On Repackaging Condosleeza Rice

Still the Wicked Witch of the West!


Old Wine In A New Bottle?

Evidently Condoleeza Rice is banking on the anti-intellectual anti-historical tendencies of the American people in her transparent attempt to repackage her image for posterity in her new book “Extraordinary Ordinary People.”  In many ways hers is a story that makes white and black Americans feel good vibes about themselves and our country.  A black girl from the segregated south who couldn’t eat in a restaurant of her choice, or use a public toilet that was available to any stinking white hobo, two of whose girlfriends were murdered by a bomb in church, yet rose to the highest levels of power in the US government and elite academia.

She is the embodiment of the American dream.    At first glance she also appears to be the personification of the “Talented Tenth” envisioned by DR. W.E. B. DuBois. However upon closer inspection she is actually a perversion of the ideal advanced by Dubois.  His Talented Tenth would be dedicated Pan-Africanists who serve the black masses, at home and abroad, in their struggle to advance in a white racist imperialist world order bent on ruthlessly exploiting them for their profit.  Condosleeza is an unabashed defender of the racist imperialist forces that Dr. DuBois spent his life opposing.

In 1958, when he was well into his eighties, he wrote a book entitled “In Battle For Peace,” in which he lamented the grotesqueries that many members of the Talented Tenth had become.  He said that they were beginning to ape all of the worst aspects of their privileged white counterparts. Codosleeza is a model of the type of soulless opportunist that the Doctor was bemoaning.  For she is an unrepentant servant of the most racist reactionary, imperialist forces among the American ruling class.  In the last of Dr. DuBois’ three autobiographies – which was written around this time published but published posthumously – he observed “Negroes are finally becoming Americans,” but wondered “What are Americans becoming?”  Viewed from the perspective of Condosleeza’s history that was a very good question.

In her brazen effort to reinvent herself before our eyes and metamorphose from the Wicked Witch of the West to Little Miss Muffet, Condosleeza succeeded famously with Tavis Smylie, who assumed a lips to posterior posture all through his interview when the former Secretary of State appeared on his show Wednesday night to peddle her book. He who has been so merciless in his critique of President Obama fawned endlessly over this bumptious lackey for the plutocrats.  Watching them chit chat with   smiley faces I was reminded of the old adage: Pheasants of similar plumage generally congregate in close proximity, or to put it plainly “birds of a feather flock together.”  In fact, Tavis seemed much more interested in letting his viewers know that he and the famous Professor are old chums whose relationship goes back a ways, than getting down to the nitty gritty of her criminal career in the Bush government.

Lest We Forget

Real Love =Hero Worship


It is instructive about the purpose of the professor’s new book that it does not address her eight years at the pinnacle of political power in the US as the chief Bushwoman; instead she retreats to the safe haven of her formative years.  There are parts of this book that even tugs at my heart strings, because they paint a portrait of a black community that I remember well – but some contemporary black intellectuals raised in the socially disorganized and chaotic post-industrial northern cities claim never existed alas.    Michael Eric Dyson once accused me of “engaging in utopian reveries” when I reflected on the community where I grew up in Florida, or in the black Philadelphia community that produced Bill Cosby for that matter.  This is why Dr. Dyson does not understand the source of Bill Cosby’s anger – although I agree his fundamental critique of Cosby’s criticisms.  Yet my memories of these black communities are all too real, and the fact that a man in the know like Dr. Dyson, who is a student of Afro-American culture, cannot even imagine it is a measure of how far we have fallen from that halcyon era.

The black southern society that Condolezza recalls was a community where most kids had real parents, not confused teenagers who haven’t a clue about raising a child.  And people greeted each other with courtly manners.  It was commonplace to see regular working class black men tip their hats to black ladies when they met them on the streets of St. Augustine Florida, and greet them with genteel salutations such as “Good morning Miss Catherine,” or “Good Evening Mrs. Jones,” spoken in their best diction and intonations.    By comparison, the way many young men of all races and classes relate to young women in America today borders on the uncouth at best and the barbarous at worst!

Then it was the white racists who routinely referred to black women as “bitches and whores” now young black men do it on records.  Not even the worst white racist did that!  Back in the day, whites may have hated us but we respected ourselves, because we were listening to wise elders rather than rich ignorant adolescents.  The black southern community Condi so fondly recalls in this poignant remembrance of a bygone era, benefitted from the unintended consequences of segregation that forced the most intellectually talented strivers and dreamers among Afro-Americans into the public schools as teachers and administrators.  All other avenues for utilizing their talent and aspirations were closed due to their skin color.

Dr. Rice’s parents belonged to this class. And the uberwoman she has become in terms of her personal accomplishments is a tribute to their skill and dedication as parents and teachers. What this class of African Americans accomplished, in terms of producing strong, self-confident, high achieving black men and women in a racist society that was officially dedicated to making us believe we were nothing is astonishing and worthy of sustained applause.

After all, they produced Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, General Daniel “Chappie” James, Harvard biologist Dr. S. Allen Counter, Wynton Marsalis, Zora Neal Hurston, Jessye Norman, Ralph Ellison, The Astronaut and Director of NASA, Coretta King, Oprah Winfrey, and many many more.  The Price family of Mississippi produced the greatest Oprah Diva of her time Leontyne, as well as a General in the US Army who mentored Colin Powell, George Price, and many more.    These are some of the most outstanding people in America history.

