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Confession: I am in love with Dr. Condoleezza Rice
By Alan Caruba
I like to think of myself as a temperate, moderate man. I have more confidence in my intellect than my heart, but I have a confession to make. I am in love with Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs.
While I have long admired her, I can tell you the moment I fell in love. It was while watching C-Span as she delivered her remarks on June 26, 2003 to the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London. Not the stuff of great romance, say you?
Nonsense! How could any man not find himself total entranced by this remarkable woman when she said America has resolved "that the only true defense against a threat of this kind (9-11) is to root it out at its source and address it as its fundamental and ideological core"? Oh, be still my heart!
And it just got better and better as she told the distinguished gathering that "With the help of our coalition partners, we have deposed two of the cruelest regimes of this or any time." And why? Because President George W. Bush not only has a warrior's spirit, but the cool analytical counsel of this remarkable woman!
"To win the war on terror, we must also win a war of ideas by appealing to the decent hopes of people throughout the world…giving them cause to hope for a better life and brighter future…and reason to reject the false and destructive comforts of bitterness, grievance, and hate. Terror grows in the absence of progress and development. It thrives in the airless space where new ideas, new hopes and new aspirations are forbidden. Terror lives when freedom dies."
This, I submit, is powerful stuff. Dr. Rice talks of "ideas", the "decent hopes of people", and "reason to reject the false and destructive comforts of bitterness, grievance, and hate." Not once during the tenure of Sandy Berger in the same position as counsel to former President Clinton, did I hear anything by way of a serious context for dealing with the very same problems that afflicted Americans during those eight long, feckless years.
While the yelping of critics assails the Bush administration and its foreign policy, at the core of it is a woman who reminded her audience that "Two years ago, President Bush told a European audience, ‘We share more than an alliance. We share a civilization. Its values are universal, and they pervade our history and our partnership in a unique way.'"
She went on to say, "Increasingly, this civilization is shared by countries throughout the world. The bankruptcy of fascism, Nazism, and imperial communism has given way to a paradigm of progress, founded on political and economic liberty." And then she issued a challenge, saying that, since 9-11, "the world's great powers see themselves as falling on the same side of a profound divide between the forces of chaos and order." Most of the nations of Europe have, indeed, made this choice, but not France and not Germany. In both cases, history has a nasty way of repeating itself.
Both of these nations cling to notions of multi-polarity, theories of rivalry, and competing interests. Secretly they fund the Palestinians and root for the Middle Eastern despots with whom they have made commercial deals to line their pockets. And yet it is the United States that is accused of trading blood for oil!
"Today," said Dr. Rice, "this theory of rivalry threatens to divert us from meeting the great tasks before us. Only the enemies of freedom would cheer this division."
She had more to say of equal value, but who could not fall in love with a woman, advisor to the most powerful man in the world, who reminds him and the rest of us that "Democracy is not easy"? But that is no reason, said Dr. Rice, we should say "that there are those who are not ready for democracy and therefore not deserving of freedom's promise."
I love Dr. Rice because she is living proof that, in America, we struggle to right the wrongs of the past and we struggle, even shed blood, to share our freedom with others who yearn for it. I love Dr. Rice because, in my lifetime, this nation has gone from an era when she would have had to ride in the back of the bus, but instead now works in the West Wing of the White House.
Alan Caruba is the author of "Warning Signs", a collection of his weekly columns, published by Merril Press. His column is posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba 2003
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