Saturday, October 13, 2007

The smack of irony

Secretary of State in a pensive moment w/flags.

Does anyone else enjoy the irony in Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's condemnation of Putin and his ransacking of the Russian government?

"In any country, if you don't have countervailing institutions, the power of any one president is problematic for democratic development," Rice told reporters after meeting with human-rights activists.

I think there is too much concentration of power in the
Kremlin. I have told the Russians that. Everybody has doubts about the full independence of the judiciary. There are clearly questions about the independence of the electronic media and there are, I think, questions about the strength of the Duma," said Rice, referring to the Russian parliament."

She has "told the Russians that." Do they care?

This McClatchy Report quotes Michael McFaul, of Stanford's Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, a center for international studies, that is consistently conservative (Richard M. Schaife, a billionaire, Clinton tormentor, sits on the Executive Committee): "Bush and his aides grossly misjudged Putin..." One of Bush's aides is none other than Condi Rice, known academically as a "Russian expert." Being criticized by her own University must be painful. You have to wonder, though, how can they get everything so wrong?

Remember 2001 after his first meeting with Putin? Bush famously said he'd looked in the Russian leader's eyes, found him "trustworthy" and "was able to get a sense of his soul." If this omniscient insight weren't so gravely in error, it could be funny, instead it is just recklessly psychotic.

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