Options, tables, and Iran

There she was again, yesterday, Condoleezza Rice, talking to the audience of the CNBC t.v. channel about the fact that, regarding Iran, “all US options are on the table.”
But I think she went further than she or any other administration has gone before– and, I certainly hope, further than she really intended to go– when she said,

    the President’s never going to take his options off the table

Never? Never? That is an immensely rash and foolish thing for anyone, especially the head of any country’s entire diplomatic body, to say.
Oh yes, she did go on to say that, “the President’s made clear that we believe that diplomatic solutions to the Iranian problem are very much possible.”
But what would that diplomacy be about if the President’s “options”– which in this context, as everyone fully understands, refer to the threat of a US military strike, including perhaps a nuclear military strike, on Iran– are all kept firmly welded to the top of the table?
So my question is, did Rice really mean “never”? If so, what is there to talk about? If she didn’t mean to say it, perhaps she should clarify. Loose lips on a top diplomat can sink a lot more than just a few ships.

24 thoughts on “Options, tables, and Iran”

  1. So my question is, did Rice really mean “never”?
    The answer: Yes.
    How can we keep our military industrial complex going if we don’t have an enemy and if the American people are not frightened?
    What’s amazing is the the American people go for it time and time again.
    Just heard Al Gore say at Live Earth that Lincoln was the greatest American president. While the rest of the world dismantled the slave trade and the condition of slavery with little violence, the Americans did it by slaughtering 700,000 of their own people, and then they immediately moved into apartheid. That’s our idea of a great leader in our history.

  2. It seems that Condi Rice is taking the hits for everything that this administration fails at; a. She urged restraint when the war on Lebanon broke out (we know know that this war was planned well in advance, likely with inside help), b. she was openly shocked and devastated at the bombing of Qana “What is this?”; c. she tried to stop the cluster munitions from getting into IDF hands.
    It seems that Sec. Rice has at times, trouble getting her words out clearly-again, it seems that there is a war in the Bush Administration; Personally, I am sorry that Rice has taken the fall publically, in particular, for all of the mistakes, flips, etc. for this Administration.
    I think we need to lighten up on Rice…Who would you choose…Hillary Clinton? Who has voted for every anti-Lebanon piece of legislation?
    Are the Dems any better? Iran’s role in the region is definately worrying-the rise in tactical sophistication by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the EU’s recent comments that the situation in Gaza has Iranian footprints, etc…definately reveal much about the role of Iran…indeed I find it worrying, and I am far from a hawk…I am sad for Condi Rice…I quite like her…and I believe that she is a talented, strong woman, who needs me to be her speech writer…her handlers ought to be fired…We are attacking Rice here, while completely leaving out the fact that it is Joe Liberman who is openly clammoring for the bombing of Iran…
    Rice has been the fall “guy” for everything…that to me is tragic…She was shell schocked when the war on Lebanon broke out…can we at least acknowledge this…some say she ought to resign…but I disagree…what is sad is that American’s look at someone like Hillary Clinton as a hero, and her voting record is atrocious.
    Let’s be fair in our critique…it has all ended up in Rice’s lap, and I think that is tragic, and ill-informed…
    She needs someone like me to step in and say…no Democracy is not hard…it is complex, etc…and it surely is…Rice has BAD HANDLERS!

  3. “Are the Dems any better?”
    Except for a few rare exceptions, NO.
    I think Hillary Clinton should be impeached along with bush, cheney, lieberman and gonzales. All of them violated our Constitution, along with quite a few others. But impeaching them would be a great start.
    Rice is not innocent and she is responsible for what she says, not some speech writer.

  4. US Plotics!
    Impeach CheneyThe vice president has run utterly amok and must be stopped.”
    By Bruce Fein!!
    Who is Bruce Fein?
    the prominent Reagan-era Justice Department lawyer
    Bruce Fein is the husband to Meet Mahtaub “Mattie” Hojjati, she start to embark on a new career New Iran Regime-Change

  5. I simply cannot believe this apologia for the that appalling woman Condoleezza Rice. The fault is her HANDLERS?!!!!! Well, this just confirms my long-held impression that she is not a human being at all, but an automaton that is programmed every morning with the day’s stock phrases and answers. Her “handlers” are her programmers, who sit behind the Condi console somewhere in the Condi control room pressing the appropriate buttons at the appropriate moments.
    If Condoleezza Rice were indeed the human being you insist she is, kdj, then would she not, at some point, stop complying with her “handlers”, who are causing her to consistently speak and act in a manner so antithetical to her standards? Come on!
    In fact, even before I understood what she is all about, I found Condoleezza Rice to be the creepiest member of the Bush regime. Something about her – I didn’t know what – just made my skin crawl. Now I understand what it was. Look into her eyes – there is no “there” there.

  6. Rice is under a lot of pressure, since it seems perfectly clear that Cheney is, against all rumor, not dead and has Bush’s complete attention. Rice is pointing to “All options being on the table forever,” because diplomacy is about at an end. Col Lang is pointing to an impending Israeli left hook through Syria at the Hizbollah’s rear area, where the Hezzies aren’t so fortified, Scott Horton has been pointing to war talk vis a vis Iran, the various administration “spokesmen” have been pointing to Iran as the fount of all things evil at an ever-increasing volume and tempo, even accusing Iran support for al-Qaeda (yesterday in the FT), and the 3rd carrier group built around the Enterprise has sailed, with a fourth one rumored. Rice is, when all is said and done, where she is because she’s a Bush loyalist and if Bush goes for war, both she and SecDef Gates will be there too.

