MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Madeleine Albright’

How Albright’s ‘Munich mindset’ turned into uninhibited interventionism

Posted by M. C. on March 25, 2022

In response to a question about the reported deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children as a result of sanctions, Albright said, “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

Written by
Daniel Larison

She was a refugee who rose to the highest levels of government and became a well-positioned advocate of American exceptionalism.

Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, a prominent liberal interventionist, and promoter of NATO expansion, died on Wednesday from cancer at the age of 84.

Born in Prague on the eve of the Second World War, Albright came to the United States with her family as refugees and rose to the highest levels of government service. A scholar of international relations and a professor at Georgetown University, she entered public service as ambassador to the United Nations in Bill Clinton’s first term, and then was nominated to lead the State Department in the second. 

Albright was a major influence on the Clinton administration’s foreign policy and consistently pushed for a more hawkish and interventionist line in response to foreign crises and conflicts. Her foreign policy worldview was rooted in the history of a Europe ravaged by total war, but this also served to distort her understanding of international problems and encouraged her to favor military options too often. She was a significant influence on the increasingly combative approach at the end of Clinton’s presidency, and her role in building support for U.S./NATO military intervention in Kosovo was her legacy.

“My mindset is Munich,” she would often say as an explanation of how she saw the world, and like generations of Europeans and Americans haunted by WWII she made the mistake of seeing new Munichs around every corner. As Owen Harries observed a quarter-century ago when Albright was nominated to lead the State Department, “she epitomizes a belief in the virtue of uninhibited American interventionism.” Entering government service in the 1990s when U.S. power was at its apex, Albright was well-positioned to advocate for that uninhibited interventionism. Especially in the Balkans, she succeeded in making that official policy.

Albright has long served as the exemplar of overreaching American interventionism in the 1990s. According to a famous anecdote, she berated Colin Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, “What’s the point of having this superb military you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” 

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Mr. ‘X’ Is Rolling in His Grave

Posted by M. C. on February 25, 2022

As it happened, the Donald turned out to be the GOP’s final gift to the military-industrial complex. Because he fell hook, line and sinker for the eroded “readiness” canard (which they had pulled on Ronald Reagan, too), Trump ended up restoring real defense spending to near record levels of $674 billion ( constant 2012 $) – even as he foolishly harassed the rest of NATO to spend even more.

By David Stockman

David Stockman’s Contra Corner

We are now deep into the weeds with respect to Ukraine. So deep, in fact, that the underlying architecture of the situation doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in the hot place of getting even a fleeting mention in the 24/7 war news cycle.

So let’s call a spade a spade. The current fraught situation has nothing at all to do with the rule of international law or the sovereignty of national borders or the spread of democracy; and certainly not even remotely with any kind of threat to the safety and security of the American homeland posed by Russia.

To the contrary, it all goes back to the fall of 1991 when the old Soviet Union slithered off the pages of history, but the Washington-based military industrial complex refused to go quietly into the good night. Instead, it busied itself with policing the far-flung precincts of the planet as if the Cold War had not even ended, and extending Washington’s hegemony to any and every vacuum left behind by the vanished Soviet Union and its former satellites, allies and vassals.

Foremost among these misbegotten projects was the perpetuation of NATO and its subsequent extension to most of the former Warsaw Pact nations. At the time the senate approved the treaty admitting the first three new members – Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic – in 1998, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman had the good sense to track down the single wisest voice in America about the matter.

We are referring, of course, to the legendary George F. Kennan, who had been ambassador to Russia during the Stalinist era and had authored the famous “X” article in Foreign Affairs published in 1947. The latter laid out the subsequent US policy of Soviet “containment” and the was the foundational document for the creation of NATO in 1949.

Needless to say, the then aging Kennan delivered the (then) youngish NYT columnist an earful – one which literally echoes down through the ages. Kennan virtually predicted today’s insane brink of war with Russia:

“I think it is the beginning of a new cold war,” said Mr. Kennan from his Princeton home. ”I think the Russians will gradually react quite adversely and it will affect their policies. I think it is a tragic mistake. There was no reason for this whatsoever. No one was threatening anybody else. This expansion would make the Founding Fathers of this country turn over in their graves. We have signed up to protect a whole series of countries, even though we have neither the resources nor the intention to do so in any serious way. [NATO expansion] was simply a light-hearted action by a Senate that has no real interest in foreign affairs.”

“What bothers me is how superficial and ill informed the whole Senate debate was,” added Mr. Kennan, who was present at the creation of NATO and whose anonymous 1947 article in the journal Foreign Affairs, signed ”X,” defined America’s cold-war containment policy for 40 years. ”I was particularly bothered by the references to Russia as a country dying to attack Western Europe. Don’t people understand? Our differences in the cold war were with the Soviet Communist regime. And now we are turning our backs on the very people who mounted the greatest bloodless revolution in history to remove that Soviet regime.

“And Russia’s democracy is as far advanced, if not farther, as any of these countries we’ve just signed up to defend from Russia,” said Mr. Kennan, who joined the State Department in 1926 and was U.S. Ambassador to Moscow in 1952. “It shows so little understanding of Russian history and Soviet history. Of course there is going to be a bad reaction from Russia, and then [the NATO expanders] will say that we always told you that is how the Russians are – but this is just wrong.”

Moreover, in one of the few insightful things he has ever penned, Tom Friedman hit the nail on the head with respect to the utter foolishness of the US Senate:

And what was America’s response? It was to expand the NATO cold-war alliance against Russia and bring it closer to Russia’s borders.

