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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:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.
Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:
A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.
Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”