(All emphases, in all quotes, are mine)
THE BUSH administration's newly unveiled National Security Strategy might well be subtitled "The Irony of Iran." Three years after the invasion of Iraq and the invention of the phrase "axis of evil," the administration now highlights the threat posed by Iran— whose radical government has been vastly strengthened by the invasion of Iraq. This is more tragedy than strategy, and it reflects the Manichean approach this administration has taken to the world.
It is sometimes convenient, for purposes of rhetorical effect, for national leaders to talk of a globe neatly divided into good and bad. It is quite another, however, to base the policies of the world's most powerful nation upon that fiction. The administration's penchant for painting its perceived adversaries with the same sweeping brush has led to a series of unintended consequences.
I am sure her heart is in the right place; but as usual, I must take her views to task, as they are not based on sound logic and judgement. I have two major points on this:
1. Look at this map. From a military-ground forces standpoint, what country is flanked by countries with U.S forces inside? Strategic advantage: United States. Strategic disadvantage: Iran.
Doesn't look so bad, now does it?
2. Madeleine seems to have some problems with short-term memory. In 1999, she used this argument to justify U.S. involvement, in the NATO action conducted against Serbia, while ignoring the looming threat of Islamofascism.
So, with that said, let's zero on this aspect of the debate.
In her book, Madam Secretary: A Memoir, chapter 22 is entitled, A Special Kind of Evil. Reviewer Robert D. Steele notes the following:
Most troubling to me is the chapter on terrorism, chapter 22, titled "A Special Kind of Evil." In exactly 17 pages (.03 of 512 text pages), Albright manages to gloss over the fact that she deliberately and repeatedly sided with Sandy Burger in constantly suppressing intelligence that warned suicidal terrorism was on the rise, and took a back seat--or no seat--on the subject of devising a national grand strategy for counter-terrorism. She is proudest of getting $1 billion for turning our Embassies into bunkers, something 9-11 demonstrated to be inconsequential.
Note how she calls it evil. But as we know from watching the Clinton Administration in action, they did not treat it, as such. In fact, as Mr. Steele states, there was no inclination by that administration to treat it as a "war" issue. Instead, it was treated purely as a "law enforcement" issue, from the eyes of a defense attorney, whose primary objective is to defend the perpetrators. Case in point, we were offered bin Laden, but the President didn't think we had a legal basis to hold him.
In 1999, during an interview with Jim Lehrer, while trying to justify the decision to bomb Serbian targets, she referred to Milosevic as "evil".
JIM LEHRER: But you take your knowledge of the... of what is intended militarily and what your knowledge... what you know diplomatically on your own and through Holbrooke and Hill and others who have been on the ground there, etc., been involved in this, you've been involved in this a long time, do the two come together? In other words, it adds up to you that this military action can cause this diplomatic result in terms of Milosevic?
MADELEINE ALBRIGHT: Well, I think that if you put together all the calculations as you've discussed them, there is the very best chance that this will happen. One of the hardest parts here is dealing with a cruel and evil man like Milosevic who is only interested in maintaining himself in power and doesn't care at all about his people or even what the world thinks of him. But I think that if you calculate this on the basis of what we have been trying to do diplomatically and the strength, the force that we're putting in there, we believe that the objectives that I've outlined deter and damage our are achievable.
Hmmm. Milosevic was evil. And it was okay to refer to him as evil, so as to effectively sell the concept of bombing a sovereign nation. So what's the difference between Milosevic and Saddam? Did not both kill, innocent people? In fact, if you could get an accurate count, you would most likely find that Saddam was responsible for far more deaths than Milosevic. So then, why does the term evil apply to Slobodan, and not Saddam?
Not convinced yet? Try this.
In a BBC report by Alan Little, let's look at how she refers to Milosevic:
The western world was still haunted by a profound collective guilt: it knew it had waited too long to intervene in Bosnia. Now one woman resolved not to make the same mistake again.
US SECRETARY OF STATE
I believed in the ultimate power, the goodness of the power of the allies and led by the United States. We were dealing which such a basic evil, that could not be tolerated.
That evil was the Milosevic regime. For more than a decade, he had wrapped himself in the symbols of Serb identity. He'd persuaded the Serbian people that they were surrounded by predatory enemies, and led them to war against their neighbours. Milosevic needs conflict to stay in power. The world had failed to defend the Bosnians against Milosevic. In 1995, Serb forces marched into Srebrenica and murdered seven thousand Bosnian Muslim men and boys. In the west, many came to believe that the lessons of Bosnia could now be applied to the very different circumstances of Kosovo.
Milosevic was the same, evil Milosevic who had started this whole thing actually in Kosovo by denying them of their rights. And that we just had to stand up.
We could go on and on. But the bottom line is simple, the best way to lose credibility with the American people is to openly practice hypocrisy. That being the case, it's easy to see that this essay in the LA Times is nothing more than a feeble attempt to keep partisan politics in the news and to discredit the President for making his stand against the "evil" he perceives that we are facing in this day (just as they acted against what they saw was an "evil", in their day).
We can add to that the fact, the evil event of our day could have possibly been prevented, with a little more attention turned towards it, rather than just trying to get Monica Lewinsky's name off of the front pages of every major newspaper, in the country.
It all comes down to priorities.
So, as anyone with half an analytical mind can see, there definitely is a double standard being applied by the MSM, the former Clintonites, today's Democratic Party, and the rest of the leftist hacks (that get an audience with the MSM). In this case, it was the LA Times that bit into this one.
There is also another double standard being applied here that is more subtle and gets overlooked by the left, more often than not. When Europe wants military action in a country with leadership that it has deemed evil, it's okay. But when the U.S.wants it, it is wrong.
The good vs. evil argument does not apply, when a Republican inhabits the structure at 1600 Pennsylvannia Avenue, but is justified, when it's a Democrat.