You and what army, Condi?

When I mentioned the other day that I wouldn’t want to see McCain choose Condoleeza Rice as as his running mate, it was because she says the kind of thing she’s been saying a lot since the Russians invaded Georgia. My initial reaction to all the the Secretary of State’s “Russia must withdraw from Georgia” pronouncements was that the Russians would respond, “You gonna make us? You and what army?” That’s why countries have big armies. The Romans knew that in the early days of their empire. So did the British and Americans in the early days of theirs and ours, respectively. All too many Americans, Dr. Rice among them, have forgotten this basic fact of political life. The Russians have not, as several scathing pieces about Rice in Pravda this week show. An August 18 Pravda article called “Is Condoleeza Rice stupid?” asks rhetorically,

Has the US Secretary of State got her cassette stuck? For a week now she has been reiterating the same phrase “Russian forces must leave Georgia now” and for a week now the world has been informed of Georgian war crimes against Russians in Ossetia. The war crimes happened, the Russians call the shots now, Ms. Rice. Like it or lump it.

This isn’t the first time Pravda has insulted Secretary Rice. A 2006 article in called “Condoleezza Rice’s anti-Russian stance based on sexual problems” quotes Vladimir Zhirinovsky as saying that Rice made anti-Russian statements

“because she is a single woman who has no children. She loses her reason because of her late single status.”

While I certainly do not agree with Zhirinovsky’s sexist and simplistic psychoanalysis of her, I have to say that there is one way in which having children might have helped Rice to understand the Russians better, and to realize that some people — like Russians and two-year-olds — see right through empty threats that aren’t backed up by swift and serious consequences. After we saw Will Farrell’s “Good Copy, Baby Cop” You Tube video, my husband and I started calling our daughter Tessie “The Lieutenant.” That kid was is a tough cookie. Some children are docile and agreeable. I was, according to my parents and all my relatives. My children aren’t. I have three (still too early to tell about the fourth) very strong-willed children. I suspect that Teddy “Speak softly and carry a big stick” Roosevelt may have had his political philosophy honed in the hard-knocks school of parenthood. TR is said to have said about his strong-willed daughter Alice, “I can be president of the United States or I can attend to Alice. I cannot possibly do both.”

Condoleeza Rice may not have had an Alice Roosevelt or a Theresa Russell to teach her that empty threats get you nowhere, but she could have learned the same lesson by reading Machiavelli or Sun Tzu. Either way, our nation’s highest diplomat ought to know better than to keep threatening loudly when all her sticks are busy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Comments 6

  1. Virginia Harris wrote:

    Condi Rice is perhaps not the greatest Secretary of State, but she is no worse than most of her (male) predecessors.

    It’s not surprising though that she faces gender bias both in this country and around the world.

    Women are still climbing a long, steep hill out of a very deep hole.

    But thanks to the success of the suffragettes, women now have voices and choices!

    Yet most people are totally in the dark about HOW the suffragettes won, and what life was really like for women before they did.

    Now readers can discover the shocking truth, and it’s as easy as opening their e-mail.

    “The Privilege of Voting” is a new free e-mail series that follows eight great women from 1912 – 1920 to reveal ALL that happened to set the stage for women to win the vote.

    This is no boring history report.

    Two beautiful and extremely powerful suffragettes — Alice Paul and Emmeline Pankhurst are featured, along with Edith Wharton, Isadora Duncan, Alice Roosevelt and two gorgeous presidential mistresses.

    There are tons of heartache for these heroines on the rocky road to the ballot box, but in the end, they WIN!

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    Posted 21 Aug 2008 at 2:38 pm
  2. Bowden Russell wrote:

    Yeah, women voting, hurah.

    Q: Weren’t women the group which gave the serial sexual-harasser Bill Clinton his margin of victory?

    A: Yes.

    I rest my case.

    Posted 22 Aug 2008 at 1:30 am
  3. Disgrunted Female wrote:

    Most times I am horribly embarrassed to be a female, especially during this current election. Most of the women I know have ZERO clue of what the real issues are or what is really going on. I mean, they are just plain STUPID.
    Oh, Obama will respect my right to choose! Oh, he won’t let us drill in Anwar! Oh, he’s all about making a change! Oh, he’s sooooo cute!! Give me a break. I think a select committee of level minded men (and women) should be allowed to choose the next president. Not a bunch of dumb whiney broads who only worry about where they’re going to get their next Starbucks.

    Posted 22 Aug 2008 at 3:51 pm
  4. Brigette Russell wrote:

    At first I thought “Disgruntled Female” must be a certain guy I know, but I checked the e-mail address, and it is genuine, and actually does belong to a woman. Just in case anyone was wondering.

    Posted 23 Aug 2008 at 12:02 am
  5. Bowden Russell wrote:

    Yeah, I say said “Disgrunted Female” reveal her name.

    I doubt she is man enough to do so.

    ;->

    Posted 23 Aug 2008 at 2:18 pm
  6. Disgrunted Female wrote:

    I’ll reveal my true identity when “Garth Gilbert” reveals his. Talk about being “man enough”.
    Besides, what’s the fun of posting if one cannot do so anonymously?

    Posted 25 Aug 2008 at 3:44 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 2

  1. From Stop US Wars » Blog Archive » You and what army, Condi? on 21 Aug 2008 at 6:42 am

    […] info@reason.com (W. James Antle, III) wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThe war crimes happened, the Russians call the shots now, Ms. Rice. Like it or lump it. This isn’t the first time Pravda has insulted Secretary Rice. A 2006 article in called “Condoleezza Rice’s anti-Russian stance based on sexual … […]

  2. From Does Condi Need a Boyfriend? | Mike Blessing's Heresies and Blasphemies on 01 Sep 2013 at 2:25 am

    […] You and what army, Condi? […]

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