February 26, 2006
Condi Update: "Honey, I Lost The Mid-East!"
What are the chances anyone will look back at the Condi years at the State Department and refer to “The Rice Doctrine?”
… And, when convention calls for “making nice” in posed shots with heads of state, what could possibly lead to scenes of hectoring and debate? Besides the Mubarak pictures, I thought the top right image with Egyptian Foreign Minister Gheit was particularly characteristic of Rice (and the administration’s foreign policy). They are no longer engaged strategically (to the extent they ever were) so much as stubbornly (and now, desperately) looking for openings to continue imposing their will.
As relations continues to deteriorate, the theme of the Condi doctrine becomes more crystallized ever day. Call it: “Who Knew?”
Last week, Rice was in Egypt and Saudi Arabia arguing for (or, likely, with) both countries to withhold funding for Hamas, the organization Rice “never anticipated” would win the Palestinian elections. Consistent with the competency of the Secretary and her team, there was this telltale sentence embedded in the NYT write up on the Saudi leg of the trip:
Saudi Arabia’s position on Hamas had been enigmatic until now, and on the way here senior State Department officials said they were not sure what the Saudis would say.
What the Egyptians and Saudis would say — as illustrated — was to get lost.
(image 1: Reuters/Stringer. February 22, 2006. Cairo, Egypt. Via YahooNews. image 2: Nasser Nasser/AP. February 21, 2006. Cairo, Egypt. Via YahooNews. image 3: Khaled Desouk/AFPi. February 22, 2006. Cairo, Egypt. Via YahooNews. image 4: Nasser Nasser/AP. February 21, 2006. Cairo, Egypt. Via YahooNews.)