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Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was reported in the Huffington Post as saying something to the effect that she could not understand why any woman (other than Ann Romney) would vote for Mitt Romney:

“I’m not sure I’m going to state this exactly right,” she said, sitting amidst a sea of convention-related activity and daytime wine drinkers in the Westin hotel lobby in downtown Charlotte. “But I think there are some who believe they are actually protecting women, you know, and that it is better for women to be taken care of. I think women want to take care of themselves, and I think having a voice in how that is done is very important. And frankly, I don’t understand — I mean, I’m obviously a card-carrying Democrat — but I can’t understand why any woman would want to vote for Mitt Romney, except maybe Mrs. Romney.”

Interesting.  I initially admired Secretary Albright when she was appointed.  She was European, spoke at least French fluently and could represent our nation effectively but clearly.  I was quickly disappointed.  But there’s more:

The former secretary of State, who has been an outspoken advocate for women in the workplace, said she found the assertion by Missouri Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.) that a rape victim can shut down her body to avoid pregnancy to be “one of the more outrageous” comments she’s witnessed in her 75 years.

“It was appalling and disgusting,” she said. “But if I may say so, the things that he said in one form or another are in the Republican platform. So [while Republicans are] saying he is a nutcase and they have to move away from him, they did not move away from their platform.”

Secretary Albright ought to know about appalling and disgusting comments:  Here’s her number one gem!

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)

Watch the video for yourself – it’s available on YouTube in several places!  Now if I had a choice between Rep. Akin’s comment and Secretary Albright’s, it would be “a very hard choice” but at least Rep. Akin has repudiated his extremely foolish remark.  (For the record, I favor legal abortion in cases of rape of incest but greatly respect those who do not:  They contend that to allow abortion in such cases makes the unborn baby another victim of the rape.  I would favor an enhanced sentence if a rapist caused his victim to be pregnant whether she got an abortion or not.)  But Secretary Albright did clarify her comment:

I must have been crazy; I should have answered the question by reframing it and pointing out the inherent flaws in the premise behind it. Saddam Hussein could have prevented any child from suffering simply by meeting his obligations…. As soon as I had spoken, I wished for the power to freeze time and take back those words. My reply had been a terrible mistake, hasty, clumsy and wrong. Nothing matters more than the lives of innocent people. I had fallen into the trap and said something I simply did not mean. That was no one’s fault but my own. (p. 275)

So, the sanctions were Hussein’s fault?  I would have asked Secretary Albright this:

“Isn’t it reasonably foreseeable that Saddam Hussein would defy the sanctions and make sure he and his people were not affected, even if it hurt the children?”

I know full well “reasonably foreseeable” is a legal term but when you deal with a criminal like Saddam Hussein you have some responsibility for YOUR actions and recommendations when they reasonably act to affect others.  Then to say what was said about the children is outrageous and appalling.

What did Secretary Albright do after her 1996 interview?  Did she repent of intervention?  NO.  She helped start a war against Serbia for no reason but so she would feel good about herself:

Inside the US State Department, the Kosovo conflict is known as “Albright’s War”.


By all accounts, it was Madeleine Albright who convinced Clinton, against the better judgement of the Pentagon, that the Serb leader would back down after a little light bombing.

She claimed that he was no more than a schoolyard bully who would retreat after one good punch on the nose.

When Milosevic refused to accept the Rambouillet peace accord, the State Department was reported to have been “baffled” and was wholly unprepared for the ethnic cleansing which swiftly followed.

Here’s another example of her feel-good mentality:

She became U.S. Secretary of State in late 1996 and quickly emerged as the Clinton Administration’s chief hawk on Kosovo. Albright identified herself so strongly with the push for intervention that critics have called the conflict “Madeleine’s War.” Some observers have pointed to Albright’s personal history to explain her forceful stance; born in Czechoslovakia, Albright was twice a refugee herself, forced to flee both the Nazis and Stalinism.

The short answer is Secretary of State Albright started a war so we could attack Yugoslavia (now primarily Serbia) for no reason.  It is feel-good interventionism.  Let’s rather follow the man of principle who said, “We just plain don’t mind our own business.”

No serious American should take Secretary Albright’s commentary on abortion serious when she justified policies that were reasonably foreseeable to cause death to Iraqi children and then starting a war when our nation had not been attacked nor our vital interests affected.

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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