The ill-fated decision by George W. Bush to invade Iraq is still being felt, with all kinds of ramifications for international geopolitics—and the current presidential campaign. But there were no piercing questions asking Condoleezza Rice to reflect on the world-class blunder and its consequences when former Bush official Karen Hughes, now a flack with Burson-Marsteller, interviewed Rice today at the Omni Hotel for a charity fundraiser.
Rice, who was Bush’s National Security Advisor from 2001-2005 and Secretary of State from 2005-2009, instead spent time lamenting the “anger and desperation of people left behind by globalism,” as seen in the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “Sometimes, people look for someone to blame,” she said, citing “big banks” and “Mexican immigrants” as examples. “I feel an undercurrent now not just of hopelessness, but of ‘victim-hood’ that is not going to serve our democracy.”
Rice also noted the “breakdown of the international order,” pointing to China’s saber-rattling/cyber attacks and Russia aggressively “buzzing our planes.” (“Somebody’s got to go to Vladimir Putin and say, ‘Knock it off,’ ” she advised.) And, what about ISIS? “We have to take away their sexiness … their appeal … in inspiring people on web sites,” Rice said. “And, we have to have a better ‘story’ than they do. … In the meantime, we just have to defeat them.”