Archive for Condoleeza Rice

On Repackaging Condosleeza Rice

Posted in On Republican Women, Playthell on politics with tags , , on October 15, 2010 by playthell

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

Send In The Clowns!

Posted in On Foreign Affairs, Playthell on politics with tags , , , , on September 1, 2010 by playthell

 This Whacko Nearly Became Commander-In-Chief!


Looking like a circus performer who holds his nose and kisses a snake because the show must go on, President Obama addressed the nation and announced the end of the war in Iraq.  There was no sense of triumph in his voice or swagger in his body language, just a solemn recitation of the facts and a heart felt expression of gratitude to those who had sacrificed so much as members of the armed forces of the USA.  Having opposed the war in the first place, and being smart enough to know that the idea of “victory” in Iraq is a cruel illusion, the President kept his eye on the future and the monumental changes he is bringing about in America and the world.

 For reasons of political expedience Mr. Obama chose not to condemn George II and the Republican Neo-cons for starting this disastrous war of choice in a secular Arab nation that has unleashed an upsurge of radical Islamicists, which will almost certainly result in a barbaric civil war once American forces are out of the picture.  Instead he was very gracious – I say to a fault – in interpeting the legacy of the Bushmen in this murderous fiasco.  He said none could doubt that George Bush was a patriot, loved America and revered the troops.  He went on to add that “there were patriots on both sides” of the war.

The most interesting commentary regarding the end of the war, ironically, comes from the Republicans. Those who are familiar with Milton’s epic poem “Paradise Lost,” recognize that the Devil is more interesting than God as a subject for literary treatment.  Which explains the appeal of the Republicans, with their putrid rhetoric and devious machinations – it is the epitome of amoral evil.  I have long argued that the Grand Obstructionist Party calculates the extent to which their audience is too stupid to distinguish fact from fiction.  So they tell them anything.  Their commentary on the origins and conclusion of the war in Iraq is a graphic case in point.

It is no wonder that none of the Republican Party big wigs will accept Chris Matthew’s offer to come on his show, “Hardball,” and denounce any of the scurrilous lies about President Obama that is Rush Limbaugh’s stock in trade.  For they thrive on lies.  In fact, they had the unmitigated gall to parade themselves before the public seeking absolution from their sins in supporting the Bushmen in starting a war of choice – which, according to Columbia professor and Nobel Laureate in Economics Joseph Steiglitz, will cost three trillion dollars all told – by telling damned lies!

Witnessing Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and John McCain protest that President Obama didn’t congratulate George Bush, because it was his brilliant surge strategy that brought “victory” in Iraq, allowing Barack to bring the troops home with dignity, I am appalled. It was an episode so filled with treachery, duplicity, pomposity, self-deception, misplaced vanity, and shameles lies that Shakespeare could not have resisted putting pen to paper in order to teach us some grand lesson about the flawed nature of human beings…. and the moral depravity that sometimes informs our actions.  But since Sweet William is no longer with us – except in his timeless texts – the task of unmasking these charlatans has fallen to we lesser scribes alas.   

Just as they recited the same mantra calling for the invasion of Iraq – “We must seize their weapons of mass destruction before Sadam gives them to Osama! ” they cried- now they speak in unison attempting to paint the worst blunder in American diplomatic history as a virtuous war in defense of the nation.  It is, to say the least, absurd.  It is also insulting to our intelligence.  Since I was one of the very few commentators who opposed this war from Jump Street – see “The Prophetic Commentary On Iraq” – it is altogether fitting and proper that I should offer an assessment at its formal conclusion.  I say “formal conclusion,” because in reality it ain’t over yet; fifty thousand troops – a sizable army by most measures – will still remain.

If truth is the first casualty of war, it is also the final casualty in the aggressor’s justification for war.  Thus we see the Republicans, whose lies and deceptions led us into an unnecessary war that cost the nation dearly in blood and treasure, now attempting to rewrite history right before our eyes.  Now, after the of tens of thousands of American lives have been lost or shattered, and perhaps a million Iraqi’s killed – most of them innocent civilians – the Republicans are telling us that the invasion of Iraq was a great crusade to liberate the Iraqi people from the oppression of a ruthless dictator and establish a modern democracy there.  The unbridled arrogance of such an ambition speaks for itself.

It is, therefore, essential that we remember the basic facts about how the US military came to invade Iraq, and assess its consequences, in order to counter the narrative of the shameless Republican mythmakers.   Evidently they have forgotten that we live in an age of video tape, but Rachel Maddow had a grand old time reminding them, as she replayed all of the significant public statements made by Republican leaders from the President on down.    In the beginning there was no talk of bringing Democracy to Iraq, it was all about retaliation for the attack  on the US by militant Islamic Jihadists on 9/11.  Which, of course, the Iraqi’s had nothing to do with – many observers, including some in the intelligence community, believe that they knew it too.   The invasion was justified in Orwellian language that cast an invading army as liberators, and war mongering became peace making.  We were told that if Sadam Hussein were not crushed he would arm Al Qaeda with weapons of mass destruction and this would enevitably lead to the fall of America.

As I pointed out in a 3,000 word commentary on the eve of the war, Sadam and Osama represented opposing forces – secular military strongmen vs. the Jihidast theocrats – that had been slaughtering each other for nearly half a century in the Muslim world.  The whole idea was absurd, but since Boobus Americans is clueless about the world beyond the shores of the US, the Bushmen managed to convince millions of Americans that this manufactured threat was real!

Paul Wolfowitz

What The Devil Looks Like in the 21st Century!


 The actual ideological architects of this war was Dirty Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Pearle and the Neo-con cabal from “The Project for a New American Century,” whom Cheney installed in strategic positions within the national security apparatus.  Their mission was  to counter the conventional wisdom of the State Department and National Security Advisor – the domains of Colin Powell  and Condoleezza Rice – on foreign affairs. 

