Condoleezza Rice

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It's bad policy to speculate on what you'll do if a plan fails, when you're trying to make a plan work.

Condoleezza Rice (born November 14, 1954) is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State in the administration of President George W. Bush. Rice was President Bush's National Security Advisor during his first term, making her the first woman to serve in that position. Before joining the Bush administration, she was a professor of political science at Stanford University where she served as Provost from 1993 to 1999.


  • The growth of entrepreneurial classes throughout the world is an asset in the promotion of human rights and individual liberty, and it should be understood and used as such. Yet peace is the first and most important condition for continued prosperity and freedom. America's military power must be secure because the United States is the only guarantor of global peace and stability. The current neglect of America's armed forces threatens its ability to maintain peace.
  • But in terms of Saddam Hussein being there, let's remember that his country is divided, in effect. He does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt.
  • I don't think that anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile
  • This is your baby. Go do it.
    • Regarding directives to the CIA on which torture techniques should be used. Summer 2002 [1] [2].
  • In light of 50 years of bondage of Eastern Europe, [invading the Soviet Union in 1948 to prevent it from acquiring nuclear weapons] was probably a reasonable thing to do.
  • "Protests are a part of our democratic heritage and our democratic privilege ... [US and British efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq] are finally getting those countries to the place that actually people might have the same privilege of protest". The Guardian, 2003-11-15
  • Oh, indeed there is a tie between Iraq and what happened on 9/11. It's not that Saddam Hussein was somehow himself and his regime involved in 9/11, but, if you think about what caused 9/11, it is the rise of ideologies of hatred that lead people to drive airplanes into buildings in New York.
  • is a longstanding principle that sitting national security advisers do not testify before the Congress.
  • Condoleezza Rice: But I don't remember the al‐Qaeda cells as being something that we were told we needed to do something about.
    Richard Ben-Veniste: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB [Presidential Daily Briefing] warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that PDB?
    Condoleezza Rice: I believe the title was, Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States.
  • People may oppose you, but when they realize you can hurt them, they'll join your side.
    • Advice given to her protégée, Kiron Skinner, while serving as Provost at Stanford University; quoted in James Mann, Rise of the Vulcans (Penguin Books, New York: 2004, ISBN 0-143-03489-8, p. 227.
  • The United States doesn't and can't condone torture. And I want to make very clear that that's the view and the policy of the administration, the policy of the president, and that he's made very clear to American personnel that we will not condone torture....Senator, under no circumstances should we or have we condoned torture. And the president has been very clear that he expects everyone to live up to our international obligations and to American law.
  • And so the administration, I think, has said to the American people that it is a generational commitment to Iraq.
  • When are we going to stop making excuses for the terrorists and saying that somebody is making them do it? No, these are simply evil people who want to kill.
  • Well, that's not how I read the statement ... After all, do Iraqis really want to -- any Iraqi, sitting around that table, want to suggest that killing an innocent Iraqi child standing at a bus stop is legitimate? Or that killing Iraqi soldiers who are lining up at recruitment centers is legitimate? Or even that multinational forces -- who by the way are there under a UN mandate -- are somehow legitimate targets?
  • You see, education is transformational. It literally changes lives. That is why people work so hard to become educated and that is why education has always been the key to the American Dream, the force that erases arbitrary divisions of race and class and culture and unlocks every person's God-given potential.
  • We have had some bad incidents and there continue to be allegations of others which will be investigated; but overwhelmingly American forces there, putting their lives on the line every day, protecting Iraqis, helping to liberate them, that is appreciated by the Iraqi people and by the Prime Minister.
  • I don't know anyone who is more admired and respected in the international community than President Karzai, for his strength, for his wisdom and for his courage to lead this country, first in defeat of the Taliban and now a democratic and unified Afghanistan. And I can tell you I am with foreign ministers and with heads of state all over the world. I sit in the councils of NATO. I sit with the EU. I sit with people all over the world and there is great admiration for your president and also for what the Afghan people are doing here.
  • ...those hostilities were not very well contained, as we found out on September 11th, and so the notion that somehow policies that finally confront extremism are actually causing extremism I find grotesque.
  • The United States has been very clear that we did have to have some political basis to make clear that that cessation of hostilities was not going to countenance a return to the status quo ante. This resolution does that. And now we're going to see who is for peace and who isn't.
  • ...there have been plenty of markers that show that this is a country that is worth the investment because once it emerges as a country that is a stabilizing factor, you'll have a very different kind of Middle East. And I know that from the point of view of not just monetary costs, but the sacrifice of American lives, a lot has been sacrificed for Iraq, a lot has been invested in Iraq.
  • Ron Paul: We are escalating our sharp rhetoric toward Iran, We're deploying additonal carrier group and Patriot missiles to the region. And, although Iran has approached the United States to establish serious dialog two times since 9/11, they have been rebuffed both times...
