Condi: Master of Cognitive Egocentrism

Excerpts from an interview with Condaleeza Rice reveal the workings of cognitive egocentrism in painful detail. Follow the generous senitments that guide her projections, remember this is one of the most hard-headed members of Bush’s administration, and wonder at the power of wishful thinking. (Others may have other interpretations at what drives such unfounded and aggressive naïveté.)

Condi comes clean on her Middle East views

By Cal Thomas

There’s been much speculation in recent days about Secretary of State Rice’s beliefs on the future of “peace” in Israel and the areas won in defensive wars. JWR contributing columnist columnist Cal Thomas interviewed Miss Rice on October 25. What follows is an exclusive excerpt of the interview that will appear next week in his syndicated column.

We think the Secretary of State comes off as utopian and rather naive. She needs to go.

QUESTION: You’re all over the conservative Jewish blogs for remarks you made recently on the Palestinian state, your commitment to it, living side by side with Israel, and that’s been the policy of the Administration since day one.


QUESTION: I’d like to know what evidence you have — I read, and I know you do and a lot more than I do, the sermons, the editorials in the Middle East, the right of return idea, which a lot of people think is just basically overwhelming for a Jewish population with millions and millions of Arabs in the so-called Diaspora. What evidence do you have that teaching their schoolchildren at the ages of four and five to be martyrs, to show up in their little uniforms with plastic guns and their headbands, textbooks one grenade plus two grenades equals, you know, three grenades — what evidence do you have out there that if they had an independent state that they would lay down their arms and not complete the mission of killing the Jews and throwing them out?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, you can look at any opinion poll in the Palestinian territories and 70 percent of the people will say they’re perfectly ready to live side by side with Israel because they just want to live in peace. And when it comes right down to it, yeah, there are plenty of extremists in the Palestinian territories who are not going to be easily dealt with. They have to be dealt with — Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories — they’re terrorists and they have to be dealt with as terrorists.

But the great majority of Palestinian people — this is — I’ve been with these people. The great majority of people, they just want a better life. This is an educated population. I mean, they have a kind of culture of education and a culture of civil society. I just don’t believe mothers want their children to grow up to be suicide bombers. I think the mothers want their children to grow up to go to university. And if you can create the right conditions, that’s what people are going to do.

QUESTION: Do you think this or do you know this?

SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think I know it.

QUESTION: You think you know it?

SECRETARY RICE: I think I know it.

QUESTION: Is it because — do you think you know it because you want to believe it or do you think you know it because of conversations with tens, scores, hundreds —

SECRETARY RICE: Well, lots of conversations with Palestinians. But also it’s — look, if human beings don’t want a better future, don’t want their children to grow up in peace and have opportunities, then none of this is going to work anyway. But I really believe that the people of the Middle East — not the extremists — want the same things that everyone else wants. I haven’t seen a society yet where it wasn’t true. Let me put it that way. I haven’t seen a society yet where ordinary people, given an opportunity, wouldn’t opt for a better life and for peace.

QUESTION: But then you have this incredible religious component which says, you know, your guarantee for heaven is if you blow somebody up.

SECRETARY RICE: Yeah, except for those leaders who don’t seem to be so anxious to lead the surge and go to paradise.

QUESTION: Oh, of course they don’t. No, they have plenty of recruits.

SECRETARY RICE: Yeah, they do have plenty of recruits. But the ideology, that kind of ideology of hatred and hopelessness does not have a chance against an ideology of hope and a better future. We just have to realize that because of the way that the politics of the Middle East has developed for the last 60 years, that ideology of hope and a better future has not been there.

I don’t believe that most people in the Middle East really want to blow themselves up and believe in this ideology any more than most Russians actually wanted to believe in international communism. There are always extremists who are going to do that. There are always ideologues who are going to believe and they are always going to recruit from a pool of disaffected people. So you both have to lessen the pool of disaffected people, give them alternatives, and people choose other paths. I just don’t see a society yet where that hasn’t been the case.

At some point in the interview, Thomas needed to ask the key question that we must pose to all such astonishingly egocentric observers: “What if you’re wrong? What if we’re dealing with that rare phenomenon (by your reckoning), a culture that’s in the grip of a genocidal death cult, one in which mothers urge their children to become suicide martyrs?” And when they refuse to consider this possibility, we need to point out gently that every bit of policy they develop based on their fantasies (ultimately products of the Politically Correct Paradigm), will not only fail but backfire. Gently but firmly.

