Susan Rice and the 'judgment' question

Susan Rice is certainly capable and tough. One person who has spent a lot of time with Rice is struck by her “bristling certitude.” A former U.S. ambassador told me, “Rice does not know how to be unblunt.” But it is her judgment at critical moments — as displayed on whether to reopen the Sudan embassy or in her handling of the talking points on the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans — that troubles me. - Roger Cohen, NYTimes [Emphasis supplied.]

The B words and Susan Rice are becoming more and more commonplace. In a remarkable column in the New York Times, for the first time that I can remember, Roger Cohen expressed concern about "bristling certitude" and "bluntness." His concern is regarding the supposed "bristling certitude" and "bluntness" of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice. But what, to use Susan Collins' favorite word, "troubles" him, or so he writes, is Rice's judgment. Oh really? I did a quick Google search and the closest thing I find from Cohen on the CONDOLEEZZA Rice judgment issue was this:

Condoleezza Rice, the new secretary of state, explaining last month what will guide her policy: "The world should apply what Natan Sharansky calls 'the town square test': if a person cannot walk into the middle of the town square and express his or her views without fear of arrest, imprisonment or physical harm, then that person is living in a fear society, not a free society. We cannot rest until every person living in a fear society has finally won their freedom. [...]

Mr. Sharansky might also have taken Abu Ghraib as an illustration of what can happen when a society becomes too certain of its mission, too giddy with its might, too negligent of constitutional safeguards of liberty and too blind to the humanity of people from another culture. Moral clarity in the name of freedom is one thing. But the slogan of freedom masquerading as moral clarity is quite another.

Yeah, I don't know what that means either. I do know that Roger Cohen's "judgment" was largely as flawed as that of Condoleezza Rice for most of the past decade. So when I read him questioning anyone's judgment, I am initially skeptical. Nonetheless, I think addressing the substance, such as it is, of Cohen's "troubles" is worth attempting.

Cohen writes that "[Rice's] handling of the talking points on the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya [...]" trouble him. He does not explain what troubles him about this. Was it Rice's adherence to the intelligence agencies' prepared talking points? Cohen would have preferred she go off script? Perhaps reveal some classified information as Republicans in the House have done? Cohen's argument for being troubled about Rice and the Benghazi talking points is, in a word, nonsense.

So what of the judgment in 1997 (yes, 15 years ago), where Rice disagreed with Thomas Pickering? What is troubling about that? I'm not sure as Cohen does not explain what is so troubling. It is ironic though that Cohen would mention Rice's siding with the CIA's security concerns about reopening the U.S. embassy in Khartoum in 1997 when all the criticisms about the Benghazi tragedy are rooted in the alleged ignoring of CIA security concerns in Benghazi. Someone alert Susan Collins, who evoked the African embassy security concerns of the 1990s when explaining her "troubles" about Susan Rice. It turns out Susan Rice was on your side on that, Susan Collins.

But do the facts really matter? How does Cohen determine that Pickering was the person imbued with the right "judgment" on the matter (other than the fact that Pickering is a white man and Rice is a black woman)?

Here are some facts: In September 1997, the U.S. embassy in Khartoum was reopened. Last I looked, Sudan did not become a peace-loving nation of goodwill after this. And to the point of embassy security, while the Khartoum embassy was not targetted in the 1998 African embassy attacks, Sudan was where the planning took place.

I'm not sure that the record supports the argument Cohen forwards here. I think, in hindsight, the case is strong that it was Susan Rice who got it right in 1997, not Thomas Pickering. However, I'm not prepared to be "troubled" by Pickering's judgment on this.

One final thought—in February 2008, Cohen critiqued then-presidential candidate Barack Obama thusly:

In an eloquent column, [Leon Weistelier] argued that “We are heading into an era of conflict.” From Waziristan to Gaza City the world of the next U.S. president will be one of foreboding. The threats, he suggested, were of a nature a neophyte senator called Barack Obama, who’s long on hope and short on hardness, is ill-prepared to confront.

I share the concern that the feel-good conciliation propelling the Obama bandwagon is light on fierceness. Change is great but constancy can be greater, especially when the threat is mortal. Readiness to talk to everyone, enemy dictators included, does not a foreign policy make. [Emphasis supplied.]

Apparently, there was a time when "hardness" and "fierceness" were qualities Cohen admired. Not sure why he sees "bristling certitiude" and "bluntness" from Rice now in a different light.