Yes, tell your children, and your children’s children, that you lived in the age of Bill Clinton and William Cohen, the age of Madeleine Albright and Sandy Berger, the age of Trent Lott and Joe Lieberman, and you too were present at the creation of the post-cold-war order, when these foreign policy Titans put their heads together and produced . . . a mouse.

We are in the age of midgets. The only good news is that we got here in one piece because there was another age – one of great statesmen who had both imagination and courage.

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Pence Promises Combat to West Point Class – News From Antiwar.com

Posted by M. C. on May 27, 2019

Madeleine Albright – What is the point of having an army if you can’t use it.

https://news.antiwar.com/2019/05/26/pence-promises-combat-to-west-point-class/

“It is a virtual certainty that you will fight on a battlefield for America at some point in your life. You will lead soldiers in combat. It will happen,” Vice President Mike Pence told the most diverse graduating class of West Point on Saturday, “Some of you will join the fight against radical Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq.” This speech comes just a day after the Pentagon confirmed 1,500 more American troops will be deployed to the Middle East.

“Some of you may even be called upon to serve in this hemisphere … When that day comes, I know you will move to the sound of the guns.” Pence warned the 980 newly commissioned second lieutenants. We know Pence spoke with Juan Guaido the night before he declared himself President of Venezuela almost igniting a civil war in the country. Guaido has since had several failed attempts to overthrow Maduro, it seems the only way to get Maduro out of power would be with an invasion of a US coalition. Let’s hope Pence doesn’t get his wish of this class serving in our hemisphere.

Pence went on, “As you accept the mantle of leadership I promise you, your commander in chief will always have your back. Mr. Trump is the best friend the men and women of our armed forces will ever have.”

If President Trump was truly the best friend of the men and women of our armed forces, 1,500 more of them would not be on their way to the Middle East right now. He would actually have ended our wars in Syria and Afghanistan like he said he was going to. The 2019 class included 233 women and 110 African Americans. How about we don’t celebrate this diversity by sending them off to die in pointless wars Mr. Vice President?

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madeleine-albright

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Media Matters Wants Tucker Carlson Fired – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on March 15, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/03/david-gornoski/media-matters-wants-tucker-carlson-fired-because-he-is-against-bombing-foreigners/

By

Media Matters’ mantra:
Democrat drones may break foreign bones, but conservative words forever hurt me.

Failed Clinton operative David Brock and his hate group Media Fecal Matters want Tucker Carlson fired because he’s the only cable news anchor against bombing foreigners. They recently put out a desperate hit piece on Carlson recycling decade plus-old clips of him on Florida shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show. The clips contain a smattering of out-of-context satirical points and hot takes on culture topics—standard, vanilla comedy radio banter. However, no crude remark made by Carlson compares to the vulgar, relentless barbarity David Brock’s Media Matters has promoted in media for decades. While Carlson may have made flippant and poor taste comments, Media Matters wants a world where millions of people of color overseas have no news anchor on nightly news making the case against our interventions and sanctions of their homelands.

Media Matters and their army of email bots are flooding sponsors demanding they desist advertising on Carlson’s program to prove their virtue for the concern for underage sex abuse victims. This is preposterous. While Brock’s Media Matters was busy shilling positive media coverage of Obama’s illegal wars in Libya, Yemen, and Syria, Tucker Carlson was making a spirited defense against our meddling in these countries’ affairs. Unlike Media Matters, which remains curiously silent when Trump continues his opponents’ sanctions and regime change, Carlson continues to challenge him based on the same principles which led him to renounce his support of the Iraq War. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why No Outrage Over U.S. Killing of Children? – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on June 28, 2018

…she responded that while the issue was a difficult one, yes, the deaths of those children were worth it.

https://www.fff.org/2018/06/26/why-no-outrage-over-u-s-killing-of-children/

by 

National outrage over President Trump’s policy of separating immigrant children from their parents as a way to deter illegal immigration into the United States has forced the president to abandon the policy. The outrage came from all sides of the political spectrum, especially from the left, and from the mainstream media.

Trump’s policy is obviously cruel and brutal, given that it uses children as pawns to achieve a political end. No matter how much psychological damage is inflicted on children owing to the fear that comes with forced separation, the idea is that such emotional damage is worth it given the aim of preventing or discouraging illegal immigration to the United States.

What’s strange, however, is that while there has been mass outrage over Trump’s separation policy, there is virtually no outrage over the U.S. government’s policy of killing children as a way to achieve the political goal of regime change in foreign countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nikki Haley: The Bold Scold of the Trump Administration | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on December 31, 2017

When you are trying to rule the world you need a lot of useful idiots.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/nikki-haley-the-bold-scold-of-the-trump-administration/

As governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley didn’t have much need to worry about foreign policy. Yet for reasons unknown (other than perhaps her Indian heritage), Donald Trump tapped her to be the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. There, she has performed to perfection, offering a model of the hubris and lack of awareness that consistently characterize U.S. foreign policy.

What makes America different from other nations when it comes to foreign policy is the certainty that it is the right—indeed, the duty—of Americans to run the world. That means telling everyone everywhere what they should do, not just internationally, but in their own nations, too… Read the rest of this entry »

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Yankees Go Home – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on February 4, 2017

https://lewrockwell.com/2017/02/no_author/yankees-go-home/

The attitude was perfectly captured by a famous quip of former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright to Colin Powell, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff: “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?”
I see that warmonger is getting herself back in the news. Like they say in the septic tank business…It always floats to the top.

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