Rice must resign? Why, because her replacement will understand better? No, Rice needs to wake up and smell the sulphuric hatreds emanating from the allegedly robust “civil society.” She needs to spend some time visiting Palestinian Media Watch and MEMRI. And so do most other Americans, right, left, center, and been-down-so-long-it’s-beginning-to-look-like-up.

16 Responses to Condi: Master of Cognitive Egocentrism

  1. Re: Cal Thomas’ interview with Rice- The historical evidence is so blatantly clear that the Palestinians are a part of the death culture of Muslim society. From the time before the Mandate they were murdering, and easily brought to a mob mentality by the Grand Mufti. Their history is not one of peace and a way of being that fosters education, tolerance,and respect. A society that believes in, and teaches Shahada, cannot be reasoned with or be a partner in peace. As long as our administration believes that a people that dances in the street celebrating our Twin Towers burning with 3,000 victims can be a partner in peace, there will be no peace. There will only be more blood, suicide attacks and grand scale horrors. Where did she meet 70% of these peace-loving Palestinians,in Gaza? People who value peace love their children. The Palestinians are a part of the larger Muslim death culture. They feed off of one another. The Al Dura scenes were interspersed with the filming of the dispicable, hate-filled scene of the brutal killing of Daniel Pearl. This love of death in the Muslim world is a cancer. If Rice does not realize what she is dealing with, it will never be cured. It will slowly ravage the entire world. Mullahs and Imam’s announce every day that our society needs to adopt Sharia law. They tell us they want their culture to spread over the entire world. They are not interested in living side by side. They want a world order with no freedrom and no democracy. Her viewpoint is fightening.

    the issue is, what’s the relationship btw the death cult, which clearly dominates the Palestinian leadership and the rank and file. we know that some Palestinian mothers objected to the use of their brainwashed children for suicide terror missions, but not necessarily to the terror missions themselves. i do think that the degree of intensity of the “death cult” in Palestinian culture represents an exceptional level, rarely found in any culture, including Islamic ones. it takes heavy brainwashing in hatred and megalomania to make a people line up behind such ideas and deeds.

    by the way, are you or anyone aware of BBC footage purporting to show Israeli soldiers handing out candy to Palestinians to get them to celebrate on 9-11?

  2. Eliyahu says:

    The only statement that Rice made in the interview that reflected a sane intelligence was her remark that “the leaders don’t seem to be anxious to lead the surge and go to paradise.” Indeed. Otherwise, she was ridiculous. Hasn’t she been watching what goes in Iraq, which might be called her own baby? How does she explain all the mutual slaughter there between the two main Muslim sects, Shi`a and Sunna, not to mention the Sunni Arab murder of Kurds and of local Christians??? Don’t the Iraqi Sunni Muslims want a better life, don’t they want equal rights for women, don’t they believe in equal rights for their Shi`ite brethren [or their Shi`ite non-brethren?], etc??? Is George W’s secretary of state a loon or –to see the up to date jargon– a moonbat??? Is she aware of the Arab on Arab slaughter in Algeria over the past 15 years, after the military govt cancelled a democratic election won by Islamists??

    How does Condi explain the massacre of 600 Jews in Baghdad in 1941? Were Israelis occupying Iraq at that time? What about Lebanon? Lebanon was fairly prosperous before the civil war started there in 1974, a civil war started –to be sure– by the PLO led by yasser. But Israel wasn’t occupying Lebanon in 1974. [many “experts” mistakenly cite 1975 as the first year of the Lebanese civil war. Israel wasn’t there in 1975 either].

    Actually, her speech at that Arab pro-PLO conclave was also outrageous because it drastically falsified history. It made Israel out to be a traditional oppressor of those Arabs now called “palestinians” by their “amen corner” press [the PLO charter calls the Arabs that it represents “Arabs”]. In fact, the Arab-Muslims were oppressors of Jews in Arab-Muslim ruled countries for more than a thousand years. And this was true in Israel too. Indeed, Jewish dhimmis were worse treated traditionally in Israel by Arab-Muslim govts– that is, worse treated even than Christian dhimmis. Rice’s ignorance –or deceit– should not be making policy.

  3. section9 says:

    Rice is a hardheaded realist, but a follower of Reagan, who understood that most ordinary people want to live ordinary lives. This statement:

    Well, lots of conversations with Palestinians. But also it’s — look, if human beings don’t want a better future, don’t want their children to grow up in peace and have opportunities, then none of this is going to work anyway.

