Condoleezza Rice appeared on two talk shows yesterday. On Meet the Press, her criticism of anti-war nations was sharp but, in time-honored fashion, carefully worded:
The French are carrying out their views. I think that we are in discussions with them. We’re in conversations with them. We don’t need to allow this to become a street fight between the United States and France and the United States and Germany. But we do need to remind everybody that tyrants don’t respond to any kind of appeasement.
On Fox News Sunday, she was similarly circumspect, and never once used the "a" word.
Yet the headline in The Washington Post was "Rice Calls Security Council's Actions 'Appeasement.'"
That's inaccurate. But the belief that the Bushies are verbal bullies is now so deeply ingrained that they are accused of trash talk even when they take some pains to avoid giving offense.
This is a problem this administration would work to correct -- if grown-ups were running it.