  7. Thanks Salah for posting the link about “Mattie Fein.” I’ve been tracking down varias aliases for Ms. Fein. So far, I’ve come up with:
    Mattie, Mathilda, and Matoub (first names)
    For surnames, I’ve found:
    Lolavar, Fein, Lolavar-Cohen, and Hojjati
    More on that to follow.
    The web site for this “Institute for Persian Studies” didn’t exist before the oped, and it’s still a joke. (It has a link to Mattie’s “Washington Post” oped – never mind that the link goes to the Washington Times)
    from one cult to another

  8. Rice is under a lot of pressure? Excuse me, but what pressure is she under other than to be sure to say what her handlers have programmed into her chip?
    And frankly, she doesn’t look very shocked or devastated in the video so kindly provided by Susan. In fact, she looks downright oblivious to the horror that Israel is subjecting Lebanese to – the horror that she is about to insist the United States will support until Israel says it’s ready to stop.
    If she is a human being, she is one of the most despicable human beings on earth.

  9. Rice is under a lot of pressure?
    “When did Iran invade another country in order to guarantee access to its oil? In fact, when was the last time Iran invaded or occupied any country? How many civil airliners has Iran’s military shot down “by mistake?” When was the last time that Iran’s intelligence services overthrew a democratically elected government in another country and installed a dictator in its place, a man who brutalized and terrorized his own people? Has Iran supported, sheltered and armed terrorists that have carried out terror attacks against civilians inside the United States? Has Iran ever supported a rogue regime to enable it to prosecute an illegal war of aggression against the United States using weapons of mass destruction? And has Iran ever labeled another nation part of an “axis of evil” or threatened to use nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state?”

  10. Shirin, Salah,
    My comment about pressure and Madame Secretary Rice was the meant as the purest sarcasm, I assure you. The irony of it all is that the world is reduced to relying on her of all people for a peaceful outcome, when she’s a perfect toady to the worst bunch of warmongers I’ve ever seen.

  11. John, welcome to the discussion. I have found (here and elsewhere) that in a radically multicultural/international discussion where many participants may be participating in what is their third or fourth language, sarcasm and irony in what may be our easily-understood first language can make it hard for some other participants– including native English speakers who may not know your sense of humor very well– to figure out what is going on.
    Hence, when I use irony here I try to remember to put an “(irony alert!)” in right after it. That doesn’t ruin the intellectual fun for those who had understood the irony the first time around but it sure makes comprehension easier for people working in a second or subsequent language.

  12. Thanks for the clarification, John. I am relieved to hear that you were being sarcastic!

  13. Perhaps I am naive-Why is everyone here blaming Rice? It is ironic that Bolton is nowhere to be seen…I do not know…perhaps I am wrong-but it seems that Bolton is of far greater complicity than Condi Rice…he is the one who claims to be “damn PROUD”…

  14. A better question, kdj, is why are you so vigorously defending this soulless, heartless poor excuse for a human being? What is it about her that you find so appealing? Is the fact that she can sit and smile and laugh while she is announcing to the Lebanese that the U.S. is going to encourage and assist Israel to continue destroying their country and slaughtering their children?
    She makes me ill.

  15. Many people despise Condi Rice. I blame much of the people in the Bush Administration far more than Rice-She URGED RESTRAINT-Bolton blocked the ceasefire-Maybe I am wrong, but I think Rice is far better than most in the Bush Administration-I believe fully that they did this to Rice…

  16. kdj, is Condoleezza Rice not a fully adult human being with free will? Or is she a slave bot in service to the Bush administration?
    And by the way, how DO you deal with the picture of her sitting in Beirut laughing and smiling while Lebanon burns, and she prepares to inform the Lebanese that her government intends to let Israel keep burning Lebanon? And how do you explain that to the man whose wife and kids were trapped alive in the basement of the bombed orphanage he ran, and as far as I know died a slow death there while he helplessly begged the Israelis to help dig them out?
    The woman is utterly and every bit as despicable as and sociopathic (not to mention incompetent) as the regime she so willingly serves.

  17. Shirin,
    Many people feel the way you-I do not know how to answer you-I know I have _never_ in my life been so harrased in the dumbest way possible…woman rubbing up against me, taking my pic with cell phones, every time I sent something out on Lebanon as it burned? I do not know what to say…except…Women? Sorry, that is just bad intell cuz I don’t go there (ever)…Nonetheless,
    I am simply trying to assemble facts as I observed them. How do you explain a Sec. of State who urges restraint, gets to Tel Aviv and says with clear passion and fury “WHAT IS THIS?” regarding Qana? Except to say that she was not in the drivers seat…Bolton, Cheney, Abrams were…Can you acknowledge that this is likely true?
    I guess we can at least have fact based debate about this, or so it would seem, yes?

  18. kdj, I am truly sorry – I guess – that you have women rubbing up against you and taking your picture with cell phones. But it is beyond me what connection this could possibly have with anything remotely significant, let alone the topic at hand.
    Is Condoleezza Rice a fully adult, free human being with free will, or is she a slave bot in bondage to Bush, Cheney, Bolton et al. IF she is not a slave bot, but rather a fully adult, free homan being with free will, what must her personal standards be that she goes along without a word, let alone an action, of dissent with the world-class murderous, criminal, and destructive orders of Bush, Cheney, Bolton, et al.?
    And IF she has any standards or human soul at all, how is it that she is able to sit in Beirut, laughing and smiling while she announces to the Lebanese that not only is Lebanon burning, her government is going to encourage and assist Israel to continue to burn it until Israel is satisfied?

Comments are closed.