Posted: 04/18/14 17:47, Edited: 04/18/14 18:23
by Dave Mindeman
Condoleeza Rice spoke yesterday as part of a Civil Rights lecture series at the University of Minnesota. There were a number of protesters - many of them feeling that Dr. Rice's invitation should have been withdrawn. More of them wanted to make it clear that they consider her a war criminal as an enabler to torture.
I'm not going to go into any analysis on whether or not Dr. Rice should have spoken. That was for others to decide. I DO question the idea that Dr. Rice should be part of a civil rights lecture series. Her involvement in the civil rights struggle was minimal at best - but she has probably done great harm to the cause of human rights.
Conservatives are quick to pounce on Obama's foreign policy....especially when it comes to Russia.
But the policies of G.W.Bush, with Condi Rice, have made a mockery of our moral high ground. When we try to say that nobody should invade another country under a false pretext - who is not going to laugh?
When we talk about Putin's treatment of the Russian people, how are we to argue with Putin's discussion of surveillance on our own people. A policy that began under G.W. Bush.
And when other countries pull people off the streets and imprison them indefinitely without charges, can we say that's wrong? Can we say it the same way Jimmy Carter might have said it? or Clinton?
The full historical perspective about the G.W. Bush years has still not been written. Condi Rice may believe that the Bush administration did what was necessary to protect Americans.
But what is the precedent? Those Tea Party Patriots that reverence the Constitution - can they say that Republicans have protected it? Can they say that that sacred document has been adhered to in good times and bad?
The precedent that Condi Rice defends is one of government by fear. A precedent that believes we need to suspend our rights when we are threatened. That the Constitution is a luxury we cannot afford in times of war or imminent threat.
I don't believe that. Many people do not believe that. But Condi Rice does - she has to because she implemented a wrong-headed policy that continues on and on.
I understand that she has a right to speak. She was invited and she accepted. Case closed there. But if we are being led to believe that somehow Condi Rice can speak to the struggle of civil rights with ANY authority, then we are being deceived.
Rice represents a policy idea that many people totally reject. History will eventually reject it as well.