It looks like momentum is building towards Susan Rice being the next Secretary of State-- and a lot of liberal people, particularly in the media, are reacting to opposition by John McCain and LIndsay Graham-- getting behind Rice because she's being attacked by right wingers.
from Susan Rice's Facebook page
That may not be a good idea. Rice could be simply awful, from a progressive, liberal, anti-war, anti-neocon, pro-environment point of view. She could be an appointment as bad as some of the investment bankers Obama has appointed. She could be the worst new appointment who's come to light since he won his re-election. It's ironic that the people who are attacking her from the right would be delighted with her if she was a Republican-- she's a lot like John Bolton, except with some international women's rights thrown in. If the Republicans get smart, they'll start recruiting women who look exactly like Susan Rice. But Obama should not be appointing her and people on the left should not be getting her back. They should be raising their voices making it clear to Obama that she is a terrible candidate for secretary of state.
My concern about Rice started with an interview with Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report publisher and radio host. Here's the key excerpt from the interview. Ford had just brought up Rice in the context of her appearances on Meet the Press to discuss the episode in Bengazi.:
Rob: Now, you've described Susan Rice as one of the most bellicose, bomb-at-the-drop-of-a-hat, Africa-bashing professional servants of power in Washington. You've said that she is a madwoman demanding blockades and airstrikes against Sudan, invasion of Somalia, embargos on little Eritrea, regime change in Libya. It sounds to me like she, if she was a Republican, people like John McCain and all the Republicans who are going after her, would love her!
Glen: And they should! She was making these demands for air strikes and blockades on Sudan back in 2006 when there was a Republican administration. It was, she was at the service of Bush's aggressive foreign policy -- in fact more bellicose than Bush in regard to African issues -- back then. And there is something I didn't mention in that article and I think it's the greatest crime of all. It is Susan Rice who has been blocking at the United Nations, the release of the last two reports from the UN documenting the roll of Uganda and Rwanda, who are the United States' two main allies - military allies - to the US's biggest henchmen in Africa. These UN reports document how they are complicit, in fact are the main actors, in the Genocide in the Congo that has killed six million [6,000,000] people. And if Rwanda and Uganda are the main actors in this genocide that means that the United States is the main actor in the Genocide in Congo. And Susan Rice is a major player in covering up that crime.
Rob: So it sounds like she's a Democratic John Bolton, maybe worse.
Glen: I think she's the meanest dog in town. This woman is rabid! She makes Condoleezza Rice seem like a sweet academic.
Rob: Rabid. Ok. And do you think she's got a shot at getting the appointment to replace Hilary?
Glen: I hope not. Now, of course the US policy does not change based upon who the Secretary of State is. We at Black Agenda Report of course dread Susan Rice being the Secretary of State, because that puts one more high profile Black American in the position of being the Executioner in Chief of the world, and that's very bad for the good name of African Americans. But whoever they put in charge will just continue the US policy. We certainly don't want that to be in blackface.
Rob: Well, I basically think of Clarence Thomas. He's a guy who was handed a lot of power, and he certainly wielded it to serve the 1% and the military industrial conflict.
Glen: Yeah, but Clarence Thomas was of course appointed by Republicans, and that makes him one step removed so to speak. This is a Democratic administration with a Black president supported wholeheartedly by the vast majority of black people in this country. And so I can't imagine how people in the world will not associate these crimes by Obama and by Rice, Susan Rice, as being the product somehow of the Black policy in the United States, and that is profoundly disturbing to contemplate.
After processing that conversation for a day I came to the conclusion that Rice is probably as bad in the diplomacy world as the Banksters Obama appointed in the financial world-- Geithner, Summers and the rest of the Robert Rubin acolytes Obama appointed in his first term. But I'm no expert on Rice. So I went to some of the activists and commentators I've come to know and trust who also pay attention to international considerations. i sent out an email asking them their take on Susan Rice, simply citing Glen Ford's take that she's rabid, in the same league as John Bolton.
David Swanson was the first to respond, saying,
Progressives would be condemning her as a champion of imperialistic wars under the pretense of humanitarianism if they hadn't just been trained for an entire election season to view themselves as spectators and cheerleaders for one half of their government, duty bound to support whatever the Bad Team opposes.
Ray McGovern, former CIA analyst and the CIA intelligence officer who gave the daily report to presidents for 20+ years, answered,
When President Clinton chose to appoint Susan Rice as Assistant Secretary of State for African Afaiars in 1997, among the strongest opposition was that of the Congressional Black Caucus, who considered Rice to be a member of "Washington's assimilationist Black elite." They had that right. She has not been a good person for the oppressed -- Black or Brown -- and especially not for the Palestinians.
She had been given senior jobs at the National Security Council from 1993 to 1997, but, like her boss Bill Clinton, refused to call the 1994 killing of 800,000 Rwandans "Genocide." Clinton and Rice did almost nothing to help. For services performed, or not, she was promoted to become Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for African Affairs from 1995 to 1997.