Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright rips Bush
LAS VEGAS – A feisty former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright denounced George W. Bush on Thursday, saying the president’s divisive and destructive policies had wreaked havoc on the world and diminished the United States.
“I am depressed about the standing we have in the world today,” Albright said during a brief stop at an American Legion hall. “This president has ruined our reputation and destroyed our credibility and moral authority. To use a diplomatic term of art, the world is a mess.”
Albright has been campaigning for presidential candidate John Kerry with a group that includes former top generals, a U.S. Marine who served recently in Iraq, and Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., the highest-ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee.
Albright had nothing good to say about Bush or the war in Iraq, which she described as a “chaotic disaster.”
“It was badly planned,” she continued. “It was horrible. There was no plan. The president calls it a ‘catastrophic success.’ Have you ever heard those two words together? It’s kind of like imposing democracy, another oxymoron.”
Asked about not securing Iraq’s Al-Qaqaa military installation and others, Albright said it was one more misstep by the Bush administration.
“It is a sign of all the things that have gone wrong,” she said. “I think it is very serious. They knew about it. Why didn’t they do something about it?”
The confluence of events in North Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran had created a “Perfect Storm,” she said.
Yier Shi, a Republican National Committee spokesman in Washington, D.C., said Albright was off the mark in her comments.
“I think Secretary Albright is wrong,” Shi said. “John Kerry and his surrogates will say and do anything for political gain.”
In a statement issued Thursday by the Bush campaign, Rep. Jim Gibbons said Albright and the others were trying to deflect attention from Kerry’s record in the Senate.
“Sending former cabinet members to Nevada can’t obscure John Kerry’s liberal record of being on the wrong side of every important national security issue for the past 20 years,” said Gibbons, R-Nev.