Sunday, December 7, 2008

How could Oliver Stone have missed it? Condi Rice was the brainchild, force behind Iraq invasion

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was on FOXNEWS this morning with Chris Wallace, and her comments concerning Iraq and all that has supposedly been won there were so reminiscent of my interview with her in Nashville after she gave the commencement address at Vanderbilt University.

Not Dick Cheney. Not Donald Rumsfeld. Not even GW Bush was the passion and purpose behind the Iraq invasion. It was Rice. And that was apparent from my interview with her years ago and this morning with Wallace.

Rice has always viewed the Iraq invasion as part of a larger struggle to bring democracy to the Middle East, akin to the Cold War that lasted a half century. She looks on foreign policy from a historical perspective, not of the moment and the cost in human lives and public revenue.

She sees democracy as the way to ultimately resolve the ongoing fights in the Middle East. And Rice was Bush's mentor on foreign policy when he was running president. And Bush is a Momma's boy, like me. Women are a strong force in his life.

In seeing the movie W earlier this year, I was amazed at how little director Oliver Stone focused on Rice and how easy he was on Bush. The movie bombed. And its lack of resonance with what really happened -- and why -- discouraged broader attendance.

As a student and teacher of history, Rice should be judged just as coldly. And she is greatly at fault for this nation's costly move to invade for weapons of mass destruction that weren't there in Iraq.

That is not to minimize the heroics of our men and women back then and now. Their sacrifice must be respected and honored. But they and their families should not be put through another Iraq anytime soon lest we realize history's most harshest lesson of repeating it.

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