AFP pulls no punches while assession Condi’s first two years as Secretary of State [Of course, they are French. /wingnut]
Condoleezza Rice wraps up her first two years as secretary of state with few diplomatic successes to show for her efforts and fewer signs she plans to change course to improve the record.
[S]ince she took over as America’s top diplomat on January 26, 2005 with an agenda to promote freedom and democracy around the globe, Rice has been shadowed by the failure of that plan on its biggest stage: Iraq.
The violence in Iraq, and the Bush administration’s refusal to bring rivals Syria and Iran into efforts to stabilize the country, are widely blamed for the broader failure of US policy in the Middle East — where Lebanon teeters on the brink of civil war and Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts languish.
Elsewhere, Rice’s globe-trotting — 37 overseas trips totalling nearly 500,000 miles (800,000 kilometers) — has yielded little concrete success, with her few diplomatic victories clouded by poor or no follow-up.
“Great secretaries of state have compelling views of the world and/or are effective negotiators — Secretary Rice has so far demonstrated neither,” said Aaron Miller, who advised six secretaries of state before joining the Woodrow Wilson Center think tank in Washington.
Even staunch supporters acknowledge that Rice, weighed down by the failed policy in Iraq, has little that is positive to show for her work so far.
“I don’t know that there have been concrete advances” under Rice’s diplomacy, said Joshua Muravchik of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, though he nevertheless went on to give her “high grades” for faithfully implementing Bush’s policy agenda.