By David Sole
Madeleine Albright, former United States Secretary of State, died March 23, 2022 at the age of 84. Described as a “foreign policy veteran,” her praise is being sung by many. The Clintons called her “perfectly suited for the times in which [she] served” and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said she “was a force for freedom” and an “outspoken champion of NATO.”
To the ruling capitalist class who she faithfully served, Albright’s star might shine bright. But to the people of the world, under the boot heel of United States economic and military domination she was a murderer.
Albright served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations from 1993 to 1997 in the Clinton administration. She served as the first woman Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001. She was a staunch defender of the first U.S. war against Iraq (1990-91) and the regime of harsh sanctions which deprived Iraq of vital supplies following the First Gulf War.
On May 12, 1996 Albright was interviewed by Lesley Stahl on the show 60 Minutes. Stahl, commenting on a United Nations report said “We have heard that a half million children have died [due to the sanctions], I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”
Madeleine Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.”. We can assume that Albright was also proud of the hundreds of thousands of more children (and adults) who died in the following years of U.S. led sanctions.
Nor should anyone forget her role in the U.S. breakup of Yugoslavia which included enforcement of a “no-fly zone” over Bosnia (1993-95), the bombing of Serbian troops in 1995 and months of bombing Serbia in 1999.
She was the public face during the U.S. invasion of Somalia (1992) which continued in one form or another up to the present. And these are only a few of the dozens of U.S. imperialist interventions around the globe which she was involved in.
This author was part of a large U.S. anti-war delegation that defied sanctions to deliver millions of dollars of medicine to the Children’s Hospital of Baghdad, Iraq in May 1998.That major hospital had virtually no medicine to treat patients. We visited a children’s cancer ward where, due to shortages, full doses of important prescriptions could not be administered. Women were delivering children with not anesthesia. Here are some photos from that humanitarian trip- two from the hospital visit and one from our delegation protesting outside the U.S. embassy in the Iraqi capital. The three men on the left of the banner are (left to right) the late Ramsey Clark, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of Detroit and the late Rev. Lucius Walker.