Difficult job for Condoleezza Rice

I’m thankful the machinery of diplomacy is finally moving in an effort to stem the violence in Georgia, but in my view it’s unfortunate the United Nations is not taking a lead role.

France and the United States today urged Russia and Georgia to sign a cease-fire agreement without delay. In Moscow, meanwhile, Russia's foreign minister is said to have declared Georgia could "forget about" regaining its two separatist provinces (South Ossetia and Abkhazia).

The United States has so far ignored the taunt and is focusing instead on the immediate needs of its ally in the region: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said her country "stands strongly.. for the territorial integrity of Georgia.“ And with that Rice headed for Tbilisi to persuade Georgia's leaders to sign the cease-fire agreement.

Unfortunately, the comments from Rice and from American president George W. Bush earlier in the crisis ring hollow. One can only imagine how much more forceful and morally sound the American position would have been if the U.S. had not invaded Iraq in 2003.

Rice gets another dirty job. I wish her well.

Artist Pat Oliphant hits the mark in this editorial cartoon that underlines the irony of the situation -- "Ursus horribilis versus lamus duckus"

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