The Washington Post is reporting on some early leaked quotes from a speech being given right now as I type this at the German Marshall Fund from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It appears the State Dept. is showing its willingness to step up the criticism.
“The United States and Europe must stand up to this kind of behavior, and all who champion it,” Rice says, according to the excerpts. “For our sake — and for the sake of Russia’s people, who deserve a better relationship with the rest of the world — the United States and Europe must not allow Russia’s aggression to achieve any benefit. Not in Georgia — not anywhere.” She mocks the scant international support that Russia has received, saying, “A pat on the back from [Nicaraguan President] Daniel Ortega and Hamas is hardly a diplomatic triumph.” And she dismisses the impact of dispatching “a few aging Blackjack bombers” to “one of Latin America’s few autocracies.” Largely as a result of its actions in Georgia, “Russia’s international standing is worse now than at any time since 1991,” Rice says. “And the cost of this self-inflicted isolation has been steep.” Among other consequences, she says, “Russia’s leaders are imposing pain on their nation’s economy.”