The nerve of some armchair diplomats is breath-taking. Take Madeleine Albright (please!). You remember her, right? She was the first woman Secretary of State - and an embarrassment to the United States. Recall that she was the one who danced with Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang.
Ms. Albright also discovered her Jewish ancestry during her tenure at Foggy Bottom. Perhaps that explains her astonishing chutzpah.
Thanks to James Taranto's invaluable Best of the Web for highlighting comments Ms. Albright made about the Bush administration's diplomatic failings in sub-Saharan Africa:
"She decried the country's lack of support for sub-Saharan black Africa, calling Rwanda a 'volcanic' genocide [which occurred during the Clinton administration, while Madeleine was Ambassador to the UN recall] and the current situation in the Darfur region of Sudan a 'rolling genocide' that the United States must get involved in.
'There's no excuse. The money we spend in one year in Iraq would pay for 20 years of helping Africa,' she said.
This, in and of itself, would be bad enough, but contrast her bemoaning of the Bush adminstration's diplomacy in Africa with her own thoughts on the then-nascent "rolling genocide" (to use her term) in Darfur taken from a 2000 op-ed column by The Washington Post's Sebastian Mallaby:
"In a meeting last December, Albright suggested that, much as she deplored the country's suffering, 'The human rights situation in Sudan is not marketable to the American people.' Sudan's Muslim government may condone the enslavement of black people from the south; it may have pursued a war that has cost nearly two million lives; it may regularly bomb schools and hospitals. But Albright and one of her officials declined to call this 'genocide,' explaining that this might require the United States to do more about it."
The idea that she thought the Clinton administration had to "market" the idea that the US take action in a humanitarian crisis such as that in Darfur is simply repugnant. Americans know a wrong when they see it; they don't have to be sold on the idea of righting a grievous wrong.
For my money, Madeleine Albright has to rank as one of the worst Secretaries of State of all time, and certainly would be in the running for worst of the 20th century.
(For those interested, the latest National Review has an excellent article showing that the Bush administration has tried to do more about the slaughter in Darfur than just about any other country. In fact, it is the Europeans in the UN, most notably (wait for it) the French, who refuse to even consider threatening sanctions - much less sending in a peacekeeping force to supplement the African Union's woefully inadequate presence.)