Saturday, September 16, 2006

Limbaugh Trips Up Rice

I am subscribed to the State Dept. distribution list of Secretary Rice's interviews and I have to wait a day or two until they are uploaded on to the State Dept. site so you'll just have to trust me that these are authnetic quotations.

Limbaugh does great work here trying to undermine the illogic of the U.S. policy vis a vis Israel and its war on terror.

...I want to go back to the recent war between the Hezbollah and Israeli forces. It seems that when it comes to Israel and their fight against
terrorists, ceasefires and resolutions are the rule of the day, even though they really haven't worked in ceasing these hostilities and bringing about peace. They just bring interruptions to it.
Yet when we are fighting terrorists, no -- we don't tell ourselves to ceasefire and negotiate with them. What is it about the paradigm of the Middle East that requires the fight against terrorism there be fought differently than the way we're fighting it against us?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I would think of it a little differently, Rush. What you have there is you have a Lebanese Government that wants to fight terror and that is the beginnings of a democratic government that could be actually a partner for Israel in fighting terror. And so the ceasefire was really with the Lebanese Government, and now we're trying to help the Lebanese Government deal with the effects of a
Hezbollah that launched that attack without Lebanon even knowing.

I think of it the following way. We are fighting terror in Iraq, but we're doing it with an Iraqi Government. We are fighting terror in Afghanistan, and we're doing it with an Afghan Government. So the way to think about what happened in Lebanon is that we're going to fight terror, but we need to do it with a Lebanese Government that is devoted to fighting terror.

So I think the -- from our point of view, there isn't any difference. No terrorist can be supported or understood or negotiated with. What you can do is to find moderate governments -- moderate leaders in those countries that are suffering from terrorism themselves and enlist them in the fight to help defeat terrorists.

QUESTION: Is Lebanon really serious about this? I mean if the Hezbollah group was able to attack without even the Government of Lebanon knowing it, then what good does a ceasefire with the Government of Lebanon do?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, you have to strengthen that government. It's a weak government, and -- but it is getting stronger. It's finally deployed its military forces throughout its whole country for the first time in more than three decades.

And this is a government that came to power when the extremists assassinated the reformist Prime Minister of Lebanon Rafiq Hariri. And so this is a government that comes from the right set of values and the right set of principles. It's just not very strong. We're trying to help build it up, build up its security forces. But when we've done that in Lebanon and in Iraq and in Afghanistan, and indeed if we can find that kind of government in the Palestinian Territories, having those strong, moderate forces to help you fight terror, indigenous forces to help you fight terror, is extremely important.

QUESTION: Is it the theory is -- that terrorists will gravitate to areas where
there are no states, where there are no governments --


QUESTION: -- like they did Afghanistan and Somalia?

SECRETARY RICE: Exactly. And so you have to build up governments that can prevent that from happening. And it's hard work --

QUESTION: I hope they are allied with us.

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