I'm all for looking on the bright side, but this is ridiculous. Commenting on the largest demonstration in favor of Hezbollah's war on Israel — a demonstration that took place in American-liberated Baghdad —
Condoleezza Rice had this to say to NBC's Tim Russert: "That people would go out and demonstrate and say what they feel is one sign that perhaps Iraq is one place in the Middle East where people are exercising their right to free speech." Come again? Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Shi'ites, calling "Death to Israel" and "Death to America," voice their support for a terrorist organization that hides behind human shields in Lebanon as it rains rockets down on cities in Israel, and the secretary of state praises freedom of speech in Iraq? It's enough to make a happy face weep. But Miss Rice beams on, diplomatically speaking, Pollyanna on the Potomac.
A more realistic approach would wipe the smile off anyone's assessment. But our foreign policy is increasingly driven by a sanguine un-reality. Oh, for an administration official who could respond to this intractable situation with an unabashedly unpleasant analysis.
"Yes, Tim," my dream secretary of state would say. "What you see in these pro-Hezbollah protests is the unfettered expression of the people of the Republic of Iraq. I wish I could say this was limited to a vocal minority, but we're seeing this same sentiment expressed across sectarian lines, in the now-free press, even in back channel communications. Why, Iraq's parliament came together unanimously — a democratic first — to condemn Israel, never mentioning Hezbollah. And why should it? Iraqi officials have refused to condemn the Iranian proxy as a terrorist group."
That might leave the host speechless — but just momentarily before he'd ask: "So what are we doing there?"
"Well, Tim,"she would respond, "the president is currently working on a major address — the most important address of his second term, I would imagine — to prepare the American people for entry into what we like to think of as the post-PC world. What I mean by that is, American efforts to extend the pacifying, enriching and ennobling benefits of democratic liberty to the Muslim Middle East have bumped up against our own erroneous teachings of political correctness.