Maybe something to do with B words? Just asking.

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    And here I thought it was only (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by Anne on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:25:13 AM EST
    George Zimmerman who brought the right-wing-talking-point crowd to TL; guess Susan Rice is on that list, too.

    The truth is that you really do know why Cohen is rejecting Rice based on the same standards by which he accepted Condoleezza Rice and the Bush/Cheney crowd: she's a Democrat working for a Socialist.

    Somehow, the term "a$$hat" isn't enough to describe the people responsible, and being paid for, this drivel that just never stops.

    There are liberals on this site (like me) who (none / 0) (#10)
    by Cashmere on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:31:49 PM EST
    .. are not jumping on the Zimmerman is guilty bandwagon as well, so your biased comment is noted (subject definitely off topic, but had to reply to your comment).

    Huh? (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:40:28 PM EST
    Your comment noting Anne's "bias" makes little or no sense. Given that she said simply, "And here I thought that it was only George Zimmerman who brought the right-wing-talking-point crowd to TL ...," what leads you to subsequently conclude that she also believes the Z-man to be guilty?

    I mean, correct me if I'm wrong, but all Anne did here was offer in passing a personal observation about the general political orientation of those who were recently attracted to TL by all the threads devoted to that particular subject. And speaking for myself only, I find that particular observation to be generally spot-on.



    You have a point, but.... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Cashmere on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:07:41 PM EST
    her sarcasm was evident IMHO.  

    From my perspective, the Zimmerman issue is not drawn on political lines and to suggest so is ludicrous.



    Agreed, in part. Opinions on ... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:35:18 PM EST
    ... the Zimmerman case are not necessarily determined along political lines for many people, Jeralyn being one such example. But it's also a fact that the case became a cause celebre for both liberals and conservatives, and tabloidesque fodder for both the left-and right-wing media -- at least, until the then-pending election took over.

    That said, however, Anne's specific point was that a not-insignificant number of those individuals who were initially attracted to TL by Jeralyn's posts on the subject also came here armed with readily identifiable right-wing talking points, and they certainly didn't hesitate to use them.

    And on that point, I'll also have to agree and back her up. A number of us regulars eventually got tired of responding to their race-baiting nonsense, and left them to debate amongst themselves, such as that was.

    I simply took issue with your having made an obvious assumption regarding Anne's personal opinion of the defendant's guilt or innocence, when she very clearly said nothing of the sort or even inferred such via sarcasm, IMHO.



    From Albright to Clinton to Rice (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:48:07 AM EST
    They have been with, worked with, and mentored each other through immense global challenges.  It seems pretty obvious who comes next, make it so.

    clearly BTD, you've forgotten the overriding (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 12:22:46 PM EST
    mantra of the right: they don't need to explain themselves, to anyone.

    hence, mr. cohen's failure to provide specifics about what he finds "troubling" about ms. rice, or why the instances he does cite "bother" him, he doesn't need to, it should simply be accepted, as is. they create their own reality and history, everyone else is just along for the ride.

    i have no idea whether or not ms. rice would make a good SoS. that said, using the "Condoleeza Rice" metric, she should be an outstanding one.

    possibly, as has been suggested by some, this is all merely an effort to remove a democrat (john kerry) from the senate, and replace him with a republican (scott brown, who lost to E. Warren). since the democrats would still hold a majority in that body, i'm not quite certain how this does them much good. that also said, i can almost guarantee that, if nominated, ms. rice will be confirmed, after much loud braying by the GOP. afterwards, you'll hear not a peep out of them about the subject again.

    I think you probably need to probe ... (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:24:30 PM EST
    BTD: "Apparently, there was a time when 'hardness' and 'fierceness' were qualities Cohen admired. Not sure why he sees 'bristling certitiude' and 'bluntness' from Rice now in a different light."

    ... further into Cohen's elementary school days and focus upon a rather traumatic confrontation with his kidergarten teacher, who insisted that he follow her instructions and draw an owl like the other children, when what he really wanted to do was to draw a truck. Afterward, his teacher told his mother about his failure to listen, and she sided with her over her own son. Emotionally shattered from such unforeseen and bitter betrayals by the strong women in his life, he's distrusted females in authority since.

    Well, it sure seems like as plausible a possible explanation as any other currently being offered, even if I did have to make it all up.