    Condelezza Rice: ...When we have a carrier strike group into the gulf, or provide PAC-3, which is a defensive system, it's simply to demonstrate that the United States remains determined to defend its interests in the gulf, and the interests of its allies. And that, congressman, is a position that has been held by American presidents going back for nearly 60 years. I would just note that these are discrete responses to Iranian activities that are really deeply concerning, not just for us, but for the rest of the world as well. Now as to Tehran, and whether we can talk to them. I offered in May to reverse 27 years of American policy, and to meet my counterpart any place, any time, to talk about any set of issues that Iran wishes to talk about, if they would just do one thing. And that is, adhere to the demand that the international community is making, that they stop enrichment and reprocessing, so that we that while we're talking, they're not improving their capability to get a nuclear weapon. So I think, congressman, the question isn't why won't we talk to Tehran, the question is why won't they talk to us.
  • ...the consolidation of a stable and democratic Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein is a part of what America owes to the Iraqi people, owes to the region, and owes to ourselves so that our own security is there. Chris, it would be like saying that after Adolf Hitler was overthrown, we needed to change then the resolution that allowed the United States to do that so that we could deal with creating a stable environment in Europe after he was overthrown.
  • Condoleezza Rice: I think that these historical circumstances require a very detailed and sober look from historians and what we've encouraged the Turks and the Armenians to do is to have joint historical commissions that can look at this, to have efforts to examine their past and, in examining their past, to get over their past.
    Adam Schiff: come out of academia... is there any reputable historian you're aware of that takes issue with the fact that the murder of 1.5 million Armenians constituted genocide?
    Condoleezza Rice: Congressman, I come out of academia, but I'm secretary of state now and I think that the best way to have this proceed is for the United States not to be in the position of making this judgment, but rather for the Turks and the Armenians to come to their own terms about this.
    Adam Schiff: ...Why is it only this genocide? Is it because Turkey is a strong ally? Is that an ethical and moral reason to ignore the murder of 1.5 million people? Why is it we don't say, "Let's relegate the Holocaust to historians" or "relegate the Cambodian genocide or Rwandan genocide ?" Why is it only this genocide that we should let the Turks acknowledge or not acknowledge?
    Condoleezza Rice: Congressman, we have recognized and the president recognizes every year in a resolution that he himself issues the historical circumstances and the tragedy that befell the Armenian people at that time...
    Adam Schiff: ...You recognize more than anyone, as a diplomat, the power of words. And I'm sure you supported the recognition of genocide in Darfur, not calling it tragedy, not calling it atrocity, not calling it anything else, but the power and significance of calling it genocide. Why is that less important in the case of the Armenian genocide?
    Condoleezza Rice: Congressman, the power here is in helping these people to move forward... And, yes, Turkey is a good ally and that is important. But more important is that like many historical tragedies, like many historical circumstances of this kind, people need to come to terms with it and they need to move on.
    Adam Schiff: ...Iran hosts conferences of historians on the Holocaust. I don't think we want to get in the business of encouraging conferences of historians on the undeniable facts of the Armenian genocide.
  • I'm very glad that there was, in fact, a consequence. I think that this kind of coarse language doesn't belong anywhere in reasonable dialogue between reasonable people. ... It gets ruined by this disgusting -- and I'll use the word 'disgusting' -- comment which doesn't belong in any polite company and certainly doesn't belong on any radio station that I would listen to.
  • Now, six years ago, al-Qaeda was planning to attack the Twin Towers. It wasn't a very nice world. And I think that if you think about six years ago, al-Qaida was preparing to attack the Twin Towers, Pakistan was allied with the Taliban, Afghanistan was the base from which al-Qaida was going to operate; the Israelis and the Palestinians had given up on a chance for -- or let me put it, the Palestinians had walked away from a chance for a Palestinian state, launched the second intifada, elected Ariel Sharon who basically said there would never be a Palestinian state and there will be a greater Israel; the North Korean were cheating on a deal that they had just signed; China and others were indifferent to that because it was a U.S.-North Korea bilateral deal; Iran was cheating on the IAEA out of sight. I could go on and on and on. That was the world in 2000 and 2001. And there is no doubt that by confronting -- oh, by the way, and Saddam Hussein was shooting at our pilots regularly in the no-fly zone and making a mockery of the Oil-for-Peace -- Oil-for-Food program and corruption was running rampant in that program. So, a worse world? I think so.
  • This test has much in common with the other great challenges that are defining this young century -- from weapons proliferation, to the spread of disease, to transnational terrorism. These are truly global problems, and no one nation, no matter how much power or political will it possesses, can succeed alone. We all need partners, and we all need to work in concert.
  • ...I am proud of the decision of this Administration to overthrow Saddam Hussein. I am proud of the liberation of 25 million Iraqis. And I'm proud to see an Iraq that is now emerging with a stronger government, a truly multiethnic, multi-sectarian government that's about to have its second set of elections, that's inviting private investment into Iraq, and that is making peace with its Arab neighbors.
  • This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia, where Russia can threaten its neighbors, occupy a capital, overthrow a government, and get away with it. Things have changed.
  • In terms of the enhanced interrogation and so forth, anything that was legal and was going to make this country safer, the president wanted to do. Nothing that was illegal. And nothing that was going to make the country less safe. Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11th, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans. You were determined to do anything that you could that was legal to prevent that from happening again... We were told, nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture. And so, by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Conventions Against Torture.
  • In response to a question about what "keeps her up at night", I worry about the fact that in K-12 education I can look at your zip code and tell whether or not you're going to get a good education.
    • Interview by Donna Shalala C-Span Video Library No Higher Honor University of Miami, School of Business Administration, November 3, 2011.
  • The essence of America – that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality or religion – it is an idea — and what an idea it is: That you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.

