On Monday, October 9, Patricia Madrid, candidate for NM-01 congressional district, and former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright appeared at Veterans post 72 on Central Avenue in Albuquerque. Not surprisingly both agreed that America is going in the wrong direction and it's time for a change, adding that America has lost the moral high ground and respect around the world.
Madrid took aim at the failed policy in Iraq. She referred to Heather Wilson's failure to question the war despite Wilson's admission in an Albuquerque Tribune article that she knew US intelligence was wrong prior to the war yet she still voted for the war. Madrid pointed to the recent NIE report that strongly suggests the Iraq war may have created more terrorists than it has killed. She also pointed out the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission have not been implemented and that Heather Wilson did not vote to implement them. Madrid added that "our ports are wide open to terrorists to sneak in while 80 year old grandmothers are being frisked, and women are having their lipsticks confiscated at airports." Madrid also pointed out that we don't pay our troops adequately and that veterans' benefits, including health, are inadequate.
The Madrid-Albright appearance came just hours after North Korea announced its detonation of a nuclear bomb and the question period began with inquiries about North Korea. Madrid emphasized the need for opening up bilateral talks. Albright, who is the highest ranking American diplomat to ever meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il Il, said our foreign policy in North Korea has failed, adding "There is nothing wrong with talking with your enemies. You make peace with your enemies not with your friends. You have arms control agreements with your enemies not with your friends." As we have learned in the last two days, prior to the current Bush regime we had been in bilateral talks with North Korea for 6 years. Governor Richardson has stated in the last two days that we need to reopen diplomatic channels with North Korea. Richardson believes there is a deal waiting to be made and bilateral talks are where the US can deliver its toughest message to the North Koreans.
When asked about Afghanistan, Albright quipped, Afghanistan is "a mess - that's diplomatic term of art." She said the current system has failed because the Taliban is increasing in power, war lords are arming themselves, fueled by the opium trade.
Referencing her recent published book, 'The Mighty and the Almighty: Reflections on America, God, and World Affairs,' Albright also talked about genocide in Darfur. She emphasized that we need to take the moral high ground and stand up for American moral principles. This implies that America must pay more attention to genocide around the world, not ignoring genocide as the Bush administration has done.
Watching two women speak truth to power caused an enthusiastic crowd to become almost rowdy. Perhaps the crowd was sensing that America is recovering from its 6 year epidemic of 'truthiness' - an epidemic that has affected both Republicans and Democrats. To borrow Stephen Colbert's notion, 'truthiness' occurs when we fail to adequately regard evidence and facts and instead prefer feelings, and attitudes. Over the last 6 years the most obvious example of 'truthiness' is the war in Iraq. We didn't ask the questions we should have asked and we didn't take the time to get the facts straight. From the looks of things Democrats have recovered faster than the GOP, but more Republicans are getting the message. (TIP: GOPers - repent. Limited Amnesty is available.)