    LOL! (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:02:48 PM EST
    Who knows exactly why Cohen has a problem with Rice?  
    I also wonder if he would have a problem with a male displaying the same "bristling certitude" and "bluntness."  

    Probably not, for the same reason that ... (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:18:52 PM EST
    ... assertive men are considered dominant, while assertive women are simply domineering. That also explains the why you're paid an average of 23% less than I am, even though we both hold the same position at work.

    I also wonder (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:25:06 PM EST
    if the "B" words, "bristling" and "bluntness" are substitutions for the other, crude "B" word that women are often tagged with when they display assertiveness.  If you know what word I'm talking about, and I'm sure you do.   ;-)

    "You're likable enough..... (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by Cashmere on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:14:10 PM EST
    ...  Hillary"...  Need I say more.  Amazing what subtleties are acceptable when the candidate is Obama.

    BHO was roundly criticized (none / 0) (#53)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 10:18:58 AM EST
    for making that remark (then and later). Neither the media nor most of his supporters say that it was acceptable. Wrong example.

    Really? (5.00 / 4) (#54)
    by Yman on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:32:21 AM EST
    Speaking for "most" of his supporters, now?

    BTW - I do like how you feign concern for some of HRC's "more crazy supporters" defining a 2016 campaign (with two, whole examples!), then dismiss this remark as not acceptable to "most" Obama supporters.



    Men don't have "bristling certitude". (5.00 / 7) (#28)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:18:05 PM EST
    Men engage in full and frank discussions.

    Come on, Zorba, get the lingo down.


    That's right, ladies. (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:58:37 PM EST
    There's a reason why men are in charge. I just wish I knew what that reason was, exactly.

    Bristling Certitude is when Holbrooke is (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:59:12 PM EST
    Arguing that you play certain power elements against each other to weaken them (but also ultimately destroy all trust too) and you argue back that the years have taught you one thing....you save the people first.

    When Holbrooke calls you a simplistic sniveling bleeding heart true believer you give him a single middle bristle with certitude :)


    Sorry, Casey (none / 0) (#35)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:49:22 PM EST
    I guess I'm just too calcified in the old Feminist Movement to use the "lingo."    ;-)

    Wow it's almost 5:30 (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by fishcamp on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:31:51 PM EST
    down here in our small drinking town with a fishing problem.  I suggest you have a cocktail too Gramma Anne no matter what time it is where you are.  Let us know when you know.  That sounds disturbingly like a Rummy sentence.

    Rices. (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Addison on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:53:46 PM EST
    Senator John McCain:
    "Rice is a great American success story. This is what America is all about."

    That was Condeleeza Rice, of course, NSA director during the 9/11 attacks. And, to a lesser though more bandied about extent, the second Iraq War.

    They all supported her, and still do.

    While opposition to Susan Rice may boil down to sexism and/or racism, in the end it's the opportunism of race/gender card rather than an originating factor. They want to personally wound the president, they'll flip sides re: security lapses and push dog whistles toward that end. The shared last name, race, and gender of the two make it more obvious the opportunistic political game being played.

    Nothing can make these people adhere to their own criteria. And they'll never respond to simple points of fact when they don't.

    I wasn't aware that opposition to Susan Rice (none / 0) (#60)
    by republicratitarian on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:36:23 AM EST
    may boil down to sexism and/or racism, in the end it's the opportunism of race/gender card rather than an originating factor

    I wasn't tracking that anyone said she wasn't qualified because of her gender or her race. Do you have a link to such claims? I apologize if I'm misreading your comment.


    But is she right for the job? (1.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Luke Lea on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:10:16 AM EST
    Besides her obvious lack of diplomatic skills (compare to Powell in this regard) there is the question of her judgment for advocating our going into Libya in the first place.    

    President was reelected (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:40:40 AM EST
    Well, that's only because ... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:54:10 PM EST
    ... of ACORN.

    Yeah, I know that organization supposedly folded up its tents in 2010, but everyone who's anyone really understands that they merely went underground, and were just waiting for the word from Obama's fellow unknown secret Kenyan socialist conspirators to commence "Operation Bob Shewop Shboomshboom," which flooded polling places across our great land with millions upon millions of colored folks and illegal immigrants who were paid off by George Soros and other rich socialist Jews to steal the election for the Democrat Party.

    Look, the jig is up. We got your number. I heard it all on John and Ken in the Morning.


