Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is making headlines today after her appearance at a Hillary Clinton rally. Standing beside a laughing Clinton, she said “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.”
What isn’t making headlines is the irony of someone who was responsible for the deaths of 2,000 civilians, including 88 children, pretending to have any moral judgement whatsoever.
Albright was one of the leading proponents of NATO’s bombing of Serbia in 1999, so much so that many referred to the operation as “Madeleine’s War.”
Years before George Bush declared war on terror without the approval of Congress, Albright and her Clinton administration allies were using phrases like “war on terror” and “humanitarian intervention” to justify bombing Serbia. It was “the first time that NATO used military force without the approval of the UN Security Council and against a sovereign nation that did not pose a real threat to any member of the alliance.”
Albright’s airstrikes destroyed more than 300 schools, libraries, and over 20 hospitals.
“Why? Why civilians?” lamented airstrike survivor Dragan Ciric. “It still torments me. If the first rocket was a mistake, what were the next three for?”
Much of the country is in rubble to this day, still reeling from the billions of US dollars in damages that the country has no way to recover from.
So why did Albright participate in these war crimes? Apparently, to share in the spoils of war. Many former top Clinton officials swooped into war-torn Serbia and secured millions of dollars in contracts ironically designed to help “rebuild” Serbia and the new nation they helped to create, Kosovo.
As the New York Times put it, “So many former American officials have returned to Kosovo for business — in coal and telecommunications, or for lobbying and other lucrative government contracts — that it is hard to keep them from colliding.”
Albright’s company Albright Capital Management aggressively bid for Kosovo’s telecommunications company PTK — its most prosperous asset. While this purchase would have been worth upwards of $600 million for Albright, it was also discovered that her sister company, Albright Stonebridge Group, held shares in PTK’s only competition.
Critics busted Albright of trying to create a monopoly in Kosovo which would have destroyed all market competition in the fledgling nation. She was forced to quietly pull out of the sale, but she’s still managed to profit quite nicely from the shady business move. Her net worth is estimated to be upwards of $10 million.
Excluding her recent appearance at Hillary Clinton’s campaign event, the last time Albright made headlines was when a group of Serbian activists showed up to one of her book signings and asked her to sign posters depicting some of her war victims. She called them “Disgusting Serbs” and screamed at them to “Get out, get out, get out!” The “Disgusting Serbs comment can be heard at the 1:02 mark of this video:
Hillary Clinton has repeatedly struggled to come up with a good answer for why we should vote for somebody who voted for Bush’s War in Iraq, and now she has trotted out a war criminal and packaged her to the American people as a feminist icon.
Special place in hell indeed.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist and author.