Bruce Fein: NY Times Letter to the Editor Re: “Madeleine Albright Warned Us, and She Was Right,” Opinion by Hillary Clinton, March 25, 2022)
March 28, 2022
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
To the Editor:
Hillary Clinton’s exaltation of the late Madeleine Albright neglects the warts and all necessary for a genuine portrait as Oliver Cromwell understood. Was Ms. Clinton seeking to defend her sister misadventures, miscalculations, and extraconstitutional stumbles?
Ms. Albright sermonized against “moral numbness” oblivious to the grisly deaths and suffering inflicted on innocent children and women by economic sanctions she championed. According to Ms. Albright’s moral barometer, killing 500,000 Iraqi children through economic pain was worth it to handcuff Iraqi President Saddam Hussein as she explained to Leslie Stahl on CBS’ 60 Minutes in 1996. Then First Lady Hillary Clinton voiced no dissent, a foreshadow of her support for punitive sanctions as secretary of state that inflicted wincing suffering on Iranian civilians but missed the Ayatollahs.
Ms. Albright chastised General Colin Powell in 1993 for resisting armed intervention to end the siege of Sarajevo with no exit strategy, no discernable national security interest of the United States implicated, and Europe unwilling to do anything at its doorstep. Without addressing General Powell’s concerns, the then Ambassador to the United Nations incoherently snapped, “What’s the point of having this superb military that you’re always talking about if we can’t use it?” Then First Lady Hillary Clinton voiced no dissent, a harbinger of her 2011 extraconstitutional aggression in Libya under President Barack Obama featuring her triumphal boast, “We came, we saw, he died.”
As Secretary of State John Quincy Adams lectured in his July 4, 1821 address to Congress, we refrain from going abroad in search of monsters to destroy. We do so because wars not in self-defense would replace liberty and the march of the mind as our glory with legalized first degree murder and the march of the foot soldier—a Faustian bargain that would destroy the Constitution.
NATO was conceived to deter an invasion of Western Europe by the Soviet Union. Its raison d’etre ended in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Empire. The Central and East European nations previously subject to Soviet domination had weakened Soviet power with chronic uprisings, e.g., East Germany in 1953, Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and the need for huge bankrupting economic subsidies. Their post-1991 political fate was and remains irrelevant to America’s national security.
Yet Ms. Albright and Ms. Clinton championed NATO’s expansion to 30 members, including the Baltic States, Montenegro and North Macedonia, to deny Russia a sphere of influence which every big power in history has asserted. The United States has insisted on a sphere of influence in the Caribbean, Central, and South America for two centuries since the Monroe Doctrine in 1823. We went to the brink of nuclear war with the Soviet Union in 1962 to defend our influence over Cuba.
America’s double standards, ignored by Ms. Clinton and Ms. Albright, were expressed by Thucydides as “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” The duumvirate absurdly maintained that the United States is an indispensable nation “standing between a rules-based-global order and the rule of the sword.” To paraphrase Charles De Gaulle, graveyards are filled with indispensable persons and nations. The rules-based-global order saluted by Ms. Clinton and Ms. Albright are rules that bow to United States crimes of aggression, war crimes, and crimes against humanity in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, and any nation harboring any person we decree is an international terrorist suspect. In other words, a foreign policy of might makes right with lipstick.
Bruce Fein, author of “American Empire Before The Fall.”