    I'll note that when then (none / 0) (#18)
    by me only on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:56:46 PM EST
    President Bush nominated Alito to the Supreme Court, you wouldn't stand down when someone argued that the President was reelected...

    The key words of your retort ... (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:11:48 PM EST
    ... being "President Bush nominated Alito to the Supreme Court," because therein probably lies your forthcoming answer from BTD. Susan Rice is certainly no Samuel Alito, praise the gods on Olympus.

    I've always argued (4.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:05:58 PM EST
    the courts are different.

    Lifetime appointments.


    Ha ha ha ha ha (5.00 / 4) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:41:42 AM EST
    Every time I think about Colin Powell and little glass vials ignoring the IAEA, the first word that comes to mind is always diplomacy.

    Did you have any problems (5.00 / 4) (#13)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:44:35 PM EST
    with Colin Powell essentially lying to the UN about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction"?  Did you have any problems with our going into Iraq based on this false premise?  
    Did you have any problems with Condoleezza Rice's "I don't think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile," despite there having been warnings that Al Qaeda was planning something major?

    Excuse me, but I don't see Susan Rice as (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by caseyOR on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:12:26 PM EST
    having an "obvious lack of diplomatic skills." And really, you are going with lying Colin Powell as the great diplomat? With his performance at the U.N. Powell did more to disgrace this nation than any SoS since George Schultz.

    S. Rice is an easy target for the grumpy and whining element in the GOP. And if you are questioning everyone who thought Libya was a good idea, well, start with Obama and H. Clinton and a number of senators and many of the same people currently taking potshots at Rice.


    Libya. (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Addison on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:47:06 PM EST
    Libya was going to get gone into. That was Europe's (minus Italy) deal and their push, IIRC. We mitigated the extent somewhat and helped make an inevitability a successful one.



    Going into Libya (none / 0) (#11)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:34:43 PM EST
    We didn't really do that.  That is the part of the policy that is praiseworthy.

    bristling certitude (none / 0) (#1)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:00:13 AM EST

    bristling certitude

    A.K.A. "often wrong but never in doubt"

    Bush had a lot of those (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 11:01:28 AM EST
    And what does Bush have to do (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:10:27 PM EST
    with whether or not Rice is the right choice?

    which Rice? (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by DFLer on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:08:41 PM EST
    Where has Susan Rice been wrong? (5.00 / 4) (#12)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:40:00 PM EST
    There was a Rice that was planning on giving a speech on missile defense and the Russian threat on 9/11--after ignoring a Presidential Daily Briefing with the title,  "Bin Lade determined to strike in U.S.," who later said that no one could have imagined that terrorists would have used planes as missiles, even though that was a plot of a prior Tom Clancy novel.....

    That Rice was wrong and elevated to Secretary of State.

    Now, remind us, just where was Susan Rice wrong.....


    There are just "troubling" things (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:50:56 PM EST
    It isn't that she has been flatly grotesquely WRONG about any one thing.  You don't have to worry about speeches with little glass vials and birthing pains....we know that $hit was crazy wrong.  Nope, Rice's fatal flaw is that we aren't exactly sure how she may have contributed to failed policies of the past. It is unclear, and that's very troubling.   It's so uncertain :)

    Republicans' Watergate envy (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:56:32 PM EST
    That explains so much of what they do.

    They still want to toss out a Democratic President in revenge, and it hasn't happened yet.

    So, what did so-and-so know and when did he or she know it?    They just want to be able to quote Howard Baker....


    Watergate envy (none / 0) (#55)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:53:51 AM EST
    and revenge for the sixties sea change -- as if "The Great Lost Cause" had been humiliated all over again..

    Well, that certainly explains what ... (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:04:27 PM EST
    ... what Donald Rumsfeld meant when said that:

    "There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

    It all makes perfect sense now, don'tcha see? All the Republicans have to do is first know what they don't know, and then start not knowing what they already knew.

    I just love these spontaneous moments of perfect clarity, especially when they happen on Friday before happy hour at Ferguson's Pub downstairs.


    Donalds quoting inferior Donalds (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 02:23:39 PM EST
    This is your mission should you choose to accept it.  It is fraught with peril, IBS, migraines, stroke inducing astonishment, snowflakes, and angry cocker spaniels looking for their stolen hair.

    I can quote inferior Georges, too. (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:04:01 PM EST
    "When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were. It was us vs them, and it was clear who them was. Today, we are not so sure who they are, but we know they're there."

