Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Just Augural

If, like me, you missed yesterday's Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioning of Sec'y of State nominee Condaleezza Rice, Fred Kaplan's Slate column offers a nice run-down.  Even with a free day, I wouldn't have watched the session (all nine hours) in its entirety, but I am interested in the ways the next Sec'y of State talks about what is happening in Iraq.  And the exchange between Kerry and Rice--where the two jostled for distinctive ways of framing the causes and complexities involved in Shiite and Sunni dispositions--and this representation of Kerry's re-made role make it worth the read:

One remark in particular raised the possibility that Kerry might emerge, in Bush's second term, as an insistent critic of the president's war policy. "Our troops are stunning, superb," Kerry said, but "they're going on missions that are questionable in terms of what they're going to achieve." Was it by chance or intention that this statement--more than anything Kerry has uttered publicly in the last 30 years--stirred memories of the famous line during his testimony before this same committee in 1971, as a protesting Vietnam veteran: "How do you ask someone to be the last man to die for a mistake?"

On the immanence possibility of "regime change" in Iran:

Rice replied that the administration's goal is to have a regime in Iran that's responsive to U.S. concerns. She then noted that the current regime stands "180 degrees" in opposition to those concerns--on nuclear weapons, relations with al-Qaida, and support of Hezbollah. She added, "The Iranian people, who are among some of the most worldly that we know--in a good sense--do suffer under a regime that has been completely unwilling to deal with their aspirations."
Bookmark and Share Posted by at January 19, 2005 9:43 AM to Unspecified