I've been tied up with family matters this week, so I haven't been paying as much attention to the world as I would like, but this stands out to me: The Middle East is descending into widespread war, and the U.S. Secretary of State spends her time today, what? Shuttle diplomacy through the region, trying to work out a settlement? Nope. Bringing together leaders from interested countries to work out some kind of coalition strategy? Nope. Making the rounds of the Sunday pundit shows to spin some kind of excuse for the situation? Bingo!
I'm no foreign-policy expert. But it's pretty clear to me that the U.S. has to be concerned about the developments in the region, has to know that its interests are in no way advanced by ongoing and enlarging conflict in the region, and has to work to try and resolve the issues. For better or worse, the U.S. is tied deeply into the region.
But it appears we have no plan. Nothing. So send the "top diplomat" out to sell the P.R. story.
Oh, wait, we had a plan: getting rid of Saddam Hussein in Iraq was going to stabilize the region and make sure this kind of thing didn't happen. And to my surprise, someone (George Stephanopoulos) actually asked Secretary Rice about that. Her response: it's "grotesque" to suggest we had any role in making things worse. Thanks for stepping up and taking responsibility for your policies. (Oh, and she managed to link 9/11 to this...Surprise!)
Almost makes one long for the days of Henry Kissinger or James Baker. Kissinger might have been an evil genius, but at least he had plans and acted on them, with at least plausible arguments that he was advancing the interests of the U.S. He spent a fair amount of time on TV, advocating his positions, too. But at least he had something to defend. Ms. Rice has nothing.