Dame Theory: What Madeleine Albright Can Teach Bush about Toppling Dictators

By Lake, Eli J. | The Washington Monthly, October 2003 | Go to article overview

Dame Theory: What Madeleine Albright Can Teach Bush about Toppling Dictators


Lake, Eli J., The Washington Monthly


Madam Secretary: A Memoir By Madeleine Albright Miramax, $27.95

Few secretaries of state have managed to collect as diverse an assortment of critics as Madeleine Albright. Foreign Service bureaucrats resented her for making policy with a tight group of advisors in her seventh-floor offices, liberal interventionists slammed her record as Ambassador to the United Nations during the Rwanda crisis, when she lobbied to dismantle the small mission of U.N. peacekeepers just as Hutu militias began slaughtering" hundreds of thousands of thousands. But no one had more venom for the secretary than the neoconservatives. To them, Alright was the cruise director on what George Will dubbed America's vacation from history. She may have sounded like a neocon when she spoke of America as the "indispensable nation," but she tried to cut deals with two of the three members of the axis of evil, Iron and North Korea, and she stood idly by as the economic sanctions she had championed early in the 1990s against its third member, Iraq, were whittled away by smuggling, lax enforcement, mad outright defiance. A fine example of Albright's combination of weakness and naivete was her frantic pursuit of Yasser Arafat at the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Paris in late October 2000, begging him not to leave yet another of her fruitless negotiations to end dm war he was inciting against his old peace partner.

In her new memoir, Madam Secretary, Albright has few kind words for Arafat, calling him at various points, a "professional victim," and a "manipulator and survivor." During a visit to her farm in Virginia, her two-year old grandson let out a "piercing scream" at the first sight of the Palestinian leader. Such colorful touches are common in this often plodding and pedantic memoir focusing on Albright's four years, from 1997 to 2001, at the height of power. For example, she recounts how she learned of her Jewish ancestry from Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs. Unfortunately, the book does not offer much in the way of news. We do learn that in 1998, Iran's Prime Minister Mohammed Khatami sent word to Ararat that Iran would support a negotiated settlement between Israel mad the Palestinians--a position at odds with the charter of Iran's Islamic Revolution, She 'also confirms that, at the request of South Korean President Kim Dae Jung, President Clinton was indeed ready to travel to Pyongyang at the end of his presidency. But anyone expecting a persuasive rebuttal of the toughest charges frequently leveled against the Clinton administration's foreign policy--for instance, that the president was not as committed as he should have been to hunting Osama bin Laden, or that the United States failed to stop the Saudis beheading the two prime suspects in the 1996 bombing of Khobar Towers that killed 19 Americans--will be disappointed. Reading this book, Albright's conservative critics will be tempted to gloat that they were right about her all along.

Yet they do so at their own risk: As the Bush administration encounters one snag after another in Iraq, it is becoming clear that, at least as of today, Albright has proved a more successful regime -changer than the very neocons who coined the phrase. For all her efforts to cut deals with Arafat, Kim Jong Il, and the Iranians, this Czech refugee whose family escaped both Nazism and communism, demonstrated not only moral clarity but also effectiveness in opposing a ruthless and wily tyrant, Yugoslavia's Slobodan Mizlosevic. Albright's patient multilateral diplomacy, combined with forceful moral rhetoric and quiet funding for the opposition, may prove a far better model for ridding the Middle East of its dictators than last March's invasion.

Divine and overthrow

Albright's crowning moment came on Oct. 5, 2000 after Slobodan Milosevic clumsily tried to steal what turned out to be his final election and found himself overwhelmed by popular outrage on the streets of Belgrade and international condemnation abroad. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Dame Theory: What Madeleine Albright Can Teach Bush about Toppling Dictators
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.