Let’s start with what Condi Rice does really, really well–she’s a dandy pianist. She is no bimbo and certainly has book smarts. But as a strategic thinker she’s a dud. As a Soviet Expert? Grossly overrated.

I am ignoring the kerfuffle between Condi and the Rutgers faculty over the University’s invite to feature her as their commencement speaker. I side with the faculty–why honor Rice who, as the National Security Advisor to George W. Bush, backed the invasion of Iraq under false pretenses and, more importantly, weakened U.S. influence in the Middle East and paved the way for Iran to spread its power and influence. Just patting her on her nappy head and congratulating her for being the first black female to serve as the NSC Advisor and as the Secretary of State smacks of paternalism and racism.

What the hell difference does the color of her skin have to do with the stupid decisions she made at the NSC and at State? Conservatives are up in arms over the effort of the Rutgers faculty and insist this is racism directed at an Aunt Jemima who loves to dance at the white Republican Plantation. Not in this case (this is different from the hate spewed at the likes of Ben Carson and Clarence Thomas). Conservatives need to admit they are just as guilty as the Libs when it comes to playing the minority card in the credibility game. In this case, conservatives are willing to overlook incompetence just because Condi is black.

Anyway, back to Condi’s latest op-ed, Will America Heed the Wake up Call of Ukraine?

The “Ukrainian problem” has been brewing for some time between the West and Russia. Since Ukraine’s Orange Revolution, the United States and Europe have tried to convince Russia that the vast territory should not be a pawn in a great-power conflict but rather an independent nation that could chart its own course. Putin has never seen it that way. For him, Kiev’s movement toward the West is an affront to Russia in a zero-sum game for the loyalty of former territories of the empire. The invasion and possible annexation of Crimea on trumped-up concerns for its Russian-speaking population is his answer to us.

The immediate concern must be to show Russia that further moves will not be tolerated and that Ukraine’s territorial integrity is sacrosanct. Diplomatic isolation, asset freezes and travel bans against oligarchs are appropriate. The announcement of air defense exercises with the Baltic states and the movement of a U.S. destroyer to the Black Sea bolster our allies, as does economic help for Ukraine’s embattled leaders, who must put aside their internal divisions and govern their country.

The longer-term task is to answer Putin’s statement about Europe’s post-Cold War future. He is saying that Ukraine will never be free to make its own choices — a message meant to reverberate in Eastern Europe and the Baltic states — and that Russia has special interests it will pursue at all costs. For Putin, the Cold War ended “tragically.” He will turn the clock back as far as intimidation through military power, economic leverage and Western inaction will allow.

Condi might have some credibiltiy on this matter if she had demonstrated equal concern about the “territorial integrity” of Iraq. She provides a stark, unsparing example of chutzpah–decryng Russia for the,”possible annexation of Crimea on trumped-up concerns.” This from the lady who helpd fashion a bogus, false premise for invading Iraq. Unlike Russia’s effort in the Crimea, the United States misadventure in Iraq left tens of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands wounded and impoverished, and the balance of power in the Middle East up-ended.

How can a smart lady like Condi be so dumb? She is desperate to revive the specter of Russia as the Communist International, hell bent on Global domination. That was bullshit during the Cold War and is really delusional when it comes to Putin. We are so obsessed with what others are doing that we fail to look in the mirror and take a good look at ourselves. Putin, for better or worse, is pursuing a national interest of Russia. Keeping Russia secure and ensuring that the countries on its immediate border are friendly is not the act of a madman nor a tyrant. It is called sane.

Can you imagine what our reaction would be were the Russians to move directly to unseat governments in Canada or Mexico and replace them with leaders that are friendly to Moscow? Do you really think that Condi and the other Cold War dinosaurs would sit back and insist that we would have no right to “interfere” in the internal affairs of either Canada or Mexico?

Our record of international interference is lengthy and bloody. Hell, we continue to insist that we have the right to run drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia because we face a terrorist threat. You see? As long as we can use the excuse of terrorism and pander to fear then we can justify anything.

