Washington Loves War Criminals
Madeleine Albright to be honored with a post office in her name
It is generally accepted in government circles as well as in the media that covers Washington politics that both major political parties now embrace foreign and national security policies that are both aggressive and brutally conducted, essentially products of the so-called neoconservatives, or neocons for short. Ron Unz has recently written a lengthy 6500 word article describing how the neocons rose to power, beginning with their relatively humble origins as a gathering of frequently radicalized Jewish students at the City College of New York in the 1930s. Their disenchantment with Stalin turned them away from the Soviet communist model and they frequently self-described as Trotskyites or other fringe elements on the political left. Some of the founders of the movement later elaborated how they were in many cases “Liberals who had been mugged by reality” as they drifted in a conservative direction to gain political power. Ironically, or perhaps as a calculated strategy, Unz notes how many of the young Jewish neocons retained their “leftist” social attitudes even as they drifted to the right over national security, a posture that gave them a foot in the door of both major political parties.
Unz describes the neocons’ utter ruthlessness in their climb to power, starting in the Reagan Administration, where they obtained key positions in the Pentagon and in the national security structure. I personally witnessed some of their presence and ambitions in the 1980s when I was in the CIA base in Istanbul. They would show up at the Consulate General in small groups drawn from the Pentagon or under the aegis of the American Jewish Committee and other similar organizations to enter into discussions with the diplomatic personnel as well as Turkish officials. They were frequently agitating for military action against Iran, Iraq and Syria and were always apologists for Israel. When Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard was arrested in 1985 and then convicted in 1987 Jewish organizations were thick on the ground arguing that he was mentally unbalanced and could not possibly be a spy for good friend and close ally Israel. One of our Consuls General bought into the argument to such an extent that he tried to sell it to the Turks, who were not buying it. I had a heated exchange with him regarding what he was ignorantly peddling, to no avail.
It is not as if the neocon reckless definition of “national security” is consequence free, as we are currently seeing in the war going on largely driven by its imperatives in Ukraine. Ron Unz had preceded his dissection of the neocon “rise to power” with an article entitled “Dislodging the Neocons, Difficult but Necessary.” Unz describes how the neocons at one level have been completely successful. “After having controlled American foreign policy for more than three decades, promoting their allies and protégés and purging their opponents,” the adherents of the view that the United States must absolutely dominate the world militarily and set the rules of behavior for everyone now is agreed upon by nearly the entire political establishment, including both political parties as well as the leading thinktanks, lobbying groups and media. By now, there are hardly any prominent figures in either party who adhere to a significantly different line, which has made “antiwar” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Tulsi Gabbard so attractive to some of us. More to the point, over the last two decades, the “national security focused neoconservatives have largely joined forces with the economically-focused neoliberals, forming a unified ideological block that represents the political worldview of the elites running both American parties.”
Unz has recognized how the neocons have infiltrated both political parties and their foreign policy vision has been adopted by all, with some like Victoria Nuland posing as Democrats while others continue to pretend to be Republicans. To put it another way, progressives in the Democratic Party do not feel particularly threatened by the neoconservatives as most neocons are conventional Jewish liberals on social issues, which are what is most important to Democrats. This all means that legislators and government officials can all agree on the necessity to maintain a brutal foreign policy based on military force since it has nothing to do with abortions, race or gender issues.
I recently witnessed a manifestation of this seriously skewed and dangerous world view in my own congressional district in Virginia. Our Democratic Party congresswoman Jennifer Wexton is functionally as woke as can be. When she was first elected back in 2018 and moved into her office in the following January, one of her first gestures was to hang a transgender pride flag outside her door. Since that time, she has been an active supporter of the usual Democratic Party endorsed woke catalog of grievances. She is certainly a good fit in a county in which a biological boy who chose to identify and dress like a girl exploited high school gender neutral policies to rape one genuine girl in a unisex school toilet before being sent to another high school rather than expelled and prosecuted where he raped a second girl. One of the girl’s fathers was silenced when he sought to protest against the policies at a School Board meeting.
Wexton has now introduced into Congress a bill which will change the name of our local post office, which is currently named after the town it is located in, to honor Madeleine Albright, the recently deceased former UN Ambassador and Secretary of State under Bill Clinton. My immediate reaction to news of the bill, which will likely pass easily through Congress as it is unimportant to most legislators, is that I would not want to enter into a building that honors an unindicted war criminal. Indeed, I will not do so. I drafted up a short dissent from the move supported by an account of just how Albright was a war criminal, including her comment that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children due to her and Clinton’s sanctions were “worth it,” and posted it on Facebook, where the administrators immediately removed it.
Wexton, of course, praises Albright as if she were the greatest US Secretary of State since George Marshall. She enthuses in support of her bill that “Secretary Madeleine Albright was a fearless trailblazer for women and a devoted public servant who touched the lives of so many whom she taught, mentored, and worked with… Her relentless defense of democracy and advocacy for human rights, inspired by her own lived experience fleeing Nazi persecution, made her an icon here at home and around the globe.” Citing “Fleeing Nazis?” What could be a better conventional endorsement? And it is a lie. Albright and her family survived the Second World War comfortably and left Czechoslovakia on their own volition in 1948, when she was eleven, long after the conflict had ended.
And that faux glorification is precisely where the hypocrisy of most of the sanctimonious congressional parasites comes in. Here we have an ultra-liberal congresswoman promoting purely on partisan political grounds someone whose malignant and even criminal career is readily discernible, to include also her role in enabling US intervention in the Balkans, sometimes referred to as “Madeleine’s war.” And then there were Bill Clinton’s diversionary missile attacks on the Sudan and Afghanistan and the expansion of NATO contrary to agreements made with Russia. Albright also ignored direct, emotional requests by the US Ambassador to Kenya that the embassy was vulnerable to attack by terrorists and needed an urgent security upgrade. The embassy in Nairobi and in neighboring Tanzania were subsequently bombed in 1998, killing 12 American diplomats and 200 Africans.
I would point out that going beyond the dead Iraqi children, Albright was borderline deranged about the neocon-ish belief in the righteousness of the applicability of US power as a solution for every problem. When demanding the US military intervention in Bosnia she reportedly turned to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, who was reluctant to get involved, and asked “What’s the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can’t use it?” And then there is her famous quote justifying America’s lead role in the world, saying “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.” Excuse me, but what sanctimonious and ultimately malicious bullshit that is!
In any event, rather than spend taxpayer money to rename a perfectly functional public building after an unindictable war criminal, Congresswoman Wexton might consider reaching into her own pocket to purchase a small commemorative plaque that can be placed in an inconspicuous location, possibly in front of her own home since she is so interested in cultivating the legend of one of America’s “finest” public servants. It would look real nice there, I am sure, and I wouldn’t have to see it when I go to pick up my mail.