Condoleezza Rice had been keeping a lower profile as a business professor at Stanford. That’s where she worked, as provost, before George W. Bush asked her to join his administration. But now she has emerged to give interviews because she published a book today called Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom, in which she laments the rise of nativist populism and the Trump doctrine of “America First” (which, I should note, was another Trump lie: Prior to any meaningful domestic reforms, he has moved weapons toward North Korea, surged combat operations in Afghanistan and entered the Syrian War against Assad).

In an interview with USA Today, Rice said Emmanuel Macron’s victory in France shouldn’t weaken our resolve against “these populists.” At first glance, she appears to be appealing to leftist sensibilities. But look closer: She objects to Trump calling Kim Jong-un “a smart cookie” but said “I have no problem with” Trump flattering Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who kills and disappears his own people. Rice’s opposition to isolationism is neither rooted in the responsibility to protect nor in internationalism. She just thinks America ought to have a hand in everybody’s business (literally).

Don’t let their publicists convince you Rice and Bush didn’t torture people and start a globally destabilizing war based on a lie. Police have executed Americans for less.

I also want to mention this interview from Charlie Rose I saw today (hat tip to contributing editor Shilpa Jindia). Whenever Latterly publishes something about Syria, we get responses from readers claiming the only leaders who can fill the role of government there are Assad and ISIS. That’s just ridiculous. Syria is a whole country. Look, here are three potential future presidents of Syria:

The woman who speaks first and last is a Syrian journalist named Zaina Erhaim. Here’s the transcript of her mic drop at the end:

My friend, who is Osama Hassan, he has been kidnapped by ISIS for the last four years. I’m sure if he’s free and he applies for a U.S. visa, he would be considered as a terrorist because he’s from Raqqa and he wouldn’t be granted one, although he suffered and he fought ISIS ideologically more than any U.S. citizen.

Last thing. Thank you so much for reading this newsletter. If you’ve been following along over the years, you know the design and content have changed a few times. I’m feeling good about this latest iteration, but what really matters is whether you like it. Are these emails useful? Do you like reading them? How could we improve? Just hit reply and let me know!

Talk soon,
Ben

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Ben Wolford
Ben Wolford is editor of Latterly. His reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere.