Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice TestifiesFri Jan 12, 2007 02:31
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Testifies Before Senate
In what will undoubtedly prove to be an awkward bit of timing for her, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will go before the Senate Foreign Relations ...
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Rice rejects calls for diaogue with Syria, Iran, over Iraq
Friday 12th January, 2007
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday resisted calls for U.S. outreach to Iran and Syria over what the Bush administration sees as efforts by those countries to destabilize Iraq.
In Senate testimony, Rice said the United States is not prepared to pay a diplomatic price for such contacts.
Rice is insisting that if Iran and Syria really wanted to help stabilize Iraq, they would do so on their own.
She told senators that if the United States was to seek dialogue just for the sake of talking, it would do so as a supplicant, and face demands to compromise over Iran's nuclear program or Syria's role in Lebanon.
U.S. outreach to Tehran and Damascus was a major recommendation of the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton Iraq study commission, and was also endorsed by senators of both parties in the secretary of state's Foreign Relations Committee testimony.
Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd said Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sounded conciliatory about Iraq during a visit he and Senate colleague John Kerry made to Damascus last month, and that it is worthwhile to explore areas of common ground.
"None of us are suggesting at this table that we engage Iran or Syria as if they were an ally or friend and we're not talking about conferences where we give them a status that they don't deserve," Dodd said. "But it's awfully difficult to understand, Madame Secretary, why we would not try to engage very directly here with people here who can play a critical role in providing some stability."
Rice said past U.S. efforts to engage Syria had gotten nowhere and that there was no indication a new approach would turn out differently.
She repeated an offer to meet her Iranian counterpart any time, anywhere, if Iran met international demands to end uranium enrichment.
But she said engaging Tehran and Damascus under pressure over Iraq would require trade-offs that the Bush administration is not prepared to make.
"I think we need to recognize that if Iran and Syria wish to play a stabilizing role for their own interests, then they will do so," she said. "If on the other hand they intend to offer a stabilizing role because they believe that in our current situation in Iraq, we are willing to pay a price, that's not diplomacy, that's extortion."
Rice said she would expect Iran, under those circumstances, to seek relief from international pressure over its nuclear program, while Syria would want to stop the investigation of the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rakik Hariri, in which Syrian officials have been implicated.
President Bush leveled heavy criticism at Iran and Syria in his Iraq policy address late Wednesday, saying they are allowing terrorists and insurgents to use their territory to move in and out of Iraq.
He also accused Iran of providing material help for attacks on American troops and said the United States would disrupt the flow of support from both Iran and Syria.
But under questioning from Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden, Rice appeared to rule out U.S. military action inside those two countries to stop the alleged interference of Iranian-affiliated networks.
"What is really being contemplated here in terms of these networks is that we believe we can do what we need to do inside Iraq," she said. "Obviously, the president isn't going to rule anything out to protect our troops. But the plan is to take down these networks in Iraq."
Military Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace made a similar statement earlier Thursday, but at the Senate hearing Republican Senator Chuck Hagel said he was dubious about such assurances.
The Nebraska senator, a Vietnam veteran, noted that the Nixon administration lied to try to conceal 1970 U.S. military forays into Cambodia aimed at halting supplies to communist forces in the former South Vietnam.
Chairman Biden said congressional action in 2002 authorizing the invasion of Iraq does not provide for cross-border military action against Iran or Syria, and said any Bush administration attempt to construe it as such would generate a Constitutional confrontation.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Video and photos featured on the state.gov website during 2006 In 18 trips, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled 247603 miles flying for 522.01 ...
Condoleezza Rice at Boston College? I Quit
Powerful and inspiring letter from a professor at Boston College who is resigning in protest of Condoleezza Rice being selected as the commencement speaker at this year's graduation. Read comments in support of Professor Almond from our readers below. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Condoleezza Rice at Boston College? I Quit
by Steve Almond
An open letter to William P. Leahy, SJ, president of Boston College.
Dear Father Leahy,
I am writing to resign my post as an adjunct professor of English at Boston College.
I am doing so -- after five years at BC, and with tremendous regret -- as a direct result of your decision to invite Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to be the commencement speaker at this year's graduation.
Many members of the faculty and student body already have voiced their objection to the invitation, arguing that Rice's actions as secretary of state are inconsistent with the broader humanistic values of the university and the Catholic and Jesuit traditions from which those values derive.
But I am not writing this letter simply because of an objection to the war against Iraq. My concern is more fundamental. Simply put, Rice is a liar.
