Thursday, November 3, 2011

No Higher Honor

"If you were in a position of authority and watched Americans jumping out of 80-storey buildings because these murderous tyrants go after innocent people then you would have determined to do anything you could that was legal to prevent that happening."

So spake exMadame Sec o State Condoleezza as she sweetly handed some goob his assets on platter.

With the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Rice found herself at the center of the Administration’s intense efforts to keep America safe.  Here, Rice describes the events of that harrowing day – and the tumultuous days after.  No day was ever the same.  Additionally, Rice also reveals new details of the debates that led to the war in Afghanistan and then Iraq.

The eyes of the nation were once again focused on Rice in 2004 when she appeared before the 9-11 Commission to answer tough questions regarding the country’s preparedness for – and immediate response to – the 9-11 attacks.  Her responses, it was generally conceded, would shape the nation’s perception of the Administration’s competence during the crisis.  Rice conveys just how pressure-filled that appearance was and her surprised gratitude when, in succeeding days, she was broadly saluted for her grace and forthrightness.

From that point forward, Rice was aggressively sought after by the media and regarded by some as the Administration’s most effective champion.

In 2005 Rice was entrusted with even more responsibility when she was charged with helping to shape and carry forward the President’s foreign policy as Secretary of State.  As such, she proved herself a deft crafter of tactics and negotiation aimed to contain or reduce the threat posed by America’s enemies.  Here, she reveals the behind-the-scenes maneuvers that kept the world’s relationships with Iran, North Korea and Libya from collapsing into chaos.  She also talks about her role as a crisis manager, showing that at any hour -- and at a moment’s notice -- she was willing to bring all parties to the bargaining table anywhere in the world.

No Higher Honor takes the reader into secret negotiating rooms where the fates of Little Satan, the something something Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon often hung in the balance, and it draws back the curtain on how frighteningly close all-out war loomed in clashes involving Pakistan-India and Russia-Georgia, and in East Africa. 

Surprisingly candid in her appraisals of various Administration colleagues and the hundreds of foreign leaders with whom she dealt, Rice also offers here keen insight into how history actually proceeds.  In
No Higher Honor, she delivers a master class in statecraft  -- but always in a way that reveals her essential warmth and humility, and her deep reverence for the ideals on which America was founded.

James Mann's essential "Rise of the Vulcans" that chronicles "America's stand ins to the world" like Armitage, Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, puts it best even years, later. Critics of Gitmo, enhanced techniques and Great Satan

"...were not responsible for American security after New York City and Washington were attacked by terrorism."

"The Vulcans were."

The Vulcans - the cats who were on scene, large and in charge when 911 changed the world and officially escorted in the new millennium had one thread in common that separated them from all previous Great Satan's Oval Office cab members and advisers.

FDR's collection of wise men had Wall Street as a common denominator - JFK's best and brightest had the ivory ivy league halls academia.

The Vulcans had the Pentagon.

Taking Alabama's statue of Vulcan - a larger than life size omage to Birmingham's steel industry as their nom de guerre - the Vulcans (v1.0) included Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, General Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, VP Cheney and Dr Condoleezza Rice.
The Vulcans shared several central beliefs - they lived by them, they knew them to be true and they never wavered on those central values:

1. America ain't what's wrong with the world. Events and history totally bear this out. Any time rowdy trouble makers in the world act out it always because they cannot tolerate the sexyful, glistening promise of tolerant, egalitarian societies and transparent periodic elections - as Uncle Tony once awesomely put it "The rule of law - not the rule of the secret police."

2. America's position in the world should be maintained as THE dominant power. Not just military - but everything - trade, tech, R and D, and cultural as a means of constantly confronting and confounding illegit, unfree regimes and their very existence.

3. Free nations and democracies don't cause problems. They solve them. Democracies are often slow to get riled up - but as de Tocquville hinted - happy hands building, creating, inventing and tending to peaceful, capitalistic or academic endeavours can sweetly be switched over to building, fielding and deploying the deadliest armies of their age with creative destructive precisely visited upon the heads of internat'l naughtiness and villans decked out in despotic couture. 

The best source about the Vulcans, their histories, personalitites and beliefs up to 2004 is James Mann's "Rise of the Vulcans". Great Satan fans will love it - Great Satan haters fear it (and actually try to hide all the copies at Barnes and Nobles in the alternate lifestyle section. That's weird - but true!)