Perhaps Condi is just miffed that Putin is acting like us. What do you think?

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Larry C. Johnson is a former analyst at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, who moved subsequently in 1989 to the U.S. Department of State, where he served four years as the deputy director for transportation security, antiterrorism assistance training, and special operations in the State Department's Office of Counterterrorism. He left government service in October 1993 and set up a consulting business. He currently is the co-owner and CEO of BERG Associates, LLC (Business Exposure Reduction Group) and is an expert in the fields of terrorism, aviation security, and crisis and risk management, and money laundering investigations. Johnson is the founder and main author of No Quarter, a weblog that addresses issues of terrorism and intelligence and politics. NoQuarterUSA was nominated as Best Political Blog of 2008.

    stolen from a commenter at the crawdad hole


    EU nations urge US gas exports amid ukraine crisis.
    skip backtrack, send letter to speaker of the house. may send one to harry



    backtrack pushed Ukraine to destroy 15000 tons of ammo , 400000 firearms and 1000 anti aircraft missiles. when he was a senator. left them defenseless.

    funny how he seems to be trying to do the same thing to the USA

  • JohnnyTwoDog

    It worked so well for them before in electioneering political power. Condi and the ‘Cons want to revive the Cold War Evil Empire narrative.
    hypocrisy? False pretenses? Outright lies? Those are topics where every pol is in agreement with Clinton. What difference does it make anyway.

  • deehra

    Didn’t think much of Condi when she was in gov’t, but do appreciate her musical talent, which is more than can be said about most political appointees.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Will no Obama supporter on these pages stand up for Rice, who the Congressional Black Caucus once described as being “too White?” Ooops, wrong Rice! Condi is the Rice from San Francisco, Right? Or is that Rice-O-Roni? If we take away Condi, then only Susan is Left as being too White, right? Damn time change on travel! Two more hours before Sunday brunch and a Bloody Mary.

  • 0getfitnow1

    The hypocrisy of these “ ivory towers” is breath taking and that’s all I’ll address here.

    Those Rutgers graduates would have heard an outstanding speech. She’s articulate and a brilliant orator. I can see why a bunch of bitter “intellectuals” too damned stupid to make it outside of their safe tenured world of academia despise Condi Rice. I imagine Susan Rice, on the other hand, is the cat’s meow in their eyes.

    • KenoshaMarge

      My thoughts exactly. What are they afraid of? Will listening to a speech by a black conservative woman, who is very articulate, taint all those poor little liberal listeners? Can’t have very strong beliefs if they are afraid to even listen.
      But should the Bimbo of Benghazi deign to speak – they will go silent in awe. (Unlike how they regarded her when she was running against the Obamamessiah.)
      For folks who claim to be the “pro-choice” party they sure don’t seem to like to give people a “choice” about who they hear speak.

    • KlugerRD

      They are intellectuals or professors – they are propagandists plain and simple.

      Colleges today are bastions of far left politically controlled thought. They attack only when their radical ideology is brought into question.

    • doc99
    • micheal

      How much she got to do with Chevron in nigeria,

  • S7teen70six

    This is all about and nothing more than politics. With the potential for war to distract the masses in an election year both sides are playing this to the hilt. No one wants to not be on the side of those poor Ukrainians. That mean old Russian bear moved into their house and has been sleeping in the beds as if he owned the place. Goldilocks Soetoro huffs and puffs shouting: You didn’t build that! Meanwhile inside, Putin is rolling on the floor with laughter.

    The entire US media seems to go apoplectic over the concern that Putin lied about troops being in Crimea. He “isn’t in touch with reality.” The very same media that willingly looks the other way whistling a merry tune when Obama claims he didn’t draw red lines or invent unruly demonstrations that murder Ambassadors.

    It’s no coincidence that Susan Rice’s nickname is Condi.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Larry, Refresh my memory, what happened to the Warsaw Pact again? For that matter, what happened to Warsaw? Rule #1–never name an alliance after a place that may leave it.

    • Popsmoke

      They got into a legal dispute over how many Russian troops were going to stay so they un-pact-ed…..

