In the TAC cover story on the size of the Iranian threat (not yet online), Gregory Cochran has an anecdote about the amazing Secretary Rice from 2000 when she was then-Gov. Bush’s national security advisor and her comments to The New York Times on a 1998 incident that almost caused Iran to attack the Taliban:

(Interestingly, Condoleeza Rice, back in 2000, seemed to have been unaware that this crisis ever occurred.  When she was interviewed by The New York Times, she thought that Iran supported the Taliban….

It would not have taken much to find out that the Iranians sympathised with the Hazara ethnic minority in Afghanistan and supported anti-Taliban warlords as their proxies in their ongoing struggle with Pakistan for influence inside Afghanistan.  It apparently took more than Condi had.  That should have been a warning sign that she wasn’t up to the job.  It might also explain why the administration sometimes seems so terribly confused about Iran’s attitude towards the Taliban and Al Qaeda: as the man said, these guys really don’t like each other. 

Update: From the NYT article in question:

Of course, Afghanistan is also not Ms. Rice’s primary area of expertise.  Asked in an interview to support her assertion in her recent article in Foreign Affairs that Iran is trying to spread “fundamentalist Islam” beyond its borders, she replied, “Iran has been the state hub for technology and money and lots of other goodies to radical fundamentalist groups, some will say as far-reaching as the Taliban.”

Er, who will say that?  Some.  Oh, okay, some.  Not anyone who knew anything about Afghanistan in 2000, but “some.”  You already see here the unfortunate habit of conflating every Islamic fundamentalist into one amorphous threat, regardless of the details.  It would only get worse later.