    "We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease."

    "More Muslims have died at the hands of killers than -- I say more Muslims -- a lot of Muslims have died -- I don't know the exact count -- at Istanbul. Look at these different places around the world where there's been tremendous death and destruction because killers kill."

    "Solutions are not the answer."

    Can someone please explain it all to me again, why we should always trust Republicans over Democrats in matters of foreign and military policy?

    Now, where's my cocker spaniel ...?


    Exactly, MKS. (none / 0) (#14)
    by Zorba on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 01:48:37 PM EST

    Oh really?? (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:15:29 PM EST
    "At the special meeting on July 5 were the FBI, Secret Service, FAA, Customs, Coast Guard, and Immigration. We told them that we thought a spectacular al Qaeda terrorist attack was coming in the near future." That had been had been George Tenet's language. "We asked that they take special measures to increase security and surveillance. Thus, the White House did ensure that domestic law enforcement including the FAA knew that the CSG believed that a major al Qaeda attack was coming, and it could be in the U.S., and did ask that special measures be taken."


    Now that was 31 days prior to the infamous PDB that many Democreats like to refer and claim that Bush paid no attention. OF COURSE HE DIDN'T. HE ALREADY KNEW WHAT THE BRIEFER WAS SAYING 31 DAYS BEFORE. The guy was lucky. If I had been Bush I would have fired him on the spot for wasting my time and then fired his boss for wasting my time in a CYA exercise.


    And you are wasting our time ... (5.00 / 3) (#45)
    by Erehwon on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:51:12 PM EST
    Why don't you read or re-read Yman's Prior Response to your earlier spouting off the same Condi Rice's CYA testimony?

    Really? Bush already KNEW ... (5.00 / 3) (#47)
    by Yman on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:58:03 PM EST
    ... that "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US" a month before the PDB was delivered to him?  Then he called a meeting that:

    1. focused on overseas threats,

    2. gave no specific threat information,

    3. never even mentioned Bin Laden,

    4. gave no direction to any of the agencies on how to plan for the vague threat of an "attack",


    5) forbid the attendees from so much as discussing/dispersing the vague information they were given.

    ... and you keep trying to blame the people who weren't asleep at the wheel because of an obsession with Iraq.

    Yep ... sounds about right.


    Mu question is, what did that (none / 0) (#56)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 08, 2012 at 11:58:40 AM EST
    "SDS Weatherman" Bush know and when did he know it?

    And what sort of person is willing to sacrifice so many American lives to further his agenda?


    Wow. Talk about CYA. (5.00 / 4) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:51:01 PM EST
    I seem to remember a significant amount of umbrage being taken by the Bush administration, in tandem with a multitude of very strenuous denials about having been briefed and warned about al Qaeda's intentions, whenever someone broached the subject about what senior administration officials knew exactly prior to the 9-11 tragedy, and when they knew it.

    And so does the New York Times, which had been obviously burned very badly by the Bush administration in that ginned-up run-up to the invasion of Iraq, when then-correspondent Judith Miller was willingly led open-mouthed down the primrose path of misinformation, misleading conjecture and outright bull$H!+ about Saddam Hussein's non-existent stockpile of WMD.

    "There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again."
    -- President George W. Bush, Nashville, TN (Sept. 17, 2002)

    Thank you for reminding me to work doubly hard to ensure that such vile, disingenuous and incompetent phuquin' a$$hats and flimflam artists are never again allowed to see the inside of the White House again during my lifetime, except perhaps as tourists.



    And thank you all for reminding me that (1.00 / 2) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:03:55 PM EST
    you cannot stand being reminding of the truth about the foul actions of the press re the infamous PDB.

    If there ever is a movie made showing how corrupt the press has become and how some on the Left support such actions this episode would be wonderful.

    And a special thanks for Donald for again proving how he cannot comment with out vulgarities and personal attacks!


    And thank YOU ... (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by Yman on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 08:54:52 PM EST
    ... for all your silly works of fiction, while claiming to speak "the truth".

    They never fail to produce a chuckle or two!


    If ever there is a movie made... (none / 0) (#59)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 01:52:45 PM EST
    There HAS been a movie made, and it's running in your brain seemingly 24/7: the basic plot, inspired by a heavy dose of rw talk radio-Fox paranoia, being that a nefarious "liberal media" has launched an all-out assault on this nation's (pre-scientific) venerable traditions and family values..    

