Recently Madeline Albright, the former Secretary of State during the Clinton administration, said that “there is a special place in hell for women who don’t support other women.” When Madeline Albright talks about folks going to hell, people should listen because she knows something about going there.
If hell is indeed real, there are few better candidates for going than Madeline Albright, who has callously either stood by and watched or approved of some of the worst atrocities of the last 30 years. I’m sure the irony escapes Albright who has failed to support the very lives of women all over the world.
Who are the women she is referring to, upper-class White women? She sure couldn’t be referring to Tutsi women, who she callously watched die when she was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and the U.S. government sat idly by and did nothing to intervene in the Rwanda slaughter. Surely she wasn’t referring to the women of Kosovo that she bombed. And she surely couldn’t have been referring to Iraqi women whose starvation and slaughter she cheered on.
For those who are unfamiliar, Albright gave one of the most callous and cold-hearted interviews in the history of 60 Minutes and broadcast TV. I will never forget the interview on May 12, 1996.
Lesley Stahl of 60 Minutes questioned Albright about the economic sanctions that the U.S. and UN had applied against Iraq. She said, “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?” Then-president William Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeleine Albright looked directly into the camera and without batting an eye answered, “I think this is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.”
If 500,000 seems high it should be noted that Stahl was only talking about children under five years old who died from malnutrition and disease. The U.S. government refused to allow the Iraqi society foodstuffs — even powdered milk and eggs — because according to the human monsters administering the blockade, they could serve a military purpose as well.
As incredible as it sounds, folks should take the time to look it up. Read the first UNICEF report in 1999, which estimated that the total deaths of children under five was about 500,000. Read what the UN says about the effects of the sanctions. The UN estimates that over a million Iraqi’s died as a result of the sanctions imposed on the Iraqi people and the bombing of its infrastructure by the U.S. in the first Gulf War in 1991.
Researchers in the U.S. estimated that the numbers were lower — maybe closer to over 200,000 children under five. The point is that thousands of children died because of U.S. foreign policy, children who had done no wrong to the U.S. And if anyone still doubts the authenticity of this claim it’s important to note that Albright herself never challenged Lesley Stahl’s figures.
It is difficult to imagine that this country oversaw the deaths of hundreds of thousands of children — people, human beings — especially if one drinks the Kool-aide of U.S. moral superiority. But this country, led by both Democrat and Republican parties, have at times put the devil to shame.
Albright’s stint as Secretary of State also included urging the NATO bombing of the then-Yugoslavian capital of Belgrade in attempt to bring the Serbs to heel. Anywhere from 500 to 5,000 people were killed in that foreign policy effort to bully the Serbs into doing the will of the U.S.
And it was Albright who was U.S. ambassador to the UN when the U.S. refused to intervene in the 1994 Rwandan genocide. According to a well written article in the New Yorker in September of 2001, “Bystanders to Genocide,” “What is most remarkable about the American response to the Rwandan genocide is not so much the absence of U.S. military action as that during the entire genocide the possibility of U.S. military intervention was never even debated. Indeed, the United States resisted intervention of any kind.”
Not only did the U.S. not intervene but the U.S. fought to prevent the murders of the Tutsi’s from being called genocide, so that it would not have to be held responsible for its failure to intervene.
This is the real Madeline Albright who parades around the U.S. and is treated with kid gloves by the U.S. press. The real Albright, despite her degrees and many speaking engagements and all the attempts to paint her as a leading voice in our society, could scarcely be considered a member of the human race.
And the real Albright knows something about hell because she surely knows that if it exists there is a pit with her name on it, reserved in the farthest reaches of the place.
Justice then peace.
Mel Reeves welcomes reader response to firstname.lastname@example.org.