Manufactured controversy of the day: Rice mentions Zarqawi, Ulysses S. Grant in same breath

posted at 1:41 pm on September 26, 2007 by Allahpundit

Condi Rice thinks a terrorist monster is the moral and intellectual equal of one of America’s greatest heroes? No, of course not. Here’s what she said:

He was diabolically brilliant. I think he was an outstanding organizer, I think he had a kind of strategic sense, and I don’t think the follow-on leadership has been quite as good. So when you hear people say, “You know, well, if you kill one of them, they’ll just replace him with another leader,” remember that that’s like saying, you know, if you take out Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant, well, they’ll just replace them with another leader. It’s – there are people who are better at this than others and I think the loss of Zarqawi, they – they started to make more mistakes.

The left knows a good headline when it smells one so this is getting the same dopey play from Olbermann’s JV team that Bush’s very important, not at all willfully distorted “Mandela’s dead” comment got last week. Think Progress tries to redeem the idiocy of its gotcha by using it as a peg for yet another rehash of the debate over how important Al Qaeda in Iraq is to the violence in the country, but that’s beside the point. Zarqawi might very well fill the role of an important strategist within AQ quite apart from the question of how many murders he and his group were personally responsible for. If you believe Gen. “Betray Us,” Al Qaeda’s presence in the country has been key accelerant of sectarian tension; click here and fast-forward to 2:15 of the video clip for more on that. And since I always recommend this old Newsweek article whenever Zarqawi’s name comes up, I’ll do so again. It discusses how the insurgency sprang up — thanks in part to those organizational skills to which Rice refers — and then was co-opted by Al Qaeda when an envoy from Bin Laden brokered an arrangement between Osama and Zarqawi that created a sort of … C-in-C/general relationship, as a matter of fact.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Bush Derangement Syndrome makes it impossible for the leftists to be intellectually honest about anything.

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 1:51 PM

Moonbats, it wasn’t even a metaphor this time. She used a simile.

amerpundit on September 26, 2007 at 1:55 PM

He was diabolically brilliant. I think he was an outstanding organizer, I think he had a kind of strategic sense, and I don’t think the follow-on leadership has been quite as good. So when you hear people say, “You know, well, if you kill one of them, they’ll just replace him with another leader,” remember that that’s like saying, you know, if you take out Robert E. Lee or Ulysses S. Grant, well, they’ll just replace them with another leader. It’s – there are people who are better at this than others and I think the loss of Zarqawi, they – they started to make more mistakes.

If Keith’s team is reading this, I edited the quote for you so you can use it on your show.

Mallard T. Drake on September 26, 2007 at 1:57 PM

Condi Rice…hmmm.

Thats a name i am not familiar with.

Does she work for our side? Is she supposed to be a high ranking spokesperson for the United States or something?

I ask that because i havent seen her or heard from her anywhere in a positive connection to the foreign policy challenges facing this country.

Not a word.

Mike D. on September 26, 2007 at 1:57 PM

Mike D. on September 26, 2007 at 1:57 PM

Shouldn’t you be posting over at dKos???

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 2:05 PM

Mike D. on September 26, 2007 at 1:57 PM

Just in case you really are this ignorant and uneducated…

Condoleezza Rice

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 2:09 PM

the sarcasm flew over your head, dorian ;)

lorien1973 on September 26, 2007 at 2:12 PM

the sarcasm flew over your head, dorian ;)

lorien1973 on September 26, 2007 at 2:12 PM

If it was sarcasm than yes I guess it did.

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 2:13 PM

A cheap shot, Dorian. no, i should not be posting this at Kosapalooza. the plain fact is that Rice has been a public communications disaster, like the Bush admin in general for whom i campaigned, voted twice and continue to support though they break my heart.

for someone who came to the job of America’s top diplomat with such high expectation and promise, she has done next to nothing that anyone can point to and remember to say “Here is where Condi Rice went out of her way to stand up for and forcefully defend that interests of the United States and our allies.”
tell me one significant thing Rice has done from the standpoint of public diplomacy and communications to support or defend the values we hold to in this country, which if you havent noticed lately are under seige.

