Vol. 3 No. 2 February 2001

"All the News Unfit to Print"

The world is breathing a sigh of relief now that the American electorate has found the cure for the mad-cow disease that has afflicted U.S. foreign policy for so many years. Still, her memory lingers in world capitals, where they continue to tell Madeleine Albright stories—for example, of her repeated unsuccessful attempts to procure an invitation to visit Belgrade from the new Yugoslav leadership. "No member of the Clinton team was more enthusiastically determined to bomb Serbia in March 1999 than Albright," according to a source,

and it was therefore remarkable to observe the zeal with which she tried to get herself invited to Serbia by the new government . . . She first tried through [the U.S. diplomat William] Montgomery, who came to Belgrade to congratulate . . . Vojislav Kostunica, a week after Milosevic's downfall. But when Kostunica politely declined Montgomery's request . . . formally on the grounds of his busy schedule, she sent him a hand-written letter in Serbian expressing her earnest wish to "congratulate him and his people" in person, and expressing her warm personal feelings for the Serbian people.

Such professions evoked a wry smile from the new Serbian leaders. They were determined not to grant this wish to the woman who had contributed, more than anyone else, to the tone and shape of America's policy in the...

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