Lee P Butler

*Dr. Rice Won't Play The Usual Foreign Policy Games

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Dr. Rice Won’t Play The Usual Foreign Policy Games  

2-21-2005

White hot lights of the cameras illuminated the dais, speakers buzzed as microphones came to life, reporters stirred restlessly as they communicated with exaggerated gestures that seemed to pantomime hysteria while the microprocessors in their computers sat ready to send millions of bytes of information into the strata in a matters of milliseconds.

No, they weren’t waiting on a rock star or a multi-million dollar jock, they were getting ready to report one of the most profound moments in global history and the information they were about to communicate to the awaiting masses would either be a news report that stated the simple facts or was spun to reflect the media bias against Bush and his administration.

Then the first African-American female Secretary of State took the podium and she presented the world with her first major speech on foreign policy. Standing in the heart of the lion’s den, Dr. Condoleezza Rice addressed the world from Paris, France and stared the beast down in a way few other American diplomats have in a long time.

She addressed the strained relationship between America and parts of Europe by stressing that, “it is time to turn away from the disagreements of the past”, and added, “So let each of us bring to the table ideas, experience and resources and let us discuss and decide- together- how best to employ them for democratic change.”

Many of the reporters restating the speech couldn’t help themselves and added their own liberal opinion when they asserted the next thing she said was somehow a change in Bush policy, when in reality she just reiterated a diplomatic foreign policy that was no different than it has ever been. She said, “America stands ready to work with Europe on our common agenda- and Europe must stand ready to work with America. After all, history will surely judge us not by our disagreements, but by our new achievements.”

It was a statement that former Secretary of State Powell probably wouldn’t have made which is most likely the reason those media representatives were confused. It also was a defining moment for the future of American foreign policy while Dr. Rice holds her post.

She had just finished securing a tentative peace agreement between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, where the two sides agreed to ‘halt all violent actions’ against one another. “This is the best chance for peace that we are likely to see for some years to come, and we are acting to help Israelis and Palestinians seize this chance,” Dr. Rice said.

Remember, back when the announcement was made for Dr. Rice’s appointment to Secretary of State the media went into hyper-drive denouncing her as being nothing more than the President’s ‘puppet’ as she would do little but ‘parrot’ his foreign policy philosophy.

With her at the helm, suddenly the European Union is willing to assist America in many of the areas we have requested help. There were successful elections in Iraq where women were allowed to vote for the first time. And a truce between Israel and Palestine was finally actualized.

There is an obvious reason why these things have transpired and the reason is two-fold.

One, the President’s foreign policy philosophy which is centered on the spreading of democracy through a belief in an unalienable right to freedom for every human being is now being experienced viscerally in many parts of the Middle East at the base level of men, women, and children. The theocratic repression that has existed there for centuries is starting to crumble and fear will not be able to hide the fissure.

Two, Dr. Rice presents a conundrum for many foreign leaders. They have to face an African-American female as the spokesperson for America and can’t easily denounce her presence on the global scene without showing their own personal and anti-American prejudice where they attack us as being ‘insensitive’ and ‘close-minded’.

Nor can they simply dismiss what she says or she accomplishes in their countries as diplomatic posturing, the way they did secretary Powell because he was... well a diplomat. Diplomats play these unspoken chess matches where they publicly say one thing, when behind the scenes they are doing just the opposite because they know the person they are dealing with understands the rules of engagement and a knife in the back is just part of the game.

Dr. Rice isn’t playing a game and the leaders of foreign countries are finding that out first hand. Abbas and Sharon know she isn’t pulling punches. Arafat knew he could lie to Clinton and his appointees because in the end nothing would happen... insert the knife, call a press conference, and blow up some more innocent Israelis.

That ain’t happening now. North Korea is scared, Iran is scared, Chirac and Schroeder are so nervous they are stuttering during speeches.

Dr. Rice told Kim Jong Il point blank, “With our deterrent capability on the Korean peninsula... the United States and its allies can deal with any potential threat from North Korea. And North Korea, I think, understands that. But we are trying to give the North Koreans a different path.”

On a bright shining hill, President Reagan is smiling. The days of back stabbing diplomacy are over. There is a new sheriff in town and she's not playing the usual foreign policy games!

Lee P Butler

Copyright 2016 Lee P Butler. All Rights Reserved.