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September 1998 
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MER - Washington - 9/20:

It was just a year ago that Madeleine Albright was swinging through the Middle East on her first Secretary of State visit. And what a difference a year makes. This MER article was first published in September of last year.




"We feel she was fair and evenhanded in her discussions with the Palestinians and Israelis."

"Prominent Saudi diplomat, insisting on anonymity"
according to Associated Press 9/13/97

Wherever she went Madeleine Albright acted more like the Foreign Minister of Israel than the Secretary of State of the U.S.In Egypt she pleaded for the release of Azam Azam, recently convicted Israeli spy. In Saudi Arabia she pleaded for the Arabs to attend the third annual regional economic summit including Israeli participation -- this one scheduled for Qatar in November with none other than Ariel Sharon among Israel's attendees! Throughout her trip she pleaded with all the American "client regimes" to prevent those who are contributing to to the Palestinians (other than to Arafat) -- in other words those who are contributing to the orphanages, hospitals and welfare programs that are the most independent and doing the most good -- even while the U.N. itself cuts back such services and the "Authority" of Arafat continues its corrupt and miserable ways.

This is the woman who just last year repeatedly badgered and quite literally screamed at U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Ghali, demanding that he prevent publication of the damning report about Israel's deliberately savage attack that massacred more than a hundred civilians at the U.N. base in Qana Lebanon. And then, even when Boutros-Ghali largely complied by tremendously watering-down the report, this is the woman who demanded that Ghali's tenure as Secretary-General be ended.

Yet in the Middle East all Madeleine Albright could muster -- amidst her mantra-like vilifications about "terrorism" -- were a few toothless words about a "time-out" for Israeli settlements. Actually every American President and Secretary of State going back to the Nixon Administration has rhetorically criticized Israeli settlements -- and yet it is American money these past 30 years that has paid for them! Nothing new here Madeleine! Just more American hypocrisy and rhetorical gibberish!

Furthermore, it was the height of patronage and symbolic duplicity when Madeleine one day appeared with Arafat drapped with a shawl of Palestinian embroidery, yet the next day in Egypt refused to stay or hold meetings at the luxurious "Palestine Hotel" where she was initially scheduled to be!

Meanwhile, among the Arabs themselves, in Nablus Palestinian protesters handed out flyers of the Statue of Liberty topped with Madeleine's head and carrying a sword plunged into the body of a bleeding man representing the Palestinian people. Quite apt actually.

Yet in Saudi Arabia -- clearly the region's most corrupted and despotic regime -- Albright was greeted not simply with politeness but with ever-growing symbols of Saudi control by and dependence on the U.S. The Saudis put on one of their lavish shows not even understanding that it has all become symbolic bowing down, no matter how royal and golden they think themselves to be.

It was probably Prince Bandar bin Sultan, long-time Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. and one of the key Arabs who works most closely in Washington with the Israeli/Jewish lobby and the CIA, who probably uttered the verbal genuflection that: "We feel she was fair and evenhanded in her discussions with the Palestinians and Israelis."

What a disastrous visit. Not only by the American Secretary of State; but by the Arab client-regimes that hosted her, Arafat's among them of course.



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