    Remember Abdul (none / 0) (#30)
    by fishcamp on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:37:40 PM EST
    that BTD has a penalty box and you could be sitting in there next to ABG :-)

    So I think BTD's underlying point is (none / 0) (#29)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 03:18:28 PM EST
    whether Cohen (whoever he may be) is being sexist in his criticism, with the nod nod wink wink use of words that start with the letter "B."

    I've certainly weighed in on my fair share of previous BTD posts regarding various "ists" and "isms" when it did not seem to me that the accusation was warranted.

    However, the other day I had an experience with my sons that relates to these convos.

    During dinner they were telling us about a funny guy on youtube that they watch all the time, and when they said his name, "nigahiga" (pronounced with "i's" like "in"), my wife and I nearly had a heart attack.

    My kids saw nothing wrong with his name and argued that point, and said that everyone at school uses his name, and watching some of his videos I suspect his chosen name is completely "street" and "edgy" and not at all racist in intent.

    However, as we told our kids, to us, and probably any other grownups they know, like their teachers, his name is so offensive that it makes my stomach turn to hear my kids say it.

    I made them promise to say something else when they talk to their friends about him, like shorten it to just "higa" or something.

    So my kids were in the position I have taken previously here on TL, and Mrs. SUO and I were taking the opposing BTD, etc., position.

    Anyway, long story short, it was kind of eye-opening to me, and I probably won't be weighing in on these types of threads much any more...unless, of course, something is REALLY ridiculous. ;-)

    Susan Rice (none / 0) (#36)
    by bocajeff on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:56:35 PM EST
    I believe a President can appoint anyone they want, so I have no problem with Ms. Rice serving in any capacity.

    The only thing that concerns me is forgetting that President Clinton and Susan Rice (while she had some high ranking job in Africa at the time) did not do anything to stop the Rwandan genocide. President Clinton has cited this as his greatest regret. Don't know where Ms. Rice stands on the issue. I don't believe they allowed this to happen because they are racist nor because the victims were poor. I just think it was a lack of judgement. People make mistakes sometimes. Nobody is perfect.

    All interventions are not to be entered into (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:18:58 PM EST
    Lightly.  It isn't as if neo-cons have given us any positive historical outcomes either to lead us in the darkest of the world's nights.  How to best aid from the outside oppressed people and people being attacked comes with zero guarantees.....just a minefield of politics and varying degrees of horrific possible consequences.  At this juncture in our history Rice is absolutely spot on though, you save the people first!  If human beings do possess anything resembling a soul...our self awareness has now at this time brought us to recognizing this basic simple truth.

    Regarding what happened in Rwanda, ... (none / 0) (#38)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 05:47:37 PM EST
    ... President Clinton offered a public statement on March 25, 1998, which conveyed his administration's sorrow and profound regret for the tragic massacre of one million people in that country.

    But then, hindsight's most always 20 / 20, isn't it?


    Susan Rice was the driving force (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 07:09:43 PM EST
    behind our intervention with air power in Libya.  She reportedly felt strongly that way due to Rwanda.  A never again approach.

    What's inside that teapot? (none / 0) (#48)
    by Robot Porter on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 08:07:57 PM EST
    Tempest, is it?

    There are some important political issues at the edges of the Rice story.  But it's mostly just become rather tedious political grandstanding on both sides.

    Politically this will be a short term winner for the White House.  But they shouldn't push the boat out too far.  The Libyan War was a web of lies, corruption and double dealing.  

    And, so far, the American public has turned a blind eye to it.  Though that could easily change.  And the administration could find themselves in the midst of an Iran-Contra style maelstrom.

    Oh, really. (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 09:25:17 PM EST
    Robot Porter: "The Libyan War was a web of lies, corruption and double dealing."

    Explain yourself, please -- and don't hesitate to go into some detail regarding your claims of "lies, corruption and double dealing."

    Because honestly, R.P., you're leveling some very serious and substantive charges, the type which shouldn't be thrown about casually or lightly just because some crackpots think it sounds like cool hardball rhetoric. You need to either back up what you're saying with some specific facts, or stand down and back off.

    You want to talk about corruption in Libya, then I would suggest that you first take a good look at the regime of Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi and his family and cronies, who ran the country as a kleptocracy and personal fiefdom.