February 23, 2011 -- The problem with Rice
Copyright: Wayne Madsen
President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have been criticized by Libyan opposition leaders, as well as pro-democracy forces in Egypt and other Arab countries, for their tepid response to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's brutal and genocidal crackdown on Libyans trying to topple his regime. At the core of the Obama administration's wishy-washy response to the events in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and other Arab countries experiencing a wave of pro-democracy revolts against seemingly-intractable dictators is the presence of Susan Rice in the top foreign policy apparatus of the Obama administration.
In her previous jobs as President Clinton's chief of the African desk at the National Security Council and later as Secretary of State Madeleine Albright's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and now, as Obama's ambassador to the UN, Rice has a history of supporting Africa's "strong man" dictators. In conversation after conversation with African opposition leaders, this editor was told, in no uncertain terms, that Rice is seen by many in the democratic opposition to African dictators as opposing free and fair elections and opposition political parties. In 1998 in Uganda, Rice told opponents of Ugandan dictator Yoweri Museveni, who just won re-election in a fraudulent election given a stamp of approval by George Soros- and CIA-backed non-government organizations (NGOs) acting as election monitors, that they should simply join Museveni's universal political party and "forget opposing him."
Museveni is a friend of Qaddafi and Museveni, his family, and members of his inner circle have lucrative business deals with members of Qaddafi's family, including Qaddafi's son and heir apparent Saif al-Islam Qaddafi. WMR previously reported on Saif's close relationship with members of the Rothschild family and British Lord Peter Mandelson.
Rice also maintained close relations with a series of leaders of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM), including its late founder, Dr. John Garang. The SPLM is ushering South Sudan into independence in July, a goal long sought by Rice. Rice has also been very close to Rwanda's brutal dictator Paul Kagame. Rice has also supported Ethiopia's dictator Meles Zenawi. WMR has been told that Rice has an almost pathological hatred for Sudan's leader Omar Hassan al-Bashir and Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki. One African opposition leader explained Rice's hostility to the Sudanese and Eritrean leaders: "When you are in bed with dictators, their enemies become your enemies."
However, it is Rice's highly-questionable relationships with dictators like Museveni and others in Africa that have resulted in the greatest angst among those who are trying to oust various African strongmen. WMR has been told that during the Clinton administration, Rice, wearing short mini-skirts and high leather boots, would flirt during trips to Africa with African leaders and there are strong suspicions that Rice's contacts with some of these leaders extended from the conference room into the bedroom.
At one meeting in Africa, at which a number of African senior leaders and diplomats, including foreign ministers, were in attendance, one former African prime minister told this editor that he wondered who "the giggling young schoolgirl was." He later discovered, to his chagrin, that it was Rice.
Rice, who is the god-daughter of Albright and a Rhodes scholar, owes her influence in foreign policy to the fact that she is widely touted as a potential replacement for Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. She is also married to ABC News producer Ian Cameron who produces Christiane Amanpour's influential Sunday morning program. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have always been skeptical of Rice's commitment to the aspirations of the African people, citing her as one of Washington's "assimilated black elite." Rice's father, Emmett Rice, was a Federal Reserve Bank governor. From 2001 to 2002, before joining the Brookings Institution, Rice was managing director of Intellibridge, founded by Kissinger & Associates alum David Rothkopf. In 2004, Rice was a foreign policy adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, who is the only other person being mentioned as a serious replacement for Hillary Clinton at Foggy Bottom.
It is clear that with Rice leading the U.S. delegation at the UN and her having a strong influential role in U.S. policy in North Africa and the Middle East, the U.S. has taken a stand-offish stance vis a vis the revolts that ousted dictators like Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and may soon oust Libya's Qaddafi and Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh. With an eyelash-batting representative of the United States sending supportive signals to Africa's long-serving dictators, the Obama administration has signalled its intentions: preserving the status quo in Africa and the Middle East, no matter how many pro-democracy protesters die under the tank treads and with the bullets supplied by the United States and its European allies.
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The Problem With Rice