Tom Ford and even shook his hand? Me! PeePee!

    Posted by: PeePee | Nov 28, 2007 11:05:34 PM


  15. There was a major factual error in Dowd's article.

    She wrote, "In 2006, when Israel invaded Lebanon and many civilians died, including children, Condi and W. drew Arab and U.N. ire for not forcing Ehud Olmert to broker a cease-fire faster."

    While Israel did eventually enter Lebanese territory, this was only AFTER weeks of Hezbollah raining rockets down on Israel from Lebanese territory. Therefore, Israel had every right to enter Lebanon in self-defense. Dowd makes it seem as though Israel initiated the conflict when in fact it was Hezbollah who initiated it by invading Israeli territory, killing and kidnapping Israeli soldiers (who still have not been returned), and launching missiles into Israel.

    Finally, while Israel's retaliatory bombing campaign unfortunately did result in children and other civilians dying, this is because the cowardly Hezbollah made the Lebanese civilians into human shield by launching their attacks from residential areas. Many Israeli children and civilians also died from Hezbollah missile attacks but, of course, the anti-Jewish press doesn't think that's worthy of mention.

    Posted by: Steven | Nov 28, 2007 11:10:59 PM


  16. Steven...you took the words right outa my mouth.

    Posted by: Myackie | Dec 5, 2007 6:54:58 AM


  17. Now, this is the woman who was in New York shopping on Madison Avenue for shoes and a Broadway show and dinner that night during the height of the Hurricane Karina debacle. Ms. Rice actually said that she didn't see the reason to cut short her visit to New York because of the hurricane. Probably because she's Secy of State and Secys of State don't get involved in FEMA stuff. Besides, she needed some fierce new shoes for all that "shoe-tle" diplomacy she was doing.

    Posted by: mike | Jan 13, 2008 6:50:15 AM


  18. Now, this is the woman who was in New York shopping on Madison Avenue for shoes and a Broadway show and dinner that night during the height of the Hurricane Karina debacle. Ms. Rice actually said that she didn't see the reason to cut short her visit to New York because of the hurricane. Probably because she's Secy of State and Secys of State don't get involved in FEMA stuff. Besides, she needed some fierce new shoes for all that "shoe-tle" diplomacy she was doing.

    Posted by: mike | Jan 13, 2008 6:51:56 AM


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