The Arabist

The Arabist

By Issandr El Amrani and friends.

Bill O'Reilly, geostrategist

Bill O'Reilly interviews Condoleeza Rice. Laughable (bold mine):

QUESTION: We have Madame Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the line, and last time we spoke was last summer and you were confident then that the UN was going to really get tough on Iran. It didn't happen until last week. Why the delay with Iran? Why is the world not being tougher on this country?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, we've actually had two Security Council resolutions on Iran and I think they've gotten progressively tougher. But what we've really been able to do, Bill, is to use those Security Council resolutions to allow what I would call collateral effects on the Iranian economy, meaning that those Chapter 7 resolutions which puts Iran in very bad company has made people think twice about investment. We know that the number of export credits that they're getting is going down. They're having trouble using the financial and banking systems. So, in fact, I think we're having an effect on the Iranians. I can't tell you when reasonable people in Iran will decide that they can't afford the level of isolation, but I think we're having an effect.

QUESTION: Okay. But see, it doesn't play out that way in front of the world because they grab 15 British military and they thumb their nose at the world and they continue to cause trouble in Iraq and they do all this other business. So while behind the scenes what you're saying may be true -- I have no reason to doubt it -- in front of the world this is still a rogue nation that's actually winning. You know, they're embarrassing Great Britain in this situation and, you know, that means a lot in the Arab world.

SECRETARY RICE: Well, they're clearly a rogue nation. I would agree with you on that. But I think that we are dealing with a situation in which the Iranians are just getting more and more isolated. This latest seizure of these British sailors is not going to improve their position in the world; it's going to worsen their position in the world. And they need to release these people.

QUESTION: All right. Well, hope you're right. You know, I'm not sure. I don't know if the world has the will to confront the bad guys at this point in history.
Also don't miss Bill's insightful analysis on Iraq:

QUESTION: I believe that, but I don't know if you're going to be able to rally the American public after four years of disappointment in that theater. And my analysis is the Iraqi people themselves haven't stepped up. They're more interested in killing each other than they are in forming a democratic nation. You had a success in Kuwait after the first Gulf War. You had a success in Afghanistan after the Taliban was removed. You are not having a success in the hearts and minds in Iraq. There's simply too many killers there, too many factions that don't want democracy. And I'm not sure, no matter what surge you have, that you an overcome the Iraqi people not cooperating.

SECRETARY RICE: Bill, if that were the case, I would agree with you. If the problem was the Iraqi people and that they did not want to live in a stable society together, I would agree with you. But I don't think that is the issue.

QUESTION: Then who's killing each other?

SECRETARY RICE: But these are death squads and militias and terrorists who are keeping not just us from succeeding, but Americans -- Iraqis from succeeding.

QUESTION: There are so many of them. There are so many of them.
So confusing. Poor Bill.