When President Obama made Susan Rice his ambassador to the United Nations, in 2009, he thought the job was so vital that he gave her cabinet rank. Now, here we are, with the Arab world in tumult, two dictators gone in the past two months, and the UN aflutter over scenes of Libyans dying this past week by the hundreds, or thousands, in outright rebellion against a raving Moammar Gaddafi — who has been vowing to “fight to the last drop of blood.” Gaddafi’s atrocities are so visibly horrific that the UN Security Council has been meeting on Libya in emergency session. In Geneva, the Human Rights Council interrupted its usual anti-Israel programming to hold its own emergency session on Friday, and engage in the novel activity of demanding the suspension of Libya from its ranks and a probe into Gaddafi’s abuses in Libya. Even Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon cut short a UN public relations recruiting trip to Hollywood early this week, in order to phone Gaddafi and dash back to New York.
Where’s Susan Rice, the cabinet rank ambassador of the free world’s superpower? On the day Hosni Mubarak stepped down as dictator of Egypt, Feb. 11, she was visiting Oregon to give a talk on “Why America Needs the United Nations.” This week, as Libyans escalated their uprising against more than 41 years of Gaddafi’s totalitarian, terror-based reign, Rice sent her deputy to an emergency Security Council meeting on Libya on Tuesday, and took off for a two-day meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.
What was so urgent about this this meeting in Cape Town? Did it have anything to do with the droves of Libyan diplomats, from New York to Geneva to Cairo, now renouncing the Gaddafi regime? Did it have anything to do with the warning of Libya’s deputy ambassador to the UN that Gaddafi, with his threats of house-to-house assaults, was launching a genocide against Libyans who defied him? Did it have anything to do with mass rebellion roiling North Africa and the Middle East, and sending tremors as far as China and North Korea?