      • Retired_from_SPOnaj

        Didi that have any imPACT on the current Ukrainian situation? Were box lunches PACT?

        • Popsmoke

          Now your being picky-pact with the boxed lunches…

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Your keen sense of irony and sophisticated sarcasm are talents that do not grace Ms. Rice.

  • Popsmoke

    Beam me up Scotty. There is no intelligent life down here!

    • HELENK2

      how are you doing????

      • Popsmoke

        Hi Helen

        Still taking it one day at a time. I have my good and bad days but I refuse to surrender. Thanks for asking and how are you doing?

        • HELENK2

          glad you are staying strong. if there is anything I can help with have Larry give you my e-mail

        • Popsmoke

          Thanks Helen you are very sweet….

    • foxyladi14

      Good to see you Pop.Hang in there.

      • Popsmoke




    that president thing is hard work.
    how secure do you will with this in charge?


    Judge Jeanine my nominee for Attorney
    General is on fire tonight in her opening statement. When the video
    becomes available it is a must see


  • no_longer_a_democrat

    I don’t agree with Dr. Rice, she made a lot of mistakes. But I respect her. I don’t agree with this post. Criticize all her mistakes, incompetence, ignorance etc…her being black has nothing to do with it. I don’t agree with the tenor of the post.

    As for Rutgers, seriously?? so much for liberal tolerance. Even Liberty Univ. invited Obie. Progressives are a very intolerant bunch.

  • ME

    “Perhaps Condi is just miffed that Putin is acting like us.”

    Actually, sort of, yes. I don’t mean to sound sexist, but women tend to look at Putin and then look at what stands between us and him, President Obama, and panic. “Miffed” is too mild of a word, I’d call it a full blown anxiety attack. It’s not that Putin is acting like us, it’s that he’s acting far superior to us.

  • ME

    “But as a strategic thinker she’s a dud”

    She was remarkable testifying in front of congress over 9/11. Not good, not pleasant but, very skilled at avoiding questions. Compared to today’s “what difference does it make” and Lois pleading the 5th, Condi showed some skill.

    As to Rutger’s, it’s the politics they’re playing that bothers people. If Condi was a crappy black liberal with a poor track record there would be no problem. They’re rejecting Condi because of tribalism and public outcry. That’s the politics of personal destruction and it’s a plague on our country right now. There’s no professionalism, nothing resembling free thought anymore.

  • Dave L.

    We can’t stop millions of Mexicans from invading our Southern border, why the hell should Putin worry about us trying to get involved in the Ukraine ?? We can’t afford, nor do we have the military to fight in another theater ! Putin knows Obama is full of shit, and the weakest (leader) ? , in the free world !

    • foxyladi14


  • http://fishfearme.blogs.com/ Dave

    “…patting her on her nappy head…”

    Wow, going for the double: misogynist and racist.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Are you really this clueless?

      • Steve Diamond

        Sad and disappointing use of a racist stereotype.

  • buckeyeman

    It’s depressing that so many, left and right, are still fighting the Cold War. It seems to me that Putin is acting quite rationally, while the West is engaged in unhelpful histrionics. Does the US really want to be supporting the kind of government takeovers as occurred in Kiev? Condi wants Ukraine ‘free to make its own choices’, as long as they agree with what she perceives to be Western interests.


    off topic


    evidence casts doubt on ex CIA leaders claims on Benghazi attack.

    drip drip drip

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      Not likely terrorism. It there had been two or more that went down within hours of each other then I think the terrorist angle would be more plausible. One plane down. So what? Horrific for the surviving families, but a big shrug for the rest of the world.

      • HELENK2

        questions about the two on board with stolen passports.

        • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

          Sure. Stolen passports. Think human smuggling or cash couriers or something else tied to organized crime. Where’s the political punch if this is a “terrorist” attack?

          • HELENK2

            thank you that makes sense

      • foxyladi14

        Plus someone would be claiming responsibility in the name of Allah!!

