Rice’s limited view of history

RICE’S LIMITED VIEW OF HISTORY…. I’m going to hope she just misspoke and didn’t actually mean this.

It didn’t take long after the momentous announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death for conservatives to start taking credit and claiming vindication for the Bush administration’s counterterrorism policies. This morning on Fox & Friends, former National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined the chorus of conservatives heaping praise onto her former boss, suggesting that Bush’s bullhorn speech at Ground Zero was “probably the most important moment maybe in American history.”

Really, she said that. It’s on video.

Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade argued that it would be “nice” for President Obama to invite George W. Bush to join him at Ground Zero on Thursday. Rice dodged that, but said, “President Bush had at Ground Zero probably the most important moment maybe in American history. It was when this wounded nation watched their commander-in-chief stand on that rubble and say that they will hear us, we are going to avenge this.”

Um, Condi? It was a good moment, and it was powerful imagery, but to suggest the bullhorn speech may have been “the most important moment maybe in American history” is so absurd, it’s almost comical.

Rice went on to defend the observation, noting the bullhorn speech was “a clarion call to the nation at Ground Zero,” which in turn led to a successful war in Afghanistan, a successful war in Iraq, and many defeats for al Qaeda, and the death of bin Laden. “Surely,” Rice added, “this is all coming into place and President Bush began that with that call to the nation.”

Remember, in the Bush/Cheney administration, Condoleezza Rice was considered one of the least ridiculous figures.

I’d like to think this goes without saying, but in case anyone’s inclined to think Rice’s assessment has merit, Bush badly handled the conflict in Afghanistan; Bush’s handling of the war in Iraq was a fiasco for the ages; the Bush administration’s track record on counter-terrorism was genuinely awful; and Bush downplayed the significance of bin Laden for most of his two terms.

And I can think of several hundred moments that were more important in American history than Bush’s speech at Ground Zero.