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Madeleine Albright, user and used

Madeleine Albright had a distinguished career – as a dangerous warmonger throwing off on perceived enemies at home and abroad.

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Madeleine Albright, who died of cancer last month at 84, became a center of attention once again in death. Democratic politicians used her funeral to promote their own agenda. But tellingly, most Americans forgot about her when she was no longer in government. In remembering her today, we should remember what she did in office – and most of it was dangerous.

Madeleine Albright in power

Madeleine Albright served as Secretary of State in Bill Clinton’s second term as President. For your editor, the best image capturing her naïveté in that position, is a cover cartoon that goes back before the World Wide Web really became world-wide. The American Spectator ran a story on Bill Clinton’s disastrous policies toward the People’s Republic of China. Jiang Zemin was President of China then, and that was two Chinese Presidents ago. On the cover, the Spectator featured a cartoon of Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger (Clinton’s National Security Adviser) drawing a rickshaw, with Clinton and Jiang as passengers. Sadly, that image is not available, unless someone has a back issue in a dusty old collection somewhere.

Shortly after she died, Doug Bandow wrote for the Spectator perhaps the most honest look-back on her life and career. Breaker of the glass ceiling? Check. Immigration success story? Also check, because she was a first-generation American, having come to this country from Czechoslovakia before the Split. But as a Secretary of State she was a disaster. Bandow blames her for putting in place a policy of “permanent hubris and war.”

Democrat wars – quite a tradition

People tend to think of Republicans as warmongers. That idea goes back to the Democrats, beginning with McGovern and then Carter, promoting Communism as not so bad. But as then-Senator Bob Dole said in 1976, Democrats started the great wars of the Twentieth Century. And Madeleine Albright, more than any of her predecessors, laid the groundwork for permanent war.

She once said, “My mindset is Munich.” That might not be so terrible, considering what followed from Neville Chamberlain’s disastrous concessions to Hitler in Munich. But that cannot excuse the human tragedy that policies Madeleine Albright advocated, brought about. Sanctions against Iraq that hurt the people but not the leader, intervening in the Balkans, the Serbia War – all had a real human cost. But to Madeleine Albright, that cost was worth paying for Pax Americana. Except that we never got Pax Americana. Instead we got endless war.


Madeleine Albright proposes a false-flag pseudo-operation

But then Bandow sums up with two moments that takes one’s breath away. First, to General Colin Powell, when he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, she asked:

What’s the use of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?

Powell later wrote that he almost had an aneurysm! Too bad Powell would let some of her mind-set rub off on him when he became Secretary of State.

Worse than that was what she said to General Hugh Shelton, when he was JCS Chairman:

Hugh, I know I shouldn’t even be asking you this, but what we really need in order to go in and take out Saddam is a precipitous event — something that would make us look good in the eyes of the world. Could you have one of our U-2s fly low enough — and slow enough — so as to guarantee that Saddam could shoot it down?

Wrap your mind around that one. Here we have a Secretary of State proposing to sacrifice American lives (and American hardware) in a false-flag pseudo-operation. The general promptly told her yes, as soon as she could qualify to fly the plane. What he should have done was call for her removal on impeachment for dangerous incompetence. Sadly, Congress likely wouldn’t have responded if he had.

Hillary Clinton uses Madeleine Albright

As bad as that is, how Hillary Clinton used her memory is worse. From The New York Post we read about Hillary’s eulogy at her funeral. Said she, if Madeleine Albright were alive today, she would warn that fascism would prevail if dictators and demagogues were not stopped. And whom was she talking about?


She knew better than most and she warned us in her book on fascism that yes, it can happen here and time and courage are of the essence. … If Madeleine were here with us today, she would also remind us this must be a season of action. … We must heed the wisdom of her life and the cause of her public service, stand up to dictators and demagogues — from the battlefields of Ukraine to the halls of our own capital; defend democracy at home just as vigorously as we do abroad; live up to the ideals of the country that welcomed an 11-year-old refugee sailing into New York Harbor on a ship called SS America and made her secretary of state.

That crack about capitals (and by extension Capitols) is an obvious swipe at Donald Trump. But Hillary also makes clear that if she ever becomes President, she’ll have us at war with Russia. Dangerous stuff. Still think Republicans are warmongers and Democrats aren’t?

By the way: Albright did write a book on fascism – nothing more than a screed against Trump. A reviewer at Vox not only admitted that, but indeed avowed it.


Madeleine Albright is now at rest. But her ideas, as Doug Bandow remind us, deserve to die. Sadly, we now know in whose minds they really live on. Or maybe not so sadly – because Hillary Clinton gave the game away. Did she, not Bill, pick Albright to be Secretary of State? Maybe so.


The funeral of Madeleine Albright

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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