Foreign Affairs – Bridges, Bombs, or Bluster? – Madeleine K. Albright

06 Jan

Madeleine K. Albright wrote the above just on three years ago. It is a very substantial article in a very prestigious journal. See also Phyllis Bennis, Understanding the US-Iraq Crisis, full text online, a publication of the Institute for Policy Studies, January 2003, and ABC (Australia) Four Corners (2003), American Dreamers.

And now very late in the day indeed we have this: Bush calls on critics for help with Iraq policy.

COLIN POWELL said nothing – a silence that spoke volumes to many in the White House on Thursday morning.

His predecessor, Madeleine Albright, a bit stirred up after hearing an exceedingly upbeat 40-minute briefing to 13 former secretaries of state and defence about how well things are going in Iraq, asked President George Bush whether, with the war “taking up all the energy” of his foreign policy team, he had let the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea spin out of control and allowed Latin America and China policy to suffer by neglect.

“I can’t let this comment stand,” Mr Bush shot back, telling Dr Albright and the rare assembly of her colleagues, who reached back to the Kennedy White House, that his administration “can do more than one thing at a time”.

That was, it appears, one of the few heated moments during an unusual effort by the White House to bring some of its critics into the fold and provide a patina of bipartisan common ground to the strategy Mr Bush has laid out in recent weeks for Iraq.

It coincided with the bloodiest day in Iraq for four months, when two suicide bombers killed at least 120 people and wounded more than 200 in attacks near a Shiite holy shrine in Karbala and a police recruiting centre in Ramadi, and seven US soldiers were killed in two roadside attacks…

Such a shame George didn’t consult just a bit more widely back in 2001 and 2002, don’t you think? Whatever spin he likes to put on it, this whole gathering is an admission of failure, though I agree now we are all in the quagmire we had better make the best of it for all our sakes.

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Posted by on January 6, 2006 in America, current affairs, Iraq, terrorism


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