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In his fascinating portrait of Condoleezza Rice in the current issue of The Atlantic, David Samuels gives us a Condi who really believes her administration’s rhetoric about its democratic mission – and who rejects the distinction between “realists” and “idealists.” No doubt this is Condi’s current packaging, and no doubt she is a very effective saleswoman. One of her old professors at Denver University recently described her to me as the “ultimate political chameleon” who adopted her political bearings to the power environment into which she was dropped. But how is this to be reconciled with the old Condi who emerges from the pages of today’s New York Times? Today, Chevron announces that it was deep in bed with Saddam Hussein through the oil-for-food program, and indeed all of this occurred while Condi was serving on the Chevron board and was the director with principle oversight responsibility for its Middle Eastern entanglements.
According to the Volcker report, surcharges on Iraqi oil exports were introduced in August 2000 by the Iraqi state oil company, the State Oil Marketing Organization. At the time, Condoleezza Rice, now secretary of state, was a member of Chevron’s board and led its public policy committee, which oversaw areas of potential political concerns for the company.
Ms. Rice resigned from Chevron’s board on Jan. 16, 2001, after being named national security advisor by President Bush.
So Condi as Chevron director has no objection to dark and corrupt dealings with Saddam Hussein, but Condi as national security advisor is instantly committed to overthrowing his regime through the use of violent force. I fail to see the consistency.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”