However this leadership class also had to master tricknology and duplicity in order to survive in a social order where any offense to a white countryman – even if they were a stinking depraved derelict – could spell immediate disaster for an Afro-American….no matter what their socio-economic status.  Condi, as her right wing white boosters call her, certainly mastered that aspect of her class’ survival strategy.    This explains her crass opportunism in aligning with right-wing reactionaries in the Republican Party – which built its national majority by orchestrating the resentments of white racist.

Listening to Condi respond to questions on Morning Joe, the day after her appearance with Tavis, it is clear that she intends to try and rewrite the history of the Bush Administration and her role in the National Security and foreign policy disasters of those years. However she is highly complicit in the blunders and crimes of the Bushman.  My suspicions about these avatars of the lunatic right, whose ranks are filled with vile racists, led me to conclude early on that somehow the “Negroes” in the bush Administration were going to end up holding the bag for their screw ups.  Condi, however, made it easy.

I have carefully studied the sequence of events that occurred at the top levels of the National Security team before the attack of 9/11, and it is easy to see why some people who don’t understand how the air defense of the USA operates could conclude that the Bushman were complicit it the terror attack.  As cuckoo for coco pops as this theory is, there are a lot of otherwise intelligent people who believe it!

Here in New York there were many regularly scheduled meetings to discuss the “evidence” for this conclusion that went on for years after the attack.  WBAI, the station with which I have been associated off and on for most of the last twenty years, have interviewed many people who argue this point of view.  And the so-called “documentary” Loose Change, which purports to prove that the Bushmen did it, has been very popular with our listeners – some of whom have never met a conspiracy theory they didn’t like.   Suffice it to say that I would not hestitate to bet the family jewels that it didn’t happen that way…indeed it couldn’t happen!

I have an advantage over my adversaries who argue the affirmative however, because their arguments are based on a near total ignorance of the system of air defense tasked with protecting North America from a sneak attack.  I on the other hand once held a Top Secret Security Clearance in the United States Strategic Air Command, where I learned all bout such things; thus unlike the pugnacious, paranoid, numbskulls who passionately embrace the theory that Bush bombed America, I actually know what I am talking about.  But that is a battle I do not wish to fight here…again.  Especially since I almost had to pull my razor on a dude while waiting to go on camera in a television studio to discuss the 9/11 attack recently.  When he started talking that nonsense I called him “an idiot beyond instruction,” and he became so exercised by my pronouncement that he threatened me with bodily harm.

The reason some people are so convinced of this conspiracy is because the level of incompetence on the part of the Bushmen is almost impossible to believe.  We know from the first hand testimony of Richard Clarke, who was then the reigning anti-terrorism Czar, that he had personally warned Condolezza Rice and others that he had intelligence to the effect that Osama bin Laden was planning to crash Jumbo Jets into American skyscrapers.  The acting FBI Director also had reports from his field agents that there were some Middle Eastern men taking flying lessons on Jumbo Jets, but even though they paid the full fee of thirty five thousand dollars they weren’t interested in learning how to take off or land.    They only wanted to learn how to turn the jets around in flight!

But Dr. Rice and the bushmen were unmoved by this information.  On three separate occasions Clarke begged Condi to call a joint meeting of all of the nation’s intelligence agencies and have them compare information they had gathered involving a possible attack by Al Qaeda. Condi finally waved him away with a declaration that no camel driver in the Afghanistan desert could pull off such an attack.  Then she returned to preparing her strategy for developing the “Star Wars” anti-ballistic missile system around Russia.   It evidently made no difference to Dr. Rice – an intrepid cold warrior – that this was a policy designed to contain the Soviet Union when the Reaganites first proposed it…but in the meantime the Soviet Union had disappeared from the earth.

On 9/11 Dr. Rice was scheduled to give a major speech on the progress of Star Wars, but Osama bin Laden threw a monkey wrench in that plan.  The sad truth is that had Condi followed the advice of Richard Clarke, who was a holdover from the Clinton Administration and thus was the most knowledgeable person in the Administration on the Islamic Jihadists, the 9/11 tragedy probably wouldn’t have happened!    As the National Security Advisor to the president it was her responsibility to convene the joint meeting of intelligence agencies to evaluate all evidence regarding the possibility of an attack on the US, but she was asleep at the wheel!

The result was that the same “Middle Eastern Men” who were taking the flying lessons, preparing for their assault right out in the open, were the same guys who drove the planes into the buildings on 9/11!  That’s why some people find it impossible to believe that the Bush Administration was not involved in planning the attack. This level of ineptness is simply not believable to them.  Condi presided over it all, and no amount of revisionist propaganda can alter this fact.

Hence Dr. Rice has the blood of many thousand innocent souls on her hands, both here and abroad, since the 9/11 attack supplied the Neo-con cabal around”Dirty Dick” Cheney with the rationale they had been seeking to launch an attack on Iraq – a nation that had nothing to do with the attack on the US.  Yet even now, after all the lies they told to get us into a three trillion dollar war of choice, the former Secretary Of State still defends that criminal invasion.

Like Lady Macbeth pacing about crying “Out Damn Spot!” she cannot wish those blood stains away.   She may be able to shimmy around those ugly facts with this self-serving reverie on her innocent youth, but facts are stubborn things, and as the poet said “Truth crushed to earth will rise again!”    The historians will surely have their way with her in time; they shall diligently comb the archives and ferret out the tell tale evidence that will expose the full extent of Condosleeza’s dirty deeds – the murders she wrote.  Hence Sista Gurl can run… but she can’t hide!




Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

October 2010

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