"It seems to me that at least some of the enthusiasm for making Susan Rice Secretary of State is rooted in the fact that she is so loudly opposed by John McCain and Lindsey Graham. But there is more than that in play. Ambassador Rice would be a plausible Secretary of State. She is very smart, has a great deal of experience and appears to enjoy the confidence of the president. Those are important measures. But those ought not be the only measures. Ambassador Rice has a long record of supporting US interventionism. And her economic thinking tends toward neo-liberalism, which is the last thing we need in the midst of a global debate about austerity. On both of these issues. I wish we were considering someone like former US Senator Russ Feingold -- who spent 18 years on the Foreign Relations Committee, chaired the Africa Subcommittee with savvy and sensitivity, and has written a remarkably good book on international relations. And it is important to recognize that there are other career diplomats who could be considered, folks like Anne Woods Patterson, the current US Ambassador to Egypt who has had some very demanding assignments under Republican and Democratic presidents, including acting US Ambassador to the United Nations in 2005 and US Ambassador to Pakistan from 2007 to 2010. But my bet is that the front-runners remain the predictable crew: John Kerry, Chuck Hagel and perhaps Nick Burns.
Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant Treasury Secretary and columnist for the Wall Street Journal replied,
My impression of Susan Rice is that she is an important operative of the Hidden Agenda, one of the most committed and blood-thirsty of the Neoconservatives, and a representative of Israel's right-wing government. She does not and would not represent the interests of the American people.
I think Glen Ford makes an important point about Black Americans becoming scapegoats for the crimes of the Obama regime.
the real reason the Senate should reject the Rice nomination, if and when it is announced: she's one of the most militant [pdf] of the New Interventionists who infest the Obama administration's foreign policy shop. With Rice at the helm, the State Department would become an increasingly belligerent mouthpiece for the militant regime-changers who increasingly dominate our foreign policy councils.
Rice was in the vanguard of the Libya operation, and is credited with pressuring a reluctant President to get involved in an adventure he was sure to regret. As the idiotic left-neocon John Avlon enthused in Newsweek/The Daily Beast:
"The Libyan airstrikes mark the first time in U.S. history that a female-dominated diplomatic team has urged military action.
"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined with U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and the influential Office of Multilateral and Human Rights Director Samantha Power to argue for airstrikes against Libya. Their advice triggered an abrupt shift in U.S. policy, overturning more cautious administrations' counselors."- Advertisement -
Leave it to the Beasties to frame this in terms of identity politics, but that is precisely the political calculation the Obama administration will be making if Rice is indeed the President's nominee for State: not only is Rice one of the Three Harpies of War who -- in the Madeleine Albright tradition -- agitated for the disastrous Libyan intervention, she's also African-American, a major plus in an administration where identity politics trumps real world qualifications.
As Undersecretary of State for African Affairs during the Clinton administration, Rice traces her induction into the Humanitarian Interventionist Brigade to the alleged genocide in Rwanda that occurred under Clinton's watch, and credits the administration's failure to act as her come-to-Jesus moment: ""I swore to myself that if I ever faced such a crisis again, I would come down on the side of dramatic action, going down in flames if that was required." That it was the US consulate in Benghazi that went down in flames due to the blowback from her policy stance and influence is just one of those little ironies of history no one in Washington wants to talk about.
Mentored by Albright -- whose reputation as an interventionist of the "humanitarian" school was secured by her infamous remark that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis due to sanctions was "worth it" -- Rice apparently absorbed the Albrightian mindset.
She is an especially fervent advocate of stepping up US intervention in Africa. The dark continent, she avers, is in the midst of its "first world war," and she knows what side she's on. As Ethiopia's late dictator Meles Zenawi slashed and burned his way through Somalia, in 2007, Rice's was the loudest voice in his cheering section. Zenawi, a Marxist revolutionary who seized power in 1991, was a ruthless tyrant who suppressed the opposition, staged phony elections, and became a compliant instrument of Washington. Washington utilized Zenawi when they took up against the Al-Shabab "terrorist" group in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops launched a full-scale invasion which predictably ended in failure. As US military aid poured in, Zenawi launched a campaign of brutal repression against the Oromo and Anuak minorities, decimating their communities, murdering thousands and jailing as many as 25,000.
In spite of Zenawi's record, his death elicited loud cries of mourning from his Western patrons, especially from Rice, who delivered an embarrassingly effusive paean at his funeral: the departed dictator was "wise," she said, as well as a loving family man, and she lauded him as a "friend," calling him by his first name throughout. A more sickening display of obsequious fawning by a US official over a monster in human form has rarely been recorded.
Like Albright, Rice is an abrasive personality: her rhetorical style, suffused with the smug self-righteousness that characterizes the Clinton State Department, was on full display when she went after Russian UN envoy Vitaly Churkin for calling for an investigation into civilian deaths suffered by the Libyans at the hands of their NATO liberators: "Oh, the bombast and bogus claims," she shrieked. "Welcome to December. Is everybody sufficiently distracted from Syria now and the killing that is happening before our very eyes?" She characterized the Russian veto of measures to isolate the Syrian regime as "disgusting."- Advertisement -
Churkin was quick to reply, chiding this American Valkyrie for the cold war-ish tone of her remarks:
"We hear that the Obama administration wants to establish a dialogue with the international community in the United Nations, and in the Security Council. If that is to be the case, really this Stanford dictionary of expletives must be replaced by something more Victorian, because certainly this is not the language in which we intend to discuss matters with our partners in the Security Council."
Rice is a Stanford University alumnus, where she graduated, in 1986, with a B. A. in history. She was the recipient of a Truman Scholarship, i.e. a government subsidy, awarded by a federally-supported "foundation" to favored applicants in the field of international studies. Chairperson of the board: Madeleine Albright, who describes the program as "identifying future change agents."