Regular readers of this blog are well acquainted with my obsessive observation of what is going on in Lebanon. Well, I think that Condoleeza Rice's visit to Beirut gives the democratic movement a tremendous psychological boost.
Already, Rice's tenure at State is turning out to be a momentous one. While I consider Colin Powell to be a great American, I don't think he was a particularly good Sec. of State; he got hoodwinked by the French on UN Resolution 1441, and he couldn't sell the obvious violations to the UN Security Council as a legitimate casus belli, even though they were being haughtily violated by Saddam. But Rice has shown tremendous courage, not only in going to Beirut, but also to Darfur, Sudan, the scene of the worst ongoing genocide in the world (at the moment). Members of her entourage were roughed up while in Khartoum, which prompted Rice to get very pissed. Good stuff. It's refreshing to see a Sec. of State with some teeth, and Rice isn't afraid to show them. As a bonus, liberal reporter Andrea Mitchell got dragged out unceremoniously when she shouted a politically incorrect question to the Sudanese President Ahmad al-Bashir. As a result of this experience, perhaps Mitchell will tell some of her cocktail circuit reporter buddies that, yes, true evil does exist in the world, and no, it's not the Bush Administration. She might get excommunicated for that, mind, but there's always hope.