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October 20, 2003

EUGENE VOLOKH points out this quote from Madeleine Albright:

This is playing with fire. In the Balkans, signs of impatience can be misinterpreted as symptoms of weakness. We cannot afford that in a region where weakness attracts vultures. . . .

We will not achieve our goals in Southeast Europe if our eyes are always on the clock and our focus is solely on what others do. We are more than bookkeepers and spectators. We are leaders, and our fundamental objective in Southeast Europe is not to leave. It's to win.

That was in 2000. Too bad she's changed her tune nowadays.

Of course, Albright was a failure then, too. I lost confidence when I saw her respond to hecklers in