Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Battering Susan Rice

Image courtesy of Fox News.

Republicans have decided that they are going to pan US Ambassador to the United Nations due to her statements after the 11 September in Benghazi, Libya, which killed US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens and three other staffers.

Rice claimed the weekend afterwards that the attack was due to a protest over anti-Muslim video, which spilled into an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi. She is also likely to be Obama's next Secretary of State, as Hillary Clinton is virtually certain to step down from the role. Important: Rice has said repeatedly that she was reporting on intelligence that was given to her at the time. The White House said much the same thing. What we know now is very different to what anyone knew then. 

While Rice may seem an easy target it is worth pointing out that she would actually be a pretty consensus candidate to take up the role of Secretary of State. She was one of the top critics of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi before he ultimately met the sharp end of a bullet, and she supported and assisted in the implementation of the no-fly zone and other military intervention (along with arming rebels who, incidentally, decided not to give the weapons back).

While the Obama administration has been criticised for not doing everything Israel tells it to, Rice has spent time courting Israel and voters in the USA who feel strongly about the USA's relationship with Israel. If the last election was anything to go by, Jewish Americans backed the Obama administration's foreign policy (although there was a slight increase for Republicans compared to the 2008 election) towards Israel. Rice also spent day after day, hour after hour, attempting to ensure Palestine's bid for sovereignty at the United Nations did not pass. In fact, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations gave Rice its annual National Service Award in 2011.

When it comes to Iran, Rice is on record saying, "We will take no option off the table to ensure that (Iran) does not acquire a nuclear weapon, including a military option."

Quite frankly, Rice doesn't screw about. When South Africa chaired the United Nations Security Council in January of this year its main item on the agenda was having the African Union play a greater role in dealing with crises in Africa, which Rice agreed to in principle and then immediately said the UNSC would not be answerable to anyone. Rice is also part of an administration which ended the Iraq war and has firm plans to withdraw from the war in Afghanistan - both of which are approved by the US public, according to polls.

While Republicans may string up Rice - an easy target after Benghazi - they may end up missing out on a Secretary of State whose ideas manage to cross the aisle moreso than other candidates.

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