One by one the Vulcans began dropping out of the scene. Secretary Powell, Deputy Def Sec Wolfowitz (who is also one of neoconservatism's top intelligentsia) and Deputy Sec of State Armitage (now here's irony for you - Great Satan's top covert cat from the Vietnam and it's aftermath days blown out of the water by a moment of kiss and tell about Valerie Plame. Kinda gives loose lips a new millennium motif), and the ever cheerful communication combatant, the most awesome cat to ever talk with his hands, Donald Rumsfeld.

The two Vulcans who made it through to the end were the ever avuncular, nigh indestructible cardiac wise, unrepentant VP Cheney and Dr Condoleezza Rice.

Sec of State Rice cut her way to the top with hard work, a giant brain almost too huge for her tiny hot little body and proved an ancient adage from right before the 2000 election that "She's so smart - she's beautiful." 

Back in those days, girls coming up in the Great Satan pretty much ignored mom and poppa. Their influence was to be resisted.

Hey, they seemed to be wrong about everything. If they really dug something - it was suspect, eschewed and ignored.

If they disliked or feared something - that was the cue for girls to seek it out, embrace it and own it.
And for those of us who were little, the one role model that insinuated herself into nearly every aspect of our emerging ego's and id's was the hottest thing on the charts.

Right before 911 time Miss Britney Spears taught us it was cool to dress like a hoochie, act like a hoochie and still be as pure and virginal as the girl that poppa married.

"The video for her debut single, "Hit Me Baby One More Time," outfitted
her in full Catholic-school regalia and sent her well on the way to becoming an international sex symbol.
Yet Spears' handlers seemed to be trying to have it both ways -- there was a definite tension between the wholesome innocence Spears tried to project for her female audience, and the titillating sexuality that enticed so many male fans. Those marketing tactics made Spears a somewhat controversial figure, the subject of endless debates concerning appropriate role models for teenage girls. "

Britney proved that girls could dance all around the fire, over the fire, through the fire and (unlike the preacher, 'rents and older siblings tried to teach) never get burned! Mom and poppa were soooo wrong!!
Certain benevolent despotic 'rents used reverse psychology in a wicked maneuver to install more productive role models. And certain girls fell for it.

"Honey, just promise me you'll stay away from Condi Rice. She is sooo wrong. Using her education to get ahead - instead of getting married and raising a family, uncool - a southern girl gone bad like that actually having a place in decision making that could effect the entire planet. Who does she think she is? Why is she so special?"

Of all the Vulcans, Dr Rice was savaged by the stuck up press and political opposites in a way that tried to diss her on a personal level - actually - racist.
"Can anyone remember a racist caricature of such esteemed dignitaries like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton? Where are the racist cartoons of Yassir Arafat, OBL or any of the terrorists that kill civilians as a military tactic? While Al Jazeera is overplaying the shooting of a supposed unarmed terrorist by a US Marine while choosing not to air the execution of CARE President Margeret Hassan by Iraqi militants, where are the cartoons of those animals?"
Other critics - like Dr Fred Kaplan - kept it semi cerebral - but still were horrified that Rice proclaimed their precious Realpolitk was as incinerated as surely as the nearly 3K innocents who made it to work that ungodly AM in early September.

Dr Rice never lost her cool, she always kept her charm. And she used it. Like hitting Deutschland on tour wearing those sexy hot knee high boots.
"Rice challenges expectations and assumptions. There is undeniable authority in her long black jacket with its severe details and menacing silhouette. The darkness lends an air of mystery and foreboding. Black is the color of intellectualism, of abstinence, of penitence. If there is any symbolism to be gleaned from Rice's stark garments, it is that she is tough and focused enough for whatever task is at hand."
"She was not hiding behind matronliness, androgyny or the stereotype of the steel magnolia. Rice brought her full self to the world stage -- and that included her sexuality."
Or "Bedgate".

On tour with Great Britain's Foreign Sec Lord Jack Straw during a long flight, Condi gave up her own comfy bed to the ancient old man and crashed out on an impromptu pallet on the floor.
Charmed and disarmed - Lord Jack declared it was a textbook case of Southern hospitality.

Later events - like proclaiming the non negotiable demands of human dignity (curiously overlooked because some doofus with fake blood on her hands tried to sourmouth the event calling Dr Rice a war criminal) or calling out Mookie - a big fat coward who was willing to fight to the last drop of innocent blood to impose a caliphate on Iraq - led by himself - natch - from a secret lair somewhere in Preacher Heights in Tehran proved Rice could bare fangs and spit razor blades in any league.

Pic - "The first serious memoir of the 43rd presidency"


Anonymous said...

Don't think this is a good way to look at girls... Woman are beautiful and you should protect them because that's our job.

You should treat them like a gift. As you can see here: Perfect Girls