This past Tuesday, Madeleine Albright addressed the future diplomats of the world at the Elliott School of International Affairs. While she is often hailed as a great leader unafraid to criticize the current administration, it should be noted that her tenure in office could be the subject of a war crimes dissertation.
While I was not in attendance Tuesday – these events are not publicized very well for non-Elliott students – judging by the mass book signing reported by The Hatchet, it can be concluded that she was an honored guest. My motive for recalling her unethical past is not politically charged, as her replacement is just as bad; the irony of her appearance is screaming for attention.
As The Hatchet reported, Albright commented on the importance of multilateralism, recounting, “Well, multilateralism has too many syllables and ends in ‘ism,’ so I was criticized for (speaking about it.)” Using a form of this big word to address the U.N. Security Council, she said America would act “multilaterally when we can and unilaterally as we must” because “we recognize this area (Iraqi) as vital to U.S. national interests and therefore accept no external constraints.” It seems the former secretary of state’s legacy is alive and well. While that quote is unsettling, it is not as blatantly jingoistic as her TV appearance some years back when she claimed, “If we have to use force, it is because we are America! We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall, and we see further into the future.” Or perhaps that is overshadowed by the inhumane response she gave Lesley Stahl when asked about the half-million Iraqi children who died as a result of U.S. sanctions: “We think the price is worth it.”
-Andrew Weiss, sophomore
A strong vision
In response to the opinion written Jan. 22 titled “Some cordial advice” (p. 4), I offer my take on the issue. First of all, I find it appalling that a Dean supporter would take the same position that critics in the media have taken all week in poking fun at the governor’s Iowa rally.
At the rally, Governor Dean was ignoring the television cameras and speaking directly to the people who fueled his campaign. He was speaking to the more than 3,500 volunteers who left their jobs, their homes and their families to travel to Iowa and volunteer for Howard Dean. While his actions had seemly gotten out of hand, we must remember that the energy in that room was fueled by passion, not anger, and Governor Dean was simply returning that passion to his faithful supporters.
Since Iowa, Governor Dean has admitted, “I say what I think and I believe what I say, and I’m willing to say things that are not always popular but that ordinary people know are right. In other words, I lead with my heart. That’s the only chance we have against George Bush.” The same love for our country that Howard Dean possesses is in every one of his supporters, and to suggest that a Dean supporter would “bash in car headlights” is wrong, especially considering that the 350 supporters here at GW would never dream of committing such an act.
Further, the governor has earned his right to talk about health care. He provided it for nearly every citizen in Vermont – something no state can claim. And he did it while balancing budgets in a time when most other states were running record deficits. Meanwhile, Dean created 20 percent more jobs in Vermont, cut taxes, paid down the state debt and did it all without sacrificing state programs. This is a record that Dean should stand behind, and he is. This is a record that can be matched by no other candidate. And this is a record that will make George W. Bush’s attempts at leadership seem weak at best.
And in response to the numerous Washington endorsements that Dean has acquired, how can they be detrimental to his campaign for president? If anything, they show that Howard Dean has influenced enough people inside the establishment that when he gets to D.C. he can count on their support for president. By standing up to George W. Bush on the issues that matter, and pressing Democrats to do the same, Howard Dean has changed the nature of this race and even of American politics. He’s brought hundreds of thousands of Americans back into their democracy. He’s forced a party in retreat to stand up and offer a real alternative to George W. Bush.
Finally, Governor Dean can and will campaign in the South. To suggest that somehow that regional differences in this country are not worth overcoming shows that we would be giving up the idea of a united country. I agree that George W. Bush and the Republicans has created division in this country by campaigning on the issues of guns, God, gays, race, and other ideological issues that we are never going to agree on. But Howard Dean is leading a campaign to get voters interested in the issues that we can solve namely; health care, education, jobs, and the economy.
I think we need to support campaign that seek to reunite our country behind obtainable goals and a bright future. But do not just take my word, the media, or any other publications word for it, check it out for yourself. Go to www.gwu.edu/~dean2004, www.deanforamerica.com and www.generationdean.com and decide for yourself if a record and a vision like Governor Dean’s is something that will help this country.
-Sean Peter Flaherty Media Relations Director, GW for Dean 2004