Thursday, January 20, 2005

What Albright Thinks

Maddy and Dear Leader, together

In the wake of Condoleeza Rice's confirmation hearings, I couldn't help but compare her to our last female Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright.

And, coincidentally, I happened on this article in the WashPo about a recent bio-terrorism war game played out by a variety of former government officials, Madeleine Albright being one. Playing the United States' President during a scenario in which a smallpox epidemic breaks out in the Europe and the U.S., Albright, according to this press release from Johns Hopkins,

expressed doubts as to whether the American people would be willing to give away a portion of the U.S. stockpile to European countries whose governments had been less than supportive of U.S. policies in the recent past.

The U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and the Netherlands are the only countries that stock enough vaccine to inoculate their populations, so the question surrounded the willingness to share excess vaccine.

Given the outpouring of generosity that the American public exhibited for the Southeast Asia tsunami victims, why does Albright think the U.S. would be unwilling to help stanch a global epidemic of smallpox that would know no boundaries?

"A lot of Americans are saying, 'Why cooperate with them anyway?' " Albright said at one point.

Is this your belief? Should we hunker down and hoard our excess vaccine in the wake of a global outbreak? Or, as I suspect, is Albright betraying her misunderstanding of the generosity of the American people, and confusing conservative distrust of the U.N. and the E.U. with absolute isolationism?