Rice still defends US policy despite Mideast strife

Eleven months after saying the world was witnessing “the birth pangs of a new Middle East,” US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended US policy in the face of strife in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza.

Rice still defends US policy despite Mideast strife
Eleven months after saying the world was witnessing “the birth pangs of a new Middle East,” US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice defended US policy in the face of strife in Iraq, Lebanon and Gaza.

Rice was ridiculed for having made the remark last July during the war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon by critics who believe the Bush administration has drastically undermined the stability of the Middle East.

Asked about the comment at a news conference with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Rice on Sunday argued Iraq was better off for the 2003 ousting of Saddam Hussein as was Lebanon for the 2005 departure of Syrian troops from its soil.

“Democracy is hard. And I see it is especially hard when there are determined enemies who try and strangle it,” Rice said when a reporter referred to her “birth pangs” remark and asked how the “the baby” was doing nearly a year later.

Rice took issue with the idea that the Middle East was more ”stable” before the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

“What stability? The stability in which Saddam Hussein put 300,000 people in mass graves—that was stability? The stability in which Syrian forces were embedded in Lebanon—that was stability?” she asked.

Last Mod: 25 Haziran 2007, 14:46
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