Wednesday, March 23, 2022

RIP Madeleine Albright

In early 2000, I became the first senior U.S. official to meet with Vladimir Putin in his new capacity as acting president of Russia. ...  I have been reminded in recent months of that nearly three-hour session with Mr. Putin as he has massed troops on the border with neighboring Ukraine.  After calling Ukrainian statehood a fiction in a bizarre televised address, he issued a decree recognizing the independence of two separatist-held regions in Ukraine and sending troops there.

Mr. Putin's revisionist and absurd assertion that Ukraine was "entirely created by Russia" and effectively robbed from the Russian empire is fully in keeping with his warped worldview.  Most disturbing to me: It was his attempt to establish the pretext for a full-scale invasion.

Should he invade, it will be a historic error. ...  Instead of paving Russia's path to greatness, invading Ukraine would ensure Mr. Putin's infamy by leaving his country diplomatically isolated, economically crippled, and strategically vulnerable in the face of a stronger, more united Western alliance. ...  Ukraine is entitled to its sovereignty, no matter who its neighbors happen to be.  In the modern era, great countries accept that, and so must Mr. Putin.

-- Madeleine Jana Korbel Albright (15 May 1937 - 23 March 2022), American politician and diplomat who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and the 64th U.S. Secretary of State from 1997 to 2001 under President Bill Clinton.  She was the first female secretary of state in U.S. history.  "Putin Is Making a Historic Mistake", New York Times, 23 February 2022

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