Thursday, October 20, 2005

Condoleeza Rice Has Chat-Session with Senate Foreign Relations Committee

If anyone was optomistic that Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice would make clear the United States policy on Iraq, hope for that was quickly dashed. Not only were Democrats on the committee not getting their questions answered but the Republicans as well, when the Secretary appeared at a hearing yesterday. Sen. Hagel, a Republican and times at odds with his own party and the administration wanted to know from Rice about an article that appeared in the New York Times, in which the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister was quoted as saying, "Instability and occupation in Iraq will lead to full-scale war in the region," and if she agreed with that statement? Secretary Rice could not answer that question, and chose to move to the next question by assuring the Senator that she had talked to the Saudi Foreign Minister and he assured her that the comment was taken out of context....
The Secretary was asked a smorgasbord of questions, from voting in Iraq over the weekend, to the new montra "Freedom Deficit". At one point Rice was even heckled by a woman spectator in the audience who was screaming, "How many more will die for this policy!! How many more will die for you?! Is Syria next?!" Of course Sen. George Allen Republican of VA had to put his usual optomistic "talking points" into the mix, with that smiley smirk most GOP seem to have, stating that,"Just the idea of people going out and voting in Iraq is a good thing...." That just knocked."Schools are being opened and children are going to school in the midst of all the insurgency." right out the door.
One of the Senators that got directly to the point was none other that Sen. John Kerry, the former 2004 Democrat candidate for President. he questioned, if the administration was really in touch with the American public in their growing discontent about the war in Iraq, as Nixon finally was during the Vietnam War? Rice could not answer that question either, but she did try to put a positive "spin" on the events happening in Iraq. She totally "dissed" the entire premiss of Sen. Kerry's questioning. He wanted a timetable for US troop withdrawal, "You make timetables for voting on a new government, you make timetables for ratification of a Constitution, why no timetable for the withdrawing of US troops?" One could have thought this was a sequel to one of Kerry's campaign speeches, but he did speak for a growing number of Americans. Now, there is no doubt that Secretary Rice is an intelligent well educated woman, but she needs to understand that this adminstration works for the people, and she is part of the administration. She owes the people answers to the questions asked of the people's elected officials in the Senate, when the spotlight is on her, not "political spin", arrogance, and evasiveness.


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