Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stood before the audience at the Institute of Political Studies on Tuesday afternoon and rewrote cold war history, to the consternation of many in the highly sophisticated audience.
In an answer to a question from the floor, she told her audience that in 1947 Greece and Turkey had suffered through civil wars. Greece, yes, but Turkey?
"It was a glaring mistake," said Guillaume Parmentier, director of the French Center on the United States, an independent research organization at the French Institute of International Relations. "She's smart, yes, but I don't think she is as knowledgeable as one would expect with a career like hers."
And if you think that's scary:
Indeed, at a private breakfast on Wednesday with six French intellectuals at the American ambassador's residence, Ms. Rice revealed her steely, deeply ideological side.You mean Seymour Hersh was right? Imagine that. (The quoted material is from the NYT.
She shocked at least some of her guests by branding Iran a "totalitarian state," said four of those who took part. She added that the free world was wrong to accept the Soviet Union on its terms during the cold war and must not make the same mistake now with Iran, they added.
A number of guests challenged her assertion, but Ms. Rice is not the type to back down. She called her characterization of Iran deliberate. A year ago, she said, she would have called Iran's Islamic Republic authoritarian. But after flawed parliamentary elections last spring that produced a conservative majority, she said, it moved toward totalitarian, a term that historians tend to use restrictively to define violently absolutist regimes that govern through terror.
"I tried to explain that Iran was not like the Soviet Union, that the mullahs were deeply unpopular but unlike their predecessors over the last 150 years they were not in the hands of the British or the Russians or the Americans," said François Heisbourg, director of the Foundation for Strategic Research in Paris. "She gave no proof that Iran was totalitarian, because she didn't have any. It was scary. Unless there is some give on the American side we are heading for a real crisis."
So, let's recap: Bush says there is no SS trust fund; Condi says there was a Turkish civil war, and continues to pile up bogus reasons for why Iran must be invaded. No wonder she wanted her questions at the Paris Institute of Political Science screened.