This cabal had devised the plans for an invasion of Iraq in a sweeping policy paper published by this privately funded far right think tank titled “Redesigning America’s Defenses,” long before George W. Bush was even nominated for the presidency.  That ‘s why the Neo-con ideologues like Bill Kristol fell into dispair when George Bush won the Republican Party nomination, their man was John McCain – a died in the wool hawk who was out to redeem himself for his failure in Vietnam. 

My understanding of this aspect of McCain’s character – he reminded me of the French generals who led the French expiditionary force tasked with the mission of suppressing the Algerian Revolution, after their defeat by Ho chi Mihn in Vietnam – led me to question his judgement as a Commander-In-Chief  when everybody else was praising his virtues .  I even wrote a commentary titled “General Clarke Is right: John McCain is unqualified to be Commander-In-Chief.”  In fact, it the first commentary I posted on this blog.

The Project for A New American Century plan was an ambitious blueprint for American domination of the planet in the post cold war unipolar world of the 21st century; the 9/11 attack gave the Neo-Cons their opportunity to implement it.  A clueless George Bush, whose major concern was reducing taxes for the rich – he had said publicly “My base is the haves and have mores” – panicked after the 9/11 attack and Condi’s authority was undermined by the fact that she was asleep at the wheel and thus allowed this tragedy to happen, when it could have been prevented if her head was not still preoccupied with cold war issues concerned with containing the Soviet Union, which she seemed not to notice had disappeared.

In fact, on 9/11 – after repeatedly ignoring terrorist Czar Richard Clarke’s admonitions to call a joint meeting of all of America’s intelligence agencies and have them compare notes on the activities of Al Qaeda – Condi was scheduled to deliver what was billed as a major address on national security. Her subject was building the “Star Wars” missile defense system around Russia, a clear violation of the Anti-Ballistic MissileTreaty.  Which was, after all, her area of expertise – and like all vain academicians she was determined to demonstrate her prescient wisdom.  Hence the towers burned as Condi fiddled!

Since I have written an 108 page essay that explains in considerable detail just how we blundered into this misbegotten and murderous conflict in Iraq – which will soon be posted on a website I am setting up to accommodate larger pieces as well as many of my radio shows produced on WBAI – I will not belabor the issue further here.  But suffice it to say that the American invasion of Iraq was based on official lies and deception; a concerted propaganda campaign skillfully and ruthlessly conducted by the Neo-Con cabal set up by Dirty Dick Cheney. Confused and frightened in the aftermath of Al Qaeda’s bold unprecedented attack, George II bought the Neo-Con line, and Wolfowitz and company in league with Dirty Dick hijacked American foreign policy. 

If not victory, what can Americans claim as the result of this war that lasted longer than world War II: the war that was supposed to end all wars. Any candid assessment of the objective facts must conclude that the main consequence of America’s invasion of Iraq and the overthrow of Sadam Hussein – which everybody constantly points to as the crowing achievement of the war – is to create the conditions for the long festering conflict between the Shiite and Sunni Islamic factions to explode into full civil war. 

The so-called “democracy” the US claims to have established in Iraq is in fact a tyranny of the majority, in which Shiites will eventually control everything and exact revenge for centuries of oppression at the hands of the Sunnis – who recognize this and thus continue to bomb their mosques and attack them everywhere.  Furthermore the ascension of a Shiite dominated government in Iraq has expanded the influence of Iran in the region – a predictable consequence.  This has made the option of invading Iran an even more perilous adventure than it would previously have been. 

The invasion of Iraq also took away vital resources that were needed to fight Al Qaeda in the treacherous mountains of Afghanistan, and caused the US to neglect developments in a nuclear armed Pakistan – which I argued was the real danger to US security in terms of the Jihadists acquiring a weapon of mass destruction, a point of view that everybody in the National Security Establishment has come around to now.  My claim to the ear of the public at this juncture, is based on my prophetic analysis of the beginning of this war, and the many insightful  pieces that followed. Look them up on this blog and see if I am making unfounded claims.  

In view of these incontrovertible facts, the only reasonable conclusion regarding the American misadventure in Iraq is that it was an unmitigated disaster.  It was based on a lie and failed to accomplish any of its stated objectives.  For instance, we have heard about the victories of the surge ad nauseum.  But the cheer leaders for these inflated claims conviently neglect to point out – as George Bush can clearly be seen explaining on video tape – that the purpose tof he surge was to create the conditions for the formation of a successful coailition governmet in Iraq.  

Yet five weeks have passed since the much celebrted elections and the Parliament – which is riven by antagonistic factions – has convened to conduct the people’s business for the grand total of 18 minutes!   And there is a better than even chance that the whole thing could fall apart like a house of cards.    Almost a decade after this war began, after rivers of innocent Iraqi blood and many chests of American treasure, the Republican chicken hawks in the Senate,  who cheered and supported this tragic and criminal invasion, now attempt to present it as a virtuous crusade to spread democracy, and cast themselves and their hapless commander-In- chief , as heroes.

Worst of all,  not only did they fail to get “Osama been Forgotten,” they have become the main recruiters for Al Qaeda and the Taliban, with their increasingly virulent anti-Muslim rhetoric and boisterous, venom filled, opposition to the building of mosques in this country.  As I listen to the Republican play play warriors plead their bogus case in search of absolution for the innocent blood on their hands, I keep hearing the refrain from Stephan Sondheim’s  Broadway comedy: “Send in the clowns!”


Mitch: The  Senate Minority Leader


King of the GOP Clowns!




Playthell Benjamin

Harlem, New York

August 31, 2010