NOTE: BagNewsNotes is now located at Please update your bookmarks.

You will be automatically redirected in a few seconds...

« Hillary: On The Face Of It | Main | Seeing The Enemy »

Oct 15, 2007

Outsmarting Versus Plain Smarting

(click for full size)

Painful as is it, it's time for a Condi update, and also a caption tune-up.

This shot appears in yesterday's NYT photo gallery.  The caption read:

At a news conference after a closed-door meeting between Russian leaders and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, left, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia would be forced to take steps to neutralize the threat posed by a proposed United States anti-missile shield if the system is deployed in Central Europe.

What it probably should have read, however, is the following:

Following a vicious (but for some reason, unexpected) tongue-lashing by Vladimir Putin (which only occurred after being kept waiting out in the hall for half-an-hour), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, left, nurse their wounds besides Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.  "Maybe a ballistic missile defense system could be installed on the moon," Putin was reported as saying, "but any United States anti-missile shield installed in Central Europe is destined to be annihilated."  Rice then left for the Middle East where a major U.S.-sponsored summit is scheduled in a month, even though opposing parties are just barely going through the motions.

(image: : Yuri Kadobnov/Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images.  Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow.  Oct. 12, 2007.


Why do we insist on sacrificing our relations with Russia to a missile defense system that has been proven not to work? Missile defense is part of the Republican catechism, and they insist on it regardless of the cost.

This pic is as unflattering as the previous one of Hill. Condi looks like a scratching monkey in this photo. Look at the way her lips are drawn in and that deep line on the side of her mouth. She looks like that lady chimpanzee in the movie Planet of the Apes. She really does.

Although I'm tempted to say the Repubs deserve this kind of pictorial treatment more than the Dems do, I'm going to leave politics out of it. This is just a mean choice of still.

and yeah, the whole missile defense issue is ridiculous, except that it could trigger a new and deadly arms race. We got lucky with the whole Cold War thing once; very, very lucky. Why push it? How stupid are we?


Great photo.

Proof and confirmation that the party of-the-moment is pursung a failed and doomed strategy on all fronts. This gives us hope that the light at the end of the tunnel is not a freighttrain.

America has not been slapped around so much by 3rd rate powers since,....well, ever! And we deserve it.

Eww. That's a gesture you make when you are alone. I would think most people in the public eye know not to touch their face like that, as if they're probing for the newest eruption. Just another indication of the solipsism of the principals in this maladministration. Nobody in the room but them.

Tina - I too am drawn to the contrast between this Condi shot and the Hillary shot. Portrait of a woman who wants to be in power, but has to play the game and a woman who is in power, but currently taking a beating.

Condi, with her Soviet Cold War background probably thinks of Russia as the Beta dog, while she's got the Alpha dog status, but Putin still represents a huge powerful country with some serious weapons stockpiles while the US is licking it's wounds right now--unable to dominate in a fight we started with an underdeveloped and repressed nation. If Putin is putting Condi in her place, that's a challenge to her Alpha dog status. Alpha's can't ignore challenges and stay Alphas, but she looks like she's in more of a position to back down than dominate anything.

Has George Bush destroyed the integrity and standing of the US so badly that we can no longer assert ourselves as the unchallenged "Cold War-Cage Match" winner"?

Might we be headed into a new era where we'll actually have to cooperate and play nice with others because the planet's fuel is running out and the planet itself is heating up and our bombs can't power our cars or feed our carnivourous population?

My impression from more than a few photographs is that Putin has an extreme level of contempt for Rice. Maybe he has no better impression of her "Russian/Soviet Union Expert" credentials than her "Middle East".

There is one picture a year or two back, where the look of Putin at Rice, was a combination of "What was stuck to the sole of my shoe?", and a cat watching a mouse.

When you act like a fool and a tool, it's hard to keep the respect of others.

I wonder, at times, just how much of and "expert" Condi was on things Russian. She didn't see jihad coming, she couldn't imagine planes running into tall buildings, so what was she still "at war with?" Russia? The old Soviet Union?

The way, from the first, that the Administration has handled Russia, which it seriously underestimates, in my opinion, has been naive and clumsy, with no policy of any substance issuing forth from "experts," in the field of Russian studies.

Condi is simply a typical middle managerial type who, because of her race (and I hate saying this, but it's obvious), has been allowed to cakewalk up the ladder of politics in the university system and in politic. She may be intelligent, but she is mediocre, and it has nothing to do with her colour. Above all, she is an opportunist, switching from liberal Democrat to Republican when it could most advance her personal cause.

Think of the numerous true experts on Russia who might have given us some fresh insights on how to relate to a still-powerful nation.

I find Gates really compelling in this shot. He has that far away stare of a mind absorbing the new reality and thinking about it - the complete antithesis of this administration.
Couple this thinker pose with his recent speach at the Association of the Army and you are looking at someone who is going to help America pick up the pieces after Bush and Company leave town.

"In a much-needed expose', Clarence Lusane documents the Bush administration's craven attempts to use the civil rights legacy to justify its war in Iraq, and the willful collaboration of Colin and Condi in that shameful equation. This thoroughly researched analysis of the twisted relationship between US racial politics and US foreign policy is a must-read for both academics and activists. Highly recommended!"

Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice Foreign Policy, Race, and the New American Century - Clarence Lusane

Six short reviews of this scholarly work may be found at []

And so the the Bushco Keystone Cops crew keep bumbling along towards they know not what. Sadly, I don't think they really care much what the Russians do as long as it doesn't interfere with their looting of the US treasury.
To be kept waiting by Pooty-poot and then be dressed down like some high school delinquents. I dream for the glory days of my country. What was it, oh...let's see..pre-2000?

The weight of the world seems to be on Gates shoulders. Well it seems so because it is, most if it anyway. Paulson is bearing the rest. Two outsiders inserted into the dysfunctional administration in the manner of an intervention. Both fighting desperately to stave off a crack up.

I urge you to do some things on Treasury Secretary Paulson. Few appreciate the desperate condition of the financial system. Last weekend it was leaked his Treasury Department was brokering an attempt to stabilize the credit markets with a money center bank funded superfund, super conduit is the term used. The so called plan, not finalized is a bust. Too little and far to late is the widely held but essentially censored opinion of the markets.


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

My Other Accounts

Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 07/2003