    Part of the problem is, as Daffyd ab Hugh pointed out at Big Lizards, is the huge Calvinist streak in conservativism that gives up on people as risen devils. Unending war of all against all, that sort of thing. Israelis understand that they must be rid of the Pallies. Rice understands this as well, but like Reagan, she has a long term faith in people.

    I’m confused here. you’ve elided too many issues, and slide from one to the other without warning. who are the “calvinists” who “give up on people as risen devils” and where does Rice and Reagen get their long-term faith in people?

    She has no faith in the PA leadership, and knows that war is coming with the Persians. That’s what nobody sees. Now if only we had a competent Israeli Government that actually knew how to fight and win a war, we might be in better shape.

  4. jayne says:

    I tend to agree with CR that the human animal does not readily incline to blowing itself or its children into pieces to prove political points – islamofascism is having to work against the evolutionary grain there. However, she appears to miss or misrepresent a significant point. The problem is not Israel maintaining Palestinians in a such state of despair that this behaviour is possible – why on earth would they? – but a collaboration of arab states working extremely hard and investing very heavily in keeping this population, their homes, their land, their bodies and their souls, for use as a proxy battlefield that they can turn on and off at will.
    If I were one of CR’s moderate Palestinians I’d have felt this interview like a patronising slap in the face.

    i agree with all your points. but there is an element worth exploring here. Rice is, i think, expressing an attitude which is “standard” in modern civil societies (indeed CS are based on this principle) — that you can succeed by playing the rules of the game which more or less apply to everyone (hence the attraction to immigrants from cultures smothered by “old boy networks” like the Arabs or the French). but such an attitude is itself a rare achievement on a number of levels.
    a) many tribal honor-shame cultures thrive on war, with low-level belligerency as the norm, and peace as the anomaly.
    b) many parents do
    not want their children to surpass them, do not want them to go to college and come home smarter and more economically powerful than they. (for an example, see the mother in Real Women Have Curves.)
    c) under certain circumstances these rather widespread attitudes can come together and form a death cult that lives off of the death of both its own and others.
    we must be able to recognize those conditions and act accordingly (ie hold those who hatch such monstrosities accountable).
    as for the moderate Palestinians who feel Condi’s remark was a patronizing slap in the face, they’ve got far more serious insults to their bodies and minds to worry about.
    my sense is that the Palestinian leaders of the death cult were laughing themselves silly over these remarks. “we got us a dupe! right at the top of the american administration! and look at the zionists fume!”

  5. Voyager says:

    they just want to live in peace.

    Rice speaks Russian. She should know that in Russian the word for “Peace” is “Mir”; this Russian word also means “world” and also “village”. In languages without the nuances of English or its many words to express concepts the notion of completeness in “village”, “world”, “peace” is an expression of monolithic wholeness.

    In short the world is “at peace” when I control it all. This is “Dar al-Islam”. Just as Arabs tell you they want a homeland in the Occupied Territories they mean in Haifa, Tel Aviv, Hebron, Jerusalem, Hadera, Beersheva – they do not mean with a Jewish State or a Christian State or any other State.

    The real question is not whether Rice is wacko but why she feels she must appear so to avoid riling Arab opinion and why they are despaerate forSyrian and Iranian help to extricate themselves from a mess made worse by the incompetent Olmert who has done such damage to Isrtael’s position in the Administration.

    Those doctors who treated Sharon have caused quite a disaster and a USA which feels it is in a hole and the Israeli Govt has made it so much deeper through ineptitude in Lebanon to match US ineptitude in Iraq where Iran hopes to bleed Us forces at low cost to itself

  6. (J)Blog Roundup – 2006-11-02

    Yesterday all our troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay – actually, that’s a fib and we apologize. Our troubles were front and center yesterday too. Here’s hoping that you enjoy the roundup…

  7. Eliyahu says:

    Condi’s first name was modelled on the Italian musical instruction “con dolcezza” meaning [play it] “softly”. I suggest a new Italian name for her: Riso Amaro [= bitter rice]. Riso amaro rhymes very nicely, don’t you think?

  8. I’ve always liked and admired Condi. But CR admits herself that she is “at heart, an academic.”

    There is an inherent denial in all of her reasoning that we are, in fact, at war. She just doesn’t get it. We need someone with a little testosterene to fight this misogynist, barbaric enemy. Someone who will “get it.”

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