Saturday, January 13, 2007

Rice’s Poker Face on Bush’s New Game of Middle East Hold ‘em

Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice did her best not to show her hand while testifying before Congress on the President’s “new way forward” in Iraq. While the Armed Services Committee could see a few cards, Condi kept some a secret while she derided her opponents’ obviously inferior positions.

"I heard skepticism; I didn't hear alternatives that one can really pursue.” She decried what she called "the notion ... that, 'Are you just going to pull the plug?'" "We're not pulling the plug on Iraq".

While the exposed cards look bad, what lies beneath is reason to stay in the game and not fold. Refreshing her wagering pot is just what the President ordered. Condi wants to stay in the game. Only the players are changing as she goes from the Capital to the Middle East.

Rice said flagging support for the war at home does not weaken her hand abroad.

What weakens her hand abroad is her and Bush’s brief history in the region. Starting a pre-emptive war based on lies hurts the U.S. Operating secret prisons in other countries hurts America. Secret spying, kidnapping people off the street in foreign countries, jailing and “toughly interrogating/torturing” innocent people hurts our country.

Sitting on our hands for 30 days while Israel sets Lebanon back 25 years hurt Condi & Company. Holding people forever without charges rocks the legal foundation set by our forefathers. Denying those held wrongly in secret prisons access to their perpetrator’s courts blinds justice.

Condi shows up to the Middle East with a very weak hand. I’m surprised she even got an invitation. She must be an easy mark in the high stakes game of political poker…

No comments: