Susan Rice and Africa’s Despots

Salem Solomon, New York Times, December 9, 2012

On Sept. 2, Ambassador Susan E. Rice delivered a eulogy for a man she called “a true friend to me.” Before thousands of mourners and more than 20 African heads of state in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Ms. Rice, the United States’ representative to the United Nations, lauded the country’s late prime minister, Meles Zenawi. She called him “brilliant”—“a son of Ethiopia and a father to its rebirth.”

Few eulogies give a nuanced account of the decedent’s life, but the speech was part of a disturbing pattern for an official who could become President Obama’s next secretary of state. During her career, she has shown a surprising and unsettling sympathy for Africa’s despots.

Susan Rice

Susan Rice

This record dates from Ms. Rice’s service as assistant secretary of state for African affairs under President Bill Clinton, who in 1998 celebrated a “new generation” of African leaders, many of whom were ex-rebel commanders; among these leaders were Mr. Meles, Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea, Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Jerry J. Rawlings of Ghana, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa and Yoweri K. Museveni of Uganda.


In remarks to a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that year, Ms. Rice was equally breathless about the continent’s future. “There is a new interest in individual freedom and a movement away from repressive, one-party systems,” she said. “It is with this new generation of Africans that we seek a dynamic, long-term partnership for the 21st century.”

Her optimism was misplaced. In the 14 years since, many of these leaders have tried on the strongman’s cloak and found that it fit nicely. Mr. Meles dismantled the rule of law, silenced political opponents and forged a single-party state. Mr. Isaias, Mr. Kagame and Mr. Museveni cling to their autocratic power. Only Mr. Rawlings and Mr. Mbeki left office willingly.

Ms. Rice’s enthusiasm for these leaders might have blinded her to some of their more questionable activities. Critics, including Howard W. French, a former correspondent for The New York Times, say that in the late 1990s, Ms. Rice tacitly approved of an invasion of the Democratic Republic of Congo that was orchestrated by Mr. Kagame of Rwanda and supported by Mr. Museveni of Uganda. In The New York Review of Books in 2009, Mr. French reported that witnesses had heard Ms. Rice describe the two men as the best insurance against genocide in the region. “They know how to deal with that,” he reported her as having said. “The only thing we have to do is look the other way.” Ms. Rice has denied supporting the invasion.

More recently, according to Jason K. Stearns, a scholar of the region, Ms. Rice temporarily blocked a United Nations report documenting Rwanda’s support for the M23 rebel group now operating in eastern Congo, and later moved to delete language critical of Rwanda and Uganda from a Security Council resolution. “According to former colleagues, she feels that more can be achieved by constructive engagement, not public censure,” Mr. Stearns wrote recently on Foreign Policy’s Web site.


In fairness, in her eulogy, Ms. Rice said she differed with Mr. Meles on questions like democracy and human rights. But if so, the message did not get through; under Mr. Meles during the past 15 years, democracy and the rule of law in Ethiopia steadily deteriorated. Ethiopia imprisoned dissidents and journalists, used food aid as a political tool, appropriated vast sections of land from its citizens and prevented the United Nations from demarcating its border with Eritrea.


President Obama has visited sub-Saharan Africa just once in his first term—a brief stop in Ghana. One signal that he plans to focus more on Africa—and on human rights and democracy, not only economic development and geopolitics—in his next term would be to nominate someone other than Susan Rice as America’s top diplomat.

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  • Puggg

    Few eulogies give a nuanced account of the decedent’s life, but the
    speech was part of a disturbing pattern for an official who could become
    President Obama’s next secretary of state. During her career, she has
    shown a surprising and unsettling sympathy for Africa’s despots.

    That’s because she works for our African despot.

    • Just wait until Mandela dies ,,,, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.

  • pcmustgo

    BLACK POWER! ALL THAT MATTERS IS HAVING “BLACKS IN CHARGE”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Who cares how they treat their fellow blacks? A little genocide here, a little starving off the other tribe there, a little widespread poverty and illiteracy there, hey, at least blacks are in charge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Exactly. Look at how blacks defended Miron Berry as mayor in DC. Even now he’s on the DC council.

      Blacks don’t care about quality. They only care about black. It’s as obvious as skin color..

      • pcmustgo

        Then they whine and complain about the results. I also think they delude themselves… perhaps in their warped, low iq world Marion Barry is doing a good job

        • The__Bobster

          They admire any leader they perceive as gettin’ over on da man. And when that crooked leader is arrested, it’s because YT doesn’t want any brother to succeed.

        • Joseph

          They root for Marion Barry like a modern Rev. Ike. They enjoy wealth and acclaim vicariously through other blacks. I assume that they see it as putting down whites who are not so famous (infamous), wealthy, or powerful.


    • pcmustgo

      Blacks in Fancy Clothes. Rich Black People. Blacks In Charge.

      • Katherine McChesney

        Blacks in big cars…even if they live in a slum house. Got to impress people ‘wit dey ride’.

        • This is what stunned me when I first moved to Chicago and accidentally drove through some shitty areas.

  • pcmustgo

    Don’t forget how many blacks, not just Louis Farrahkhan, came to the defense of Khaddafi… Khaddafi was not black, but a pan-africanist and they loved him for that. Anything to get revenge on whites.

    Blacks are also intellectual simpletons (for the most part). MOST BLACKS NO **NOTHING ABOUT AFRICA. Or Europe. Or history. Or anything. This is how they are able to delude themselves with the “whites are all evil” “blacks invented everything in ancient egypt ” stuff.
    Of course Rice as a simpletons view of Africa and African politics and slavery and racism and everything else.

