Condoleezza Rice’s Strange Travel Itinerary

July 21, 2006 · Print This Article · Email This Post

Opium Pipe Smoker DreamIf we’d been smoking opium, as depicted in this surrealistic c. 1907-1915 British vintage postcard with bats and dragons and swirling smoke plumes encircling the prostate soldier still clutching his opium pipe, we’re not sure we could have dreamed up anything stranger than Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s rush-job trip to the “Middle East” this weekend.

What is it she hopes to accomplish? Interject a United States face and presence into yet another Middle Eastern crisis, and remind the Lebanese who are being slaughtered that the Israeli jets were made in the U.S.? A CNN newscaster and his cameraman were attacked today in Lebanon, by crowds resentful of American-manufactured Israeli jets. Have we not engendered enough global ill-will yet? Do we really need to have a presence in this showdown between Hezbollah and Israel?


What results does she hope for? Israel may say “Glad you dropped by, have a nice day.” Rice won’t actually be meeting many leaders in the Middle East, as her itinerary calls for stops in Israel, the West Bank and. . .Rome, with no stops in Arab capitals. In Rome, she’ll meet next week with what she calls the “Lebanon core group”: Britain, France, Italy, Russia, the United Nations, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Huh? Has anyone looked at a map lately?

And don’t we have enough problems already over there, with our troops sandwiched between Lebanon and Iran, a recurrent Hurricane Katrina-like inability to quickly evacuate 25,000 Americans, with efforts seemingly initially paralyzed at times (This bodes so well for future hurricane evacuations, especially if one strikes our East Coast with its millions of people. . .not.), and our continued self-destructive dependence on oil which embroiled us in this region in the first place? Seems like we have a full plate here at home this time.

Somehow, we don’t think a Condoleezza Rice Band-Aid is going to quite do the trick. Read more bizarre political news.

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