She has lied to the American people knowingly, repeatedly, often extravagantly over the past five years, in an effort to justify a pathologically misguided foreign policy.
The public record of her deceits is extensive. During the ramp-up to the Iraq war, she made 29 false or misleading public statements concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and links to Al Qaeda, according to a congressional investigation by the House Committee on Government Reform.
To cite one example:
In an effort to build the case for war, then-National Security Adviser Rice repeatedly asserted that Iraq was pursuing a nuclear weapon, and specifically seeking uranium in Africa.
In July of 2003, after these claims were disproved, Rice said: ''Now if there were doubts about the underlying intelligence . . . those doubts were not communicated to the president, the vice president, or to me."
Rice's own deputy, Stephen Hadley, later admitted that the CIA had sent her a memo eight months earlier warning against the use of this claim.
In the three years since the war began, Rice has continued to misrepresent or simply ignore the truth about our deadly adventure in Iraq.
Like the president whom she serves so faithfully, she refuses to recognize her errors or the tragic consequences of those errors to the young soldiers and civilians dying in Iraq. She is a diplomat whose central allegiance is not to the democratic cause of this nation, but absolute power.
This is the woman to whom you will be bestowing an honorary degree, along with the privilege of addressing the graduating class of 2006.
It is this last notion I find most reprehensible: that Boston College would entrust to Rice the role of moral exemplar.
To be clear: I am not questioning her intellectual gifts or academic accomplishments. Nor her potentially inspiring role as a powerful woman of color.
But these are not the factors by which a commencement speaker should be judged. It is the content of one's character that matters here -- the reverence for truth and knowledge that Boston College purports to champion.
Rice does not personify these values; she repudiates them. Whatever inspiring rhetoric she might present to the graduating class, her actions as a citizen and politician tell a different story.
Honestly, Father Leahy, what lessons do you expect her to impart to impressionable seniors?
That hard work in the corporate sector might gain them a spot on the board of Chevron? That they, too, might someday have an oil tanker named after them? That it is acceptable to lie to the American people for political gain?
Given the widespread objection to inviting Rice, I would like to think you will rescind the offer. But that is clearly not going to happen.
Like the administration in Washington, you appear too proud to admit to your mistake. Instead, you will mouth a bunch of platitudes, all of which boil down to: You don't want to lose face.
In this sense, you leave me no choice.
I cannot, in good conscience, exhort my students to pursue truth and knowledge, then collect a paycheck from an institution that displays such flagrant disregard for both.
I would like to apologize to my students and prospective students. I would also urge them to investigate the words and actions of Rice, and to exercise their own First Amendment rights at her speech.
Steve Almond is the author of the story collections ''The Evil B. B. Chow" and ''My Life in Heavy Metal."
Published on Friday, May 12, 2006 by the Boston Globe
Letters from our readers
Thank you, for your stand for integrity and for a voice given by a clear conscience. Your message, both written and in action, speaks loudly and demonstrates a great courage.
I applaud you.
C.H, Landmark Seminar Leader
Every little act of this nature helps the world become a better place and does much to counteract the corruption and wrong doing.
scott (now living in Europe because I couldn't stand to see what they were doing to my home).
The immigrants have shown the way, risking what little they have on behalf of freedom. For a person with an academic post to give it up, not knowing what will be the consequences is inspiring. I hope, dearly, that dozens of universities rush to offer him a post.
The recent resigning of Professor Almond over the appearance of Ms. Rice conducting the commencement ceremonies at your school is nothing short of heroic. You should be proud to have a professor that will go out in a blaze of glory over the appearance of someone from the Bush Regime who has repeatedly lied, and stayed lockstep with the president no matter how wrong he was.
But in the long run, I think that the3 Boston College community and our society will be better for your having stood up and taken a stand against the pervasive, malignant deceit and violent, power-mad delusion that have been the hallmarks of our current administration, including and particularly exemplified by the false, public statements of Ms. Rice.
Steve's eloquent resignation letter made my day. Truth is hard to find these days, and a person of his courage shines a light in the darkness. Thank you, Steve, for helping keep my hope alive.
Grand Rapids, Michigan
At a time when the Decider/ Dictator Bush flaunts his criminal actions and threatens more wars of aggression, we all must speak out.
You are an excellent, patriotic example for students and faculty everywhere. As an adjunct faculty member myself, I understand the sacrifice you are making to protect our country. I have sent your letter out to my large current events e-mail list. I am on the faculty of Graduate Theological Union inBerkeley, affiliated with UC Berkeley.
Rev. Taigen Dan Leighton, Ph.D.
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