Monday, May 16, 2005

Dr. Rice, Secretary Of State Propaganda

There is a huge difference between the styles of former Secretary State, Colin Powell, and Dr. Condoleeza Rice that replaced him. For one thing, Colin Powell is an honest man. When right wing politico, Ann Coulter attacked Max Cleland when running for reelection to the Senate with lies that Cleland blew off his own limbs on the way to drink at a bar, it was Colin Powell's own office, and secretary that personally condemned these lies with the truth that Cleland and a number of relief soldiers flown in by helicopter to assist the surrounded American forces at the seige of Khe Sahn, and a grenade was shot off a soldiers belt and exploded as Cleland and other soldiers were exiting a military helicopter. How Coulter could possiby have made up the outright lie about Cleland blowing off his own limbs on the way to drink was outrageous. There was no bar on this bloody battlefield. Colin Powell's office was outraged at this lie against a very good soldier, and true American hero, Max Cleland, by right winger, Ann Coulter. Coulter recently wrote a condescending book entitled, "How To Talk To A Liberal". You can start by talking truthfully, Coulter. That's a good start.

And unlike Colin Powell, who genuinely felt that John Bolton was truly the wrong choice for U.N. Ambassador for the country and made those concerns publicly known, Dr. Rice is the ultimate team player and company person. She was a former board member of the Directors of the Board of Chevron Oil. This company even named an oil tanker after her. And the Bush Administration with 42 executives, major stockholders or others associated with the oil industry often looks to "talent" from this industry to fill important policy areas.

In a short trip to Iraq yesterday, Dr. Rice made the news and acted as a public relations expert to contradict the reality of the worsening situation in that country. Even in the heavily fortified, "Green Zone" which is supposed to be the heart of the American military command, conditions are so unsafe that Dr. Rice and any visting Congressperson cannot visit for more than a few hours. There is no overnight visits due to extreme safety concerns. A visiting dignitary cannot even use the bathroom without armed guards in what is supposed to be the most safe and secure heart of the American military command center. Dr. Rice took off her helmet and flak jacket just long enough for a few photo and soundbite opts, then quickly put this important safety against constant violence gear back on.

Dr. Rice hoped to promote a phony vision of progress in Iraq with this visit. But the reality is that violence has sharply increased recently, as it is clear that that insurgent forces merely only regrouped during the seemingly lower level of violence a few weeks ago. In addition, the condition of the Iraqi public continues to worsen after the fall of Saddam. 25% of Iraqi children now suffer from chronic malnutrition. Only 54% of Iraqi citizens have clean drinking water to drink. 85% of Iraqis report chronic shortages or outages of electric power. And many reconstruction projects are stalled by the high level of violence, while other projects are plagued by American contractors who cannot account for $100 million approved by Congress for projects.

In her short visit to Iraq, Dr. Rice hoped to turn around sagging opinion poll numbers for this increasingly unpopular war. But the facts underly the desperate situation in Iraq. Life is very bad for Iraqi citizens and American soldiers alike. Rice's visit didn't change any of that. Some public relations propaganda for the Bush White House is a weak substitute for improved safety for American soldiers, or clean water, food and electricity for the average Iraqi.


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