Much has been written about the ethical shortcomings of Condoleezza Rice and other top officials in the Bush administration, but attempts to understand their psychology have usually degenerated into Maureen Dowd-inspired sneers. This marvelous piece is the exception. Rather than condemn or lampoon, it simply presents overlooked accounts of Rice’s early life to uncover the most significant influences on the mind of America’s present Secretary of State. It’s rather startling:
“Before Korbel’s class,” Mabry points out, “Condoleezza had only glimpsed the world of international power and intrigue while sitting with her father watching the nightly news, worrying about Castro’s missiles.” Korbel was a defender, according to Mabry, of the Stalin-Hitler pact, which the Central European-born professor saw “as another example of Stalin’s strategic genius and his success in building the Soviet state.” According to Elizabeth Bumiller, when Rice heard him lecture, she “fell in love” — the phrase she has used in virtually every interview she has given about this moment in her life. …
The lecture that so transfixed Rice was about the ruthless maneuvering and consolidation of power that allowed Stalin to propel himself from general secretary of the Communist Party to effective dictator of the Soviet Union. … Terry Karl, a Stanford political science professor who later taught with Rice, [said] … “Like some political scientists of the time, she was impressed with the efficiency and effectiveness of how the Communist parties exercised power.”
A Stanford faculty member quoted by Mabry noticed that when Rice became the university’s provost in the 1990s, communicating with her “was like talking to a brick wall. You’d try to say something, and she would say [banging on the table], ‘No, no, no!’ All I could think of was Khrushchev banging the shoe at the UN … She was a Sovietologist; she learned her lesson well from her subjects.”
It’s interesting how the belligerent and impermeable Neocon ideology, based as it is on its Trotskyite roots, exudes an abstract, martial appeal on such an emotional level. Rice, it appears, still holds a schoolgirl’s crush on the mythical man on a white horse, and is swept away by the display of raw power and male decisiveness, not unlike some female pro-war bloggers.
No wonder she never married. What flesh-and-blood man could measure up to her Spartan fantasy?