Quotes about Condoleezza Rice

  • In February 2005 the American secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, came to Paris to consolidate the improvement in relations between the White House and the Élysée a er the crisis over Iraq. Speaking at the Institut d'études politiques, in the heart of the Saint-Germain-des Prés quarter of Paris, she referred to the mission of the democracies, which is to spread freedom and bring down tyrannies: “We know,” she said, “that we have deal with the world as it is, but we do not have to accept the world as it is.” The French press was astonished and suggested that she had gotten carried away, gone to extremes. This was a strange amnesia, since with these simple words Rice reminded the French, who had forgotten it, of the message of the Revolution of 1789. In this sense, America, although we constantly demonize it, still defends the democratic treasure that we have repressed or relativized.
    • Pascal Bruckner, The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism (2005), Oxford University Press transl. Steven Rendall, pp. 199-200
  • Conflict of interest? Not to the Bush White House, where it was business as usual...Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice served on the board of Chevron for a decade. She has the distinction of being the only cabinet member to have had an oil tanker named after her.
    • Amy Goodman Standing Up to the Madness: Ordinary Heroes in Extraordinary Times (2008)
  • ...the idea that she belongs in front of a war tribunal is not something I can dignify with a response. Miss Rice presides over a wide range of choices, a wide range of policies. She's handled that vast duty with dignity, with honor.
  • There are two things people really want to know about the cartoonist Aaron McGruder. The first is precisely what he said to Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, at an awards ceremony three years ago. Rice and McGruder, 32, were both being given an award by the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People, the oldest civil rights organisation in the country. Beforehand, McGruder had told anyone who would listen that Rice was a mass murderer (it was not long after the invasion of Afghanistan) and that he would have no qualms about telling her so to her face. With McGruder's help, rumours about their subsequent exchange became legend. "I was never as cavalier with her as I sounded," he says now. "I had a brief encounter with her and I knew I had to say something. I said something like: 'I don't want you guys to kill me so I'm just going to mind my own business.' I was eminently aware when I met Condi that she could make my whole family disappear. I have never been fearless. I've always had a healthy fear of this government."
  • Rice remained pretty embarrassed – in the end she didn't end up voting in favor of a resolution she organized.
  • Condoleezza Rice serves an administration that has trashed the basic values of academia: reason, science, expertise, and honesty. Stanford should not welcome her back.
  • They are welcome to all the money I have in America. Rice should take half of it to improve the way she looks. She should have her teeth straightened and her face fixed, and should make herself look nice. I donate what is left to George Bush, because I know he will soon be admitted to a mental asylum because of his policies.
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