Ms. Rice came to the job of SOS as a can’t-miss-sure-fire pro bowl prospect, but she has turned out to be little more than a bench-warmer who hasnt made a “play of the week” since she arrived at Foggy Bottom.

Mike D. on September 26, 2007 at 2:14 PM

It does read as sarcasm either way.

It is better sarcasm directed at the MSM than at C Rice, so I’ll go with that.

boris on September 26, 2007 at 2:15 PM

Could be wrong though …

she has turned out to be little more than a bench-warmer who hasnt made a “play of the week” since she arrived at Foggy Bottom

She maybe a better advisor than decider. IMO it’s a history call.

boris on September 26, 2007 at 2:17 PM

Ms. Rice came to the job of SOS as a can’t-miss-sure-fire pro bowl prospect, but she has turned out to be little more than a bench-warmer who hasnt made a “play of the week” since she arrived at Foggy Bottom.

Mike D. on September 26, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Excuse me? what exactly is it you think the SoS does?

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 2:40 PM

Funny, I can’t picture the left being too upset at the mention of US Grant in that manner.

I’ve always felt that McClellan was more their type.

reaganaut on September 26, 2007 at 2:42 PM

I’m with Mike D. Who’d of thunk that Bollinger would have made a better SOS than Rice.

What if Neville Chamberlain would have come back from speaking to Hilter and announced “I ripped him a new one.”

What if Condi had come back from speaking to the Saudis and said “I told them keeping women in burlap sacks does not preserve their purity.” Or told Syrians “Honor killing does not bring back your honor, and stop killing our soldiers or else” instead of just “Rice says she pressed Syria on securing its border with Iraq”

pedestrian on September 26, 2007 at 2:44 PM

reaganaut on September 26, 2007 at 2:42 PM

He was. He was thier candidate against Lincoln advocating cut and run from the Civil War – seriously

jdawg on September 26, 2007 at 2:45 PM

I’m on Mike D’s side on this.

Condi is a joke and disgrace, especially her coddling of the terrorist FATAH. Is she blind or stupid or both?

VinceP1974 on September 26, 2007 at 2:53 PM

I’m with Mike D. Who’d of thunk that Bollinger would have made a better SOS than Rice.

What if Neville Chamberlain would have come back from speaking to Hilter and announced “I ripped him a new one.”

What if Condi had come back from speaking to the Saudis and said “I told them keeping women in burlap sacks does not preserve their purity.” Or told Syrians “Honor killing does not bring back your honor, and stop killing our soldiers or else” instead of just “Rice says she pressed Syria on securing its border with Iraq”

pedestrian on September 26, 2007 at 2:44 PM

Then she would be fully deserving of being prosecuted under the Logan Act. In case you missed this part in civics, the SoS DOES NOT SET POLICY. The SoS acts as an adviser to the POTUS and acts as the POTUS representative to foreign governments. SoS is not a decider.

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 2:53 PM

jdawg on September 26, 2007 at 2:45 PM

Good point, and I think that LDS (Lincoln Derangement Syndrome) may have been even worse than BDS. Of course, it’s hard to imagine how much both parties have changed since then.

reaganaut on September 26, 2007 at 2:56 PM

Wonder how many people who will be repeating this liberal mantra actually know jack about either Grant, Lincoln or hell, why don’t they get a lesson in McClellan and the Copper-heads?

Defector01 on September 26, 2007 at 3:51 PM

That’s because Secretary Rice is smarter than anyone on the reactionary left.

N. O'Brain on September 26, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Forget Grant, she mentioned Robert E. Lee in the same breath…….Sacrilege

conservnut on September 26, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Bush Derangement Syndrome makes it impossible for the leftists to be intellectually honest about anything.

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 1:51 PM

You have the order wrong.

