- Given a "your doing a great job"
- Given the Medal of Freedom for a job incompetently done
- Given another promotion
You can argue whether legal title to the tragic mess in Iraq properly belongs to Rummy or Cheney or to the Decider himself, but as far as Lebanon is concerned, it's Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who has stepped front and center to handle the crisis and show the world who's boss.Mr Robinson explains that the "we will prevail" line is just your standard Bush administration school yard chest pounding, it's "a new Middle East" part we should be concerned about since the new Middle East this administration has created so far is even more dangerous than the old one. But then maybe Condi has been hanging around the neocons so much that some of their dangerous delusional-ism has rubbed off.
It was Rice who waited more than a week, giving Israel time to pound the daylights out of Lebanon, before finding time to visit Beirut and Tel Aviv and attend a crisis summit in Rome. It was Rice who spent her trip categorically ruling out a quick cease-fire, which made one wonder if she really needed to travel at all, since she could have just thumbed out a text message: "2 soon 2 stop boom boom."
The most significant development from Rice's swing through the region was that she took personal ownership of the bloody, escalating war between Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerrillas with a single breathtaking pronouncement:
"It is time for a new Middle East. It is time to say to those who do not want a different kind of Middle East that we will prevail, they will not."
Does Rice envision that in her "new" Middle East, Palestinians will somehow develop amnesia and forget their aspirations for a viable independent state? Does she believe the autocrats in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere will allow free and fair elections -- and that voters will reject the militant faith-based factions that for years have been providing needed services that corrupt governments can't be bothered with? Does she think anyone is going to see the uncontrollable Frankenstein's monster we created in Iraq as a model to emulate?New Middle East indeed, I think most people out of the circle of neocons would probably prefer the old one to any new disasters this band of incompetent and delusional crew might create.