Friday, June 01, 2007

Acting democratically

Seems like not much more than a century that we were at war with Spain over who got to tell the Cubans what to do. And today Condi Rice was is in Spain, which she chided for not shunning Cuba like the anti-democratic pariah it is. En route, she told reporters, “I think democratic states have an obligation to act democratically, meaning, to support opposition in Cuba.” “Acting democratically,” is that what they’re calling it these days?

She also met the king, who she said “obviously is an important historic figure in the role that he played in allowing the transition of Spain from authoritarianism to dictatorship.” The transcript explains that she meant to say democracy, but I suspect that little glitch arose because she couldn’t remember the current official position on Francisco Franco, a dictator the US supported. Might get that straightened out before the plane lands and you start lecturing Spain about acting democratically, Condi.

In Spain, she held a joint press conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos, shown in this not-at-all-awkward picture,

and in this I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-is-going-on picture,

who said that he thought that over time Condi would become more convinced that the Spanish approach could work. According to the AP, “As Moratinos continued to speak, she looked at the crowd of reporters and silently mouthed what appeared to be the phrase, ‘Don’t hold your breath.’” Our chief diplomat, ladies and gentlemen.

From that press conference, here’s Condi pleasantly responding to a question,

but as scary as that picture was, I think if you stare at this next one for several seconds, you’ll agree that it’s quite a bit more disturbing.

If you accidentally looked at that picture for more than a few seconds, breathe steadily, in through the nose, out through the mouth, and click here.

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