Christoph on September 26, 2007 at 4:33 PM

Too bad General Grant had an extreme aversion to music of any kind, and caused a reaction in him similar to the reaction those on the Left have to the word “nucular.”

bosteed on September 26, 2007 at 4:44 PM

But wait! I smell underachievement! If they really wanted to rile up racist stars-and-bars-waving red-state hicks like us, shouldn’t they have said Condi compared Zarqawi to Lee, not Grant? (Not that there’s an argument to be made that Lee was a racist, but that’s beside the point of the historical meta-narrative, no?)

These people can’t even keep their own stereotypes straight. I swear I’d make a better Democrat propagandist than most actual Democrat propagandists…

Blacklake on September 26, 2007 at 4:53 PM

Condi has been a HUGE disappointment! We all thought she would be a kick-ass Secretary of State…she has been an imitation of Madeline Half-Bright…

sabbott on September 26, 2007 at 4:55 PM

And…by the way…nobody on the fringe left even knows that there was a war between the states…and they would have been against it!

sabbott on September 26, 2007 at 4:56 PM

doriangrey on September 26, 2007 at 2:09 PM

Rice is a mythical being, like a Unicorn. A self sufficient black women, intelligent, well educated, and a CONSERVATIVE. She does not exist.

Rice does the bidding of the President, a good Secretary of the State is not a maverick.

right2bright on September 26, 2007 at 5:00 PM

Condi Rice = Big Disappointment

{sigh}

Lawrence on September 26, 2007 at 5:30 PM

The Secretary of State doesn’t carry the stick, they are the official from the United States that has the carrots. I think Condi has done alright.

Maxx on September 26, 2007 at 7:36 PM

Digressing back to the mention of President Lincoln….

I have always been somewhat amused by the Left’s claim that Bush is the most divisive president in US history, and the implication that it makes him the worst. Abe Lincoln was by far the most divisive, most hated president in US history. The GOP didn’t even waste their time putting him on the ballot in 10 Southern states. He got 39% of the popular vote and his election directly precipitated the Secessions that gave us the Civil War.
Now THAT’S divisive!
Even after his death, it was many years before history began to look as kindly on him as we do today. Grant was more popular and well-thought-of than Lincoln his whole life after the War.

Lancer on September 26, 2007 at 11:17 PM

Odd choices (Grant and Lee) to mention as comparisons- to a terrorist mastermind- by this supposedly bright lady.

Why not Goering and Himmler?

Or Beria and Brezhnev?

Or Mao and Chou En Lai?

Why demean our guys by comparing them, in any context, with such low-life terrorist scum?

Condi isn’t very good as this game yet.

And it’s almost over.

profitsbeard on September 27, 2007 at 2:44 AM

Odd choices (Grant and Lee) to mention as comparisons- to a terrorist mastermind- by this supposedly bright lady.

Why not Goering and Himmler?

Or Beria and Brezhnev?

Or Mao and Chou En Lai?

profitsbeard on September 27, 2007 at 2:44 AM

Those wouldn’t have made the point. Had the south lost Lee, it would have disrupted the Confederate war effort and he would not have easily been replaced. And as McClellan’s leadership had proven, effective US generals weren’t plentiful, hence Grant would have been difficult to replace. Zarqawi has similarly proved difficult to face, and the AQI war effort has suffered for it.

The Reich would have readily found replacements for Goerring or Himmler (in fact, the Luftwaffe might have actually fared better had Goerring suffered an early death). Beria and Brezhnev did in fact die and were readily replaced, and neither were wartime generals, so the anologies would be weak in the first place. Mao is a good alternative, though he’s more widely recognized as a political leader than a military one in the west, so Americans likely would miss the point. And nobody knows who Chou En Lai is.

Rice’s anology was meaningful and correct, which are two things that can’t be said for this “controversy.”

Blacklake on September 27, 2007 at 9:39 AM

Zarqawi has similarly proved difficult to face, and the AQI war effort has suffered for it.

That sentence should have read “Zarqawi has similarly proved difficult to replace…”

Blacklake on September 27, 2007 at 9:40 AM