Thursday, January 11, 2007


Madeleine Albright channels Thomas Aquinas

Honest, I tried to ignore this but I’m weak….

“The U.S. did not, however, have the “right authority” to go to war, given the lack of support from the UN Security Council, divisions within NATO, and the Bush Administration’s unwillingness to allow UN weapons inspectors to complete their work.” Madeleine Albright: Iraq War Did Not Meet All Just War Requirements

Leaving aside the mind-numbing realization that a former Secretary of State believes that a corrupt UN is a "right authority", why does she cite “the Bush administration’s unwillingness to allow UN weapons inspectors to complete their work.” After all, back in 1998:

“"The chief U.N. weapons inspector ordered his monitors to leave Baghdad today after saying that Iraq had once again reneged on its promise to cooperate--a report that renewed the threat of U.S. and British airstrikes." --AP, 12/16/98 What a Difference Four Years Makes

Now here is Ms. Albright criticizing the chief U.N. weapons inspector for not letting the rest of the inspectors complete their work:

“ “

Well, okay I couldn’t find any but if someone could send me the link, I’d be glad to include it. In fact, back in 1998 Secretary Albright was talking a different talk:

“The United States is prepared to use "substantial" force against Iraq if diplomatic efforts fail to resolve the crisis over U.N. weapons inspections, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Sunday”

“"If diplomacy runs out, we have reserved the right to use force and if we do so it will be substantial," she said.”
CNN - Albright: 'All options open' on Iraq - Feb. 1, 1998

Reading all that, it sounds like she’d have had no problem agreeing with the President as he outlined exactly what we want out of Iraq:

“The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.”

In fact I know she had no problem with that statement because it was from her boss, President Bill Clinton, as part of his signing statement accompanying the signing of the Iraq Liberation Act on October 31, 1998.

But what’s even more galling is that we are reading such sanctimonious crap from the same woman who participated in this little exchange:

““Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it. --60 Minutes (5/12/96) "We Think the Price Is Worth It"

I know she has since expressed regret for that statement, claiming it didn’t come out the way she meant. And I believe her. The sanctions were morally defensible and they didn’t kill anyone. Instead, Saddam Hussein and his self-indulgent policies were the responsible factors for the death of those Iraqis. But I also believe that even accepting the premise of the question (that the sanctions were partly responsible for Iraqi deaths), I don’t think her answer would have changed. She – as part of the Clinton Administration – was committed to sanctions as an important cog in our and the world’s Iraq policy. (And I never quarreled with them on that.)

Clearly, our goals in Iraq haven’t changed much since the Clinton Administration of which Ms. Albright was a prominent member. Unless she is now repudiating the efforts and policies of that Administration, these come across as the words of a woman with a peculiar, if not ignorant, sense of history.

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