        • KenoshaMarge

          Media’s instant hysteria about terrorism is more about ratings than the truth. How about not speculating, shutting the ef up if you don’t know the facts and wait until you can tell the public what actually happened? Could the media do that? I doubt it!


    smart kid



    as far as a college refusing Condi Rice the commencement speech, they did the same thing to Dr. Ben Carson. Freedom of speech and listening to both sides and learning something from both sides is just so yesterday



    Crimea referendum contains NO option to remain part of the Ukraine
    could this be a game changer?

    • HELENK2


      Russian Duma begins the process toward annexation of Crimea

      US Secretary of State John Kerry tells Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that any steps by Russia to annex Crimea, Ukraine, would close the door to diplomacy – @Reuters

    • buckeyeman

      Helen, I do not think this WZ article is accurate. The referendum refers to one option being a reverting to the 1992 constitution which signifies Crimea as an ‘autonomous republic’ of Ukraine ( this was a compromise brokered between Crimea and Kiev ). The Crimean parliament has made so many constitutional revisions over the years, many of them rejected by Kiev, that it’s dizzying.

  • piattq

    Probably you will not like what I think. But it is not logical to me to excoriate Bush/Rice on Iraq and say that because that was wrong and Putin is now doing the same thing, more or less, in Ukraine, it is ok—somehow our bad made him good.

    • http://noquarterusa.net Larry Johnson

      No, that’s not my point. My point is that we, like Putin, act in what we believe is our national interest. Period. Whether taking over the Crimea turns out to be a positive for Putin remains to be seen. However, I do know for a fact that what we did in Iraq has hurt our national security interests. True?

    • buckeyeman

      I think it is a big mistake to equate what Bush did in Iraq to what Putin, ‘more or less’, is doing in Ukraine.

  • foxyladi14

    Sounds right to me Larry.

  • Retired_from_SPOnaj

    Larry: Our cause is, by definition, just. Therefore, our opponent’s cause must be, by definition, evil. Didn’t you learn anything in CTDP?

  • KenoshaMarge

    I think it a shame that a talented, intelligent woman allowed herself to be used in the Bush Administration. She did not do herself proud.

    I suspect she was just the “good” soldier and was often drownd out and steamrollered by Cheney. Then again maybe she just went along to get along as a party loyalty thing. I cannot pretend to read her mind.

    I disagree on Rutgers. What is the harm in allowing her to speak? If all Speakers were held to the same standard there would be few who qualified as “good” enough to speak at commencement. Starting with both the Clintons who have made a fortune running their mouths and the Yoyo in the White House.

    • S7teen70six

      You make a good point. A calculus of the same standard toward liberal speakers would leave the university pursuing mimes.

    • S7teen70six

      Color me embarrassed to admit that I agree with something Juan Williams said.

      Liberals are shockingly quick to demean and dismiss brilliant black people like Rice, Carson, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Professor Walter E. Williams and economist Thomas Sowell because they don’t fit into the role they have carved out for a black person in America.

      Black Americans must be obedient liberals on all things or risk being called a race traitor or an Uncle Tom.

      I commend Williams for realizing that Democrats are still slavemasters, keeping everyone on the plantation.

      • KenoshaMarge

        I share your embarassment. But if the man said something I believe to be the truth then I would be behaving like a liberal if I did not acknowledge it.
        Or as Dana Perrino said to Bob Beckel when he expressed surprise when all four conservatives praised Obama for his outreach to young black men – “maybe we just have principals.”

      • stodghie

        my guess is Williams has experienced this himself. he occasionally makes a moderate statement.

  • DianaLC

    Larry, I agree with you. No one in the GW Bush administration has the moral ground from which to pontificate. I was very upset about Iraz.
    I am also the granddaughter and great-granddaughter of people who left the Ukraine for the U.S., That land was won from the Ottomans and then Alexander I did the same thing that his grandmother Cathereine the Great did: invite people in from Europe to farm the area since the Russians are notoriously bad at farming. Cathereine, by doing this finally did not have to import most of the food for her people and could not only feel them but could export grain. The Volga Valley and the Ukaraine and the port of Odessa served as the breadbasket