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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Mini-Meta Blogging for Christmas

Madame Nutterfly, aka Condiliar Rice, has come out with another one of those quotes that have earned her, and most previous secretaries of state, an eternal spot in the Hall of Shame. More importantly, it has been the subject of posts from a couple of my favorite bloggers. Here's the quote:
I think the fact is also that along the way there have been plenty of markers that show that this is a country that is worth the investment because once it emerges as a country that is a stabilizing factor, you'll have a very different kind of Middle East. And I know that from the point of view of not just monetary costs, but the sacrifice of American lives, a lot has been sacrificed for Iraq, a lot has been invested in Iraq. But the President wouldn't ask for the continued sacrifice and the continued investment if he did not believe and in fact I believe as well that this will in fact -- we can in fact succeed and that it's imperative that we succeed.
WIIIAI compares this to a statement from one of Condi's predecessors:
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, 1996, asked if 500,000 deaths of Iraqi children as a result of sanctions was acceptable: "we think the price is worth it."

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, 2006, on whether the costs and death toll of the Iraq war have been acceptable: "this is a country that is worth the investment".
Billmon comments at length on what this and similar quotes say about Condi's humanity, or lack thereof, concluding:
Does Condi understand how many deaths, mutilations and wrecked lives lie behind her "investments" and "birth pangs"? Undoubtedly. Does she care? I don't know. But, from a public diplomacy point of view, it would behoove her to show some sign that she has an emotional connection to the rest of the human race -- or, if she doesn't, to at least pretend that she does.
What strikes me is how much everything she says reflects only the American ruling class point of view. "We" can succeed and have a different kind of Middle East, because the previous version wasn't adequately serving "our" interests. It is worth the investment of American troops and money, but she doesn't even mention the much higher cost, in both life and property, being paid by Iraqis. We must "succeed," no matter how many lives fail in the process.