Madeleine the Bigot
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Madeleine the Bigot
On October 23, Czech filmmaker Vaclav Dvořák (author of the documentary “Stolen Kosovo”) crashed the Prague book-signing of former U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright. Asked to sign not her self-praising book, but rather the posters of her “greatest hits” (jihad in Bosnia, ethnic cleansing in Croatia, stolen Kosovo), Albright shrieked “Get out!” and called Dvořák and his associates “disgusting Serbs,” as can be seen on video.
“Disgusting Serbs, get out!” Albright in Prague, 10/23/2012
Can you imagine if she’d said “disgusting Arabs,” or anything else for that matter? Isn’t this sort of irrational hatred the very definition of bigotry? Sure – but while bigotry against anyone else is a career-ender in the modern West, bigotry against the Serbs is perfectly acceptable. One might even argue it’s mandatory in certain spheres of society, media and politics in particular.
So widespread and accepted has this bigotry become, that efforts to fight it have sprung up only recently, and without official support of the Serbian government (out of fear of offending the bigoted foreigners, most likely). For example, during the 1990s, the British press depicted the Serbs as monkeys, among other things. U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke was proud of his disdain for Serbs; it simply oozes from the pages of his memoir. And Madeleine Albright is apparently unconcerned about displaying her bigotry as well.
Where does all this animosity come from? The torrent of abuse over the years has even made some Serbs believe they must have done something to deserve it. Many blamed the “Milosevic regime”, and believed the 2000 coup – funded, organized and supported by the Empire – would put a stop to the hatred. Yet 13 years hence, with Milosevic himself long dead and all the subsequent governments making licking the foreign boot their #1 policy priority, the bigotry shows no sign of abating. Could it be that the roots of it go farther back, long before Milosevic?
Oddly enough, the case of Madam Albright might help shed some light on this.
When Marie Jana Korbelová was born in Prague in 1937, her father Josef Korbel worked as the press attache at the Czechoslovak embassy in Belgrade, Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The very next year, however, the Munich “agreement” surrendered parts of Czech territory to Hitler, and in March 1939, Nazi Germany occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia. Justifiably fearing persecution on account of his Jewish faith, Korbel first converted to Catholicism, then fled with his family to the UK (ironically, the country most responsible for the betrayal in Munich). During the war, he worked for the Czech government in exile, and after 1945 was sent to Belgrade again, this time as the ambassador. He kept little Marie out of Tito’s public schools, choosing to have her educated by a governess at first, and later at a boarding school in Geneva. This is where she became “Madeleine”. When Stalin cracked down on the insufficiently obedient Czech government in 1948, Korbel fled again – this time to the U.S., where he requested political asylum.
“Madeleine” is thus raised Catholic. In 1959, she becomes an Episcopalian (“Protestant, yet Catholic”) to marry journalist Joseph Albright. In the late 1960s, she attends Columbia University in New York, and takes a graduate class taught by Zbigniew Brzezinski. He later became President Carter’s National Security Adviser, and in 1978 brought Madeleine to the NSC. After Reagan’s election, she moved to the think tanks, continuing to work with Brzezinski on his project of toppling Communism in Europe through the Catholic Church. In 1982 she went to Poland to interview “Solidarity” activists. Upon returning, she taught at Georgetown, a prestigious university originally set up by Jesuits. She remained involved in Democratic politics, and in 1992 joined Bill Clinton’s transition team to set up his NSC. As a reward, she was appointed Ambassador to the UN in late 1993, and in 1997 became the first female U.S. Secretary of State. All of this is public record.
What does this biography tell us about Madeleine, the person? First of all, that her defining identity and influences in life have all been Catholic; it wasn’t until 1996 or so that she found out that Korbel had been Jewish! Her mentor in Washington was the aggressively Catholic Brzezinski, who didn’t care whether the Russians were Orthodox or godless Reds, he hated them all the same (with the Afghan jihad as a result).
Now, consider the long-standing Catholic bigotry towards the Orthodox (“eastern schismatics”), amplified by the Serbs’ role in bringing down the Catholic Habsburg Empire, the Cold War animosity towards the “Red Russians”, Brzezinski’s Polish Russophobia, and the fact that the early 1990s propaganda claimed the “Communist” Serbs were oppressing the Catholic Croats and Slovenians…The writing is on the wall, pretty much.
Ironies abound, of course. While it was the Serbs’ refusal to perish that eventually led to Austrian defeat, the Czechs were among the first to declare independence from Vienna. And though Albright has repeatedly invoked the specter of Munich to justify her belligerent politics, a Munich-like dismemberment of a country was precisely what the U.S. did by declaring occupied Kosovo “independent”, her Czech colleague Jiři Dienstbier pointed out in 2008. Unaware of her Jewish origins, she deliberately backed a policy of treating the Serbs the same way Hitler did, and sided with Hitler’s unrepentant allies. And is it really a coincidence that the Rambouillet ultimatum so resembled the Austro-Hungarian note from 1914?
So it is unfortunate that Dvořák wore a Palestinian scarf when confronting Albright. If he meant to bait her, a mitre would have worked far better.