    • pcmustgo

      Rice *has a simpleton’s view of Africa

      • pcmustgo

        More Black Childishness

    • Katherine McChesney

      Educated blacks from Africa do not like American blacks. They’re embarrased about them and won’t associate with them. Naturally, they prefer the company of American whites.

      • Joseph

        This has been true in my limited experience. I knew a (good) student from Benin who was BLACK tell me in her French accent: “These African-Americans are soooo lazy…and I am afraid of them. I’m afraid to live around them with my babies.” She also told me that “white peoples” were always nice to her but the people where she lived (black neighborhood) were “not nice”.

        I was, naturally, taken aback by her frankness but not surprised at her statement. I guess she thought when she left her country she was coming to a better place. When she ended up in the ‘hood, nothing really looked any better.


        • saxonsun

          I once had a student from former British Africa. He told me they were indebted to the British for everything, including education. He candidly stated that the Africans would be nowhere without them.


      Please don’t spell like a black.

      Most blacks know …..

  • pcmustgo

    It’s like Detroit or Newark or South Africa. They’d rather live in a failed state or city run by Blacks than a decent one run by whites.

    Same thing with their economic suffering yet pure unadulterated glee for Obama. Who cares that they’re now poor, unemployed, etc than ever? They have their Black President and He is Perfect!

    • pcmustgo

      excuse me, *more poor/unemployed

    • Bobbala

      … for as long as the EBT cards work.

  • IstvanIN

    Blacks are tribal, not rugged individualists. They are prefer a strong man “chief”, it is what is natural to them. We should stop trying to force a idea of democracy, republicanism or parliamentarianism on a people for whom it is alien.

    • pcmustgo

      Ditto for the Muslim world.

  • Luca

    She was cut from the same mold as Obama and Holder and it is written into her very DNA that blacks can do no wrong and bear no blame or responsibility. That’s why she and Holder are not fired for incompetence.

    • The__Bobster

      Why should they be fired? They’re carrying out the wishes of the Usurper to a tee.

  • Robert Binion

    Is this the “Times” takin’ the “gee” out of Obama’s “gee whiz”? (In my slowest, syrupiest, most sarcastic, Southern speech) My, my. Good love gone bad.

  • Susan Rice in 1986 book: Make white students learn black history

    • pcmustgo

      and I say, “Make Black (Asian/Latino/etc) Children Learn White History”. Don’t give me that crap about “white history month is everyday” when we have blacks screaming at us that “blacks invented everything in ancient egypt”/

    • Bobbala

      They’re certainly not going to appreciate black acheivement from experience.

    • HamletsGhost

      Another woman who majored in “blackness” in college with a whiner minor, who refuses to see how adopting a blackitude to everything isn’t the greatest preparation for real world jobs, unless it’s a blackness studies professor.

  • josh

    This numbskull–who sees herself a s some Grand Diplomatic Woman of Tomorrow–is just another Carol Mosely braun:Racist,dumb,mean and incompetent.I am ashamed that this nasty ugly thing will be the Sec of State. My God!

    • The__Bobster

      The smart money is on the fake war hero/crypto-jewish dullard John Kerry.

      • jH

        He may not have been a hero and he may be a wind bag but he served in combat, killed for his country and could have been killed and did not rely on a medical exemption like hero Pat Buchanan. He went to Vietnam. Does not excuse his testimony later but his actual service was honorable.

    • Joseph

      Look at the nasty, ugly thing that is the present Sec’y of State!

  • Susan

    Why must we always have a female and/or black secretary of state?

    • So the Chinese and Arabs can laugh at us instead of sell the bonds they have bought?

    • Joseph

      You answered your own question.

  • bluffcreek1967

    Whites are concerned to place people in positions of power and authority who are competent. Blacks don’t care about such matters. They just want someone who has the same skin color as they do. Competence? Education? That’s a White thing!

    • i am

      If whites put competent people in positions of power and authority, we wouldn’t have blacks in positions of power and authority now. Who gave blacks the power to vote and to infiltrate white schools? The whites in authority, and the other whites appointed to the supreme court by those whites in authority did it.

  • Lewis33

    The fact that this appeared in the Obama loving je…excuse me, New York Times, is proof positive that she was never supposed to get the job, just make it easier for whomever is next to be confirmed. (John Kerry)

  • Joseph

    “It is with this new generation of Africans that we seek a dynamic, long-term partnership for the 21st century.”

    I assume that this means 21st century B.C.

  • SintiriNikos

    If she loves the dark continent so much, she should be awarded an ambassadorship to one of the myriad paradise-like countries there.

    Aside: when somebody called Bill Clinton the first black president, they weren’t joking were they. He even once delightedly commented to a crowd of brainwashed collegiates that whites will no longer be a majority in the US by 2040 or so. I believe this subhuman’s tenure was more damaging to whites than the current, actually black prez.

  • labradorman

    The next Vice presidential candidate will be Susan Rice!,think there will any outcry from Whites over complete black takeover of the U.S,?,check out the band members and audience reaction to Jamie Foxx horrific comments on Saturday Night Live at this site.SOUTH AFRICA LOOMS!


    Never heard of a black named Susan. Checked the Daily Caller (Susan Rice 1986),nice hair.They hate us yet want our soft straight hair,so phoney.