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November 12, 2008


Michael Hanlon:

Susan Rice has taken a hit or two among conservative pundits of late...

It is important that Senator Obama hear from centrists on Iraq, and Susan [Rice] may not be such a person on that subject.

But beyond that concern, I would argue that Rice is formidable. She is indeed a progressive, but she is not an ideologue as some assert...

It would be more than fair during any confirmation hearings for Congress to press Dr. Rice on her views about Iraq. But her critics should be careful about assuming that her views on that subject translate into a broader worldview or ideology with which they must take issue.

Susan Rice, left-wing radical, expressing her views on Iraq:

"I think he [then Secretary of State Colin Powell] has proved that Iraq has these weapons and is hiding them, and I don't think many informed people doubted that." (NPR, Feb. 6, 2003)

"We need to be ready for the possibility that the attack against the U.S. could come in some form against the homeland, not necessarily on the battlefield against our forces. And I think there, too, is an area where the American people need to be better prepared by our leadership. ... It's clear that Iraq poses a major threat. It's clear that its weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that's the path we're on. I think the question becomes whether we can keep the diplomatic balls in the air and not drop any, even as we move forward, as we must, on the military side." (NPR, Dec. 20, 2002)

"I think the United States government has been clear since the first Bush administration about the threat that Iraq and Saddam Hussein poses. The United States policy has been regime change for many, many years, going well back into the Clinton administration. So it's a question of timing and tactics...We do not necessarily need a further Council resolution before we can enforce this and previous resolutions." (NPR, Nov. 11, 2002)

(Hanlon via)

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at November 12, 2008 06:24 PM

Sweet Lady!

Posted by: Mike Meyer at November 12, 2008 06:44 PM

American politics is a spectrum that stops on the left at the centre-right, so it's understandable.

Posted by: En Ming Hee at November 12, 2008 08:18 PM

She wants to level Sudan with some humanitarian firebombing without the fig leaf of UN authorization. That makes her a far leftist among her Brookings Institution colleagues.

Posted by: buermann at November 12, 2008 08:32 PM

How this works is, far to the left of Iraq on the map is a country called Sudan. If want to bomb that you're a responsible liberal. If you want to bomb a little to the right of Iraq, say Iran, that makes you center-right.

Further, if you wanted to intervene far to the left of Iraq, e.g. in the Western Sahara, you're a leftwing extremist radical, and there's no funding for you. If you want to go to the far right and bomb Pakistan, you're a right wing nutjob who gets elected President.

The French revolution fits in there somehow, but that's the contemporary gist of it.

Posted by: buermann at November 12, 2008 08:42 PM

The term “center” is being used correctly by the powers that be:

“. . . [T]hat shows that there are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents -- '
`Certainly,' said Alice.
`And only one for birthday presents, you know. There's glory for you!'
`I don't know what you mean by "glory,"' Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. `Of course you don't -- till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
`But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument,"' Alice objected.
`When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone,`it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
`The question is,' said Alice, `whether you can make words mean so many different things.'
`The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, `which is to be master - - that's all.'”

-- Lewis Carroll, obviously

Posted by: No One of Consequence at November 13, 2008 12:00 AM

It doesn't have to be easy for them.

This is a step in the right direction. OK, it's about Lieberman, but there is some logic in starting with and being insistent about the worst offenders. It makes people consider their options more carefully.

Posted by: me at November 13, 2008 06:49 AM

How did you do that? It's almost like there's some sort of "search engine" into which you can type someone's name and find all the things they've ever written or said. Oh, if only our professional journalists had access to such a device!

Posted by: SteveB at November 13, 2008 08:10 AM

Has Michael O'Hanlon been right on anything, ever? Has he ever advocated anything that actually benefited the country or the world, or has everything always been to better (or salvage) his reputation? I understand we can't cut off think tank welfare, but it'd be nice if news outlets just ignored these idiotic scoundrels. Oh wait, it's The Politico...

Posted by: Batocchio at November 13, 2008 04:38 PM