.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Born at the Crest of the Empire

Friday, July 18, 2008

Condi Rice - a little less useless......?

For years I have been bemoaning Condoleezza Rice's utter uselessness. As Donald Trump once complained, she would travel somewhere and wave and wave and wave without ever getting any deals done.

Part of that wasn't her fault. Part of it was the way the President balanced his advisers towards Cheney and Hadley so world leaders planned the goodwill waving ceremonies with Condi Rice and wait for Cheney or Hadley to cut a deal.

But something has changed.

Over the last two weeks, we've had the surprising shifts towards diplomacy on Iran policy, we've had the North Korea deal, and now we have what appears to be a (genuine, but too late to be effective) top level Israel-Palestine summit.

Something has substantially changed within the White House power balance. Cheney is way down and Condi Rice is rising.

(Also: Joint Chiefs Chair Mullen and SecDef Robert Gates seem to have taken on the foreign/defense/threatening role.)

What's happened? Health? A Bush-Cheney falling out?


  • All the war talk has been having a bad effect on the economy most likely.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:19 AM  

  • Yeah, I read a theory one of the blogs I visit that the sitting in on the Iran meeting is solely about calming the oil price.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 8:35 AM  

  • I read a story last week in a Gulf State paper essentially saying that the GCC was strongly encouraging increased diplomatic efforts in the region, and less military pressure.
    My take is that this is a show effort that will last for about three weeks, after which the Administration will shrug and say that "we tried".

    Turkey is increasingly taking the lead and doing an end run around the Administration on almost all of the important regional issues, and they are quite eager to let it be known that they disagree with the White House positions on the issues.

    It's amazing that the region is uniting and making constructive progress essentially in defiance of Bush. The U.S. has effectively been frozen out of the process, and even Israel is realising this.

    Dollar hegemony largely depends on the oil-producing nations accepting dollars as the exclusive currency for oil purchases. This was the deal that Nixon struck back in the day when we stopped paying out gold for dollars, in which we guaranteed 'protection' in return.

    With the dollar no longer offering the stability it once did, the enemies that the Gulf States needed 'protection' from becoming increasingly nebulous, and the web of strings attached to the arrangement becoming increasingly restrictive over the years, this agreement is in jeopardy. The U.S. risks becoming irrelevant to the region, and the 'protection' is becoming protection from us.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 11:29 AM  

  • Todd, I really think they'll try to drag it out through the end of the administration so that they can try to claim that any settlements are really their vision.

    They don't really want to make the deal, but when the deal is made, they don't want to look stupid for refusing it completely.

    And, it's just kind of a Zeitgeist read, but the Turks are working in the middle at the behest of the big Sunni powers.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 2:54 PM  

  • Whatever happens the Iranians will always be expected to prove a negative. It's a logical paradox.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:29 PM  

  • Yeah, and the US has a bigger platform to shout from.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 3:47 PM  

  • the Turks are working in the middle at the behest of the big Sunni powers

    Nobody in the region is telling them to shut up, that much is certain. Favourable opinion of the U.S. within Turkey is almost in the single digits, so it's extremely safe domestically as well.

    The Turks are also trying to rehabilitate their image in the Arab world, and this is clearly working for them.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 6:58 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home