I've been lecturing, occasionally, at Stanford for two decades. I never met Condolezza Rice when she was at the far right "think" tank there, the Hoover Institute, nor when she was Provost at Stanford for 6 years in the '90s. I've asked a lot of faculty members who did meet her what she was like. The most positive thing anyone has ever told me about her is that she was an OK piano player. Academically she was always a joke, someone who had managed to get through a series of third-rate schools because of a good memory and some charm but little with little ability for analysis or real comprehension.The Bush administration is marked by two types of people.
- The insane masquerading as incompetent - Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld.
- And the truly incompetent - Condolezza Rice.
Kieth Olbermann dissects Condi's latest intellectually dishonest analogy in last nights special comment, Condi goes too far.
Then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld thought he could equate those who doubted him with Nazi appeasers, without reminding anybody that the actual, historical Nazi appeasers in this country in the 1930s were the Republicans.Olbermann then gives us the facts that Dr Rice either didn't know or chose to ignore.
Vice President Cheney thought he could talk as if he and he alone knew the “truth” about Iraq and 9/11, without anyone ever noticing that even the rest of the administration officially disagreed with him.
The president really acted as if you could scare all of the people all of the time and not lose your soul — and your majority — as a result.
But Secretary of State Rice may have now taken the cake. On the Sunday morning interview show “Of Broken Record” on Fox, Dr. Rice spoke a paragraph, which if it had been included in a remedial history paper at the weakest high school in the nation would've gotten the writer an "F" — maybe an expulsion.
If Congress were now to revise the Iraq authorization, she said, out loud, with an adult present: "… it would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change, then, the resolution that allowed the United States to do that, so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown."
The secretary's résumé reads that she has a master’s degree and a Ph.D in political science. The interviewer should have demanded to see them, on the spot. Dr. Rice spoke 42 words. She may have made more mistakes in them than did the president in his State of the Union Address in 2003.
There is, obviously, no mistaking Saddam Hussein for a human being. But nor is there any mistaking him for Adolf Hitler.
Invoking the German dictator who subjugated Europe; who tried to exterminate the Jews; who sought to overtake the world is not just in the poorest of taste, but in its hyperbole, it insults not merely the victims of the Third Reich, but those in this country who fought it and defeated it.
Saddam Hussein was not Adolf Hitler. And George W. Bush is not Franklin D. Roosevelt — nor Dwight D. Eisenhower. He isn't even George H.W. Bush, who fought in that war.
However, even through the clouds of deliberately spread fear, and even under the weight of a thousand exaggerations of the five years past, one can just barely make out how a battle against international terrorism in 2007 could be compared — by some — to the Second World War.
The analogy is weak, and it instantly begs the question of why those of "The Greatest Generation" focused on Hitler and Hirohito, but our leaders seem to have ignored their vague parallels of today to instead concentrate on the Mussolinis of modern terrorism.
But in some, small, "You didn't fail, Junior, but you may need to go to summer school" kind of way, you can just make out that comparison.
But, Secretary Rice, overthrowing Saddam Hussein was akin to overthrowing Adolf Hitler? Are you kidding? Did you want to provoke the world's laughter?
And, please, Madame Secretary, if you are going to make that most implausible, subjective, dubious, ridiculous comparison; if you want to be as far off the mark about the Second World War as, say, the pathetic Holocaust-denier from Iran, Ahmadinejad — at least get the easily verifiable facts right: the facts whose home through history lies in your own department.
The resolution that allowed the United States to" overthrow Hitler?Sorry Condi, you may have a PhD but in your case that certainly stands for Pile it Higher and Deeper.
On the 11th of December, 1941, at 8 o'clock in the morning, two of Hitler's diplomats walked up to the State Department — your office, Secretary Rice -- and 90 minutes later they were handing a declaration of war to the chief of the department's European Division. The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor four days earlier, and the Germans simply piled on.
Your predecessors, Dr. Rice, didn't spend a year making up phony evidence and mistaking German balloon-inflating trucks for mobile germ warfare labs. They didn't pretend the world was ending because a tin-pot tyrant couldn't hand over the chemical weapons it turned out he'd destroyed a decade earlier. The Germans walked up to the front door of our State Department and said, "We're at war." It was in all the papers. And when that war ended, more than three horrible years later, our troops and the Russians were in Berlin. And we stayed, as an occupying force, well into the 1950s. As an occupying force, Madam Secretary!