Demonstrators burn an effigy of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a U.S. flag and an Israeli flag during a protest in Kuala Lumpur July 28, 2006. Thousands of Malaysians protested against Israel on Friday at the front door of a global security forum attended by U.S. Secretary of States Condoleezza Rice and ASEAN and Asian counterparts. MALAYSIA OUT NO ARCHIVE NO SALES REUTERS/Stringer (MALAYSIA)Never mind those mean protestors, Condi's having a simply divine time in Malaysia, so why would she want to go back to Lebanon? Indeed, the State Department revealed this morning that Condi's not leaving until tomorrow, because things "aren't ready" for her to go back to the Middle East:
All the bags were packed and ready to go when the schedule was suddenly changed, suggesting that negotiations in the Middle East had not reached a point where her presence could push the warring sides in the conflict to a deal.In other words, our heroine wisely doesn't want to go until everything is pretty much resolved (as resolved as it can be at this point, anyway), setting the stage for her to swoop in, dominate all the photo-ops and take all the credit. You've gotta admit, she's no fool! After all, if she went now, she have to actually participate in all those totally boring negotiations, and we all know that isn't in anybody's best interests.
UPDATE: From Eugene Robinson's editorial in this morning's Post:
Now, in her first real test as secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice will be judged on more than her impressive résumé, her obvious intelligence, her poise on the world stage and her fashion sense. Now she has her own war to sort out, and all she's done so far is scare people with her talk of somehow making the world's tinderbox into something "new."
She should remember the famous dictum from philosopher Rumsfeld, which I paraphrase: You go to war with the Middle East you have, not the Middle East you might want.