Earlier this week U.S. Secretary of State fired another salvo of harsh criticisms at Iran. She also criticized Syria for inciting the “war of cartoons.” Well, such statements by the head of U.S. diplomacy have long ceased being a surprise to anyone. Making statements like that is one of her duties. In the meantime, we can assume that Ms. Rice is also pursuing some other goals apart from doing her regular job.
Many experts, especially those who are critical of the U.S. administration, regard Condoleezza Rice a generator of ideas for President George W. Bush at least in terms of designing n a foreign policy. We are not going to make an unambiguous statement regarding strong influence exerted by the state secretary on the president. At the same time, it is easy to see that Secretary Rice’s stance on most issues is tougher than that of the President Bush. Earlier this week, she said that the president was still considering all options for resolving the Iranian issue including the possibility of launching an attack on Iran. The first question that pops up: Why did not the president himself say about it? An explanation probably lies in a clear-cut division of labor inside the U.S. administration. Compared to Bush, Rice delivers more radical statements as if to trigger a certain reaction of the international public opinion. The president then takes the reaction into account and does as he thinks fit.
The pattern is also applicable to Russia. Ms. Rice never misses an opportunity to criticize Russia. Well, she was trained to do it. Needless to say, the Cold War Kremlinologists were trained to play hardball. They were often America’s main weapons in the ideological war. By all appearances, the double standards have been the secretary of state’s character trait since the Cold War era. But we should not be too critical for Ms Rice is too grown up now for retraining.
The notorious double standards can be seen in issues relating to Iran’s nuclear program.
After all, President Bush is not considering the possibility of taking a military action against Pakistan and India because they broke the nonproliferation treaty. While speculating about the role of Condoleezza Rice in the U.S. foreign policy, we should bear in mind that her tough stance actually pays as the secretary of state is scoring extra points for the upcoming presidential election. In this case she is trying to win support of the influential conservative circles. In theory, President Bush has already met with strong opposition among influential Republicans with regard to his potential choice of Rice as a top Republican contender for the next presidential election.
The Republican Party veterans, some of them are real ultraconservatives, would like to see a presidential candidate handpicked from the respectable and experienced party members, somebody they have known for years. Being a representative of professional bureaucrats, Rice does not enjoy a good deal of support. She seems to be trying to please the ultraconservatives and win their support by making tough statements.