This picture released by the US Department of State shows US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice being greeted by US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmai Khalilzad after arriving in Baghdad. Rice has met the leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, urging them to cooperate with Iraqi Arabs in building a peaceful and unified country.(AFP/HO)I've been terribly remiss by not posting this lovely picture of the Condibot arriving in Baghdad yesterday. Luckily, approximately 1 million people emailed me to remind me to do so.
But... did you see the video footage on the news? It was soooo much better than the disappointing photo above. Condi comes into view from the airline, pauses a moment for the cameras, walks down the steps, and then RUNS, literally races, into Khalilzad's waiting arms. Oh, it was good.
And, yes, things are going so swimmingly in Iraq that Dr. Ferragamo's plane had to circle for an entire hour before landing, and Condi had to don an unfashionable bullet-proof vest for those fleeting seconds it took her to disembark. Um, whatever.
So this has been another Conditravel whirlwind. She's been in at least four countries in as many days, and that leaves how much time for serious negotiations? Um, right. Actually, my coworker David has a better theory, that all this travelling has nothing to do with her supposed job, and everything to do with racking up the frequent flier miles for her post-administration career.
Hey, that's more plausible than the idea of anybody actually thinking of her as an effective diplomat.
EDIT: To clarify, the vest Condi's wearing seems to have been provided specifically for her difficult, perilous journey from the top of the airplane's stairway to the bottom, and then for her equally dangerous sprint into the ambassador's grip. We're talking a distance of about 50 feet. Hooray for success in Iraq!
UPDATE: Also, her little photo-op trip to Iraq seems to have torpedoed today's planned UN Iran negotiations. Way to go, Condi!