After all Dr. Rice seemed to be more critical than any figure domestically to sell the war in Iraq a war I opposed openly before it began. (Unlike many cowardly Democrats who hide behind the "if I knew then what I know now mantra.). At the time I favored an attack on Iran instead since they represented the greatest threat to American security at the time. (I also favored reconciliation with Saddam Hussein and the possibility to using Saddam's Iraq to confront Iran) But following the military debacle in Iraq itr has now become impossible to formulate a successful military operation against the despotic regime in Tehran.
The cowboy rhetoric of one time moderate Don Rumsfeld and Vice President Cheney have now been replaced by the strong iron diplomacy of Dr. Rice. While mistakes have clearly been made in the handling of Vladimir Putin's Russia, the strong position on Human Rights carved out by George W. Bush on Tibet after five plus years of inaction, as well as the engagement of our Western European allies has gone miles towards restoring American credibility after being trashed in Bush's first term.
Now the United States is involved in many multi lateral diplomatic actions that were lacking in Bush's first term when Secretary of State Colin Powell and his chief deputy Richard Armitage did not have the ear of the President. Rice's close personal relationship with Bush has helped to soften US rhetoric and actions when dealing within multilateral channels. All of this is ironic given Dr. Rice attacks on Bill Clinton's administration for using multilateral ism to project American power, for example in the Balkans. (A war that most Neo-Conservatives actually supported but Dr. Rice despite an alliance in the first Bush term is clearly not a Neo-Con)
American credibility will never be fuilly restored until Bush is out of office. But given the disastrous standing of the US in the world community a few years ago, Condolezza Rice's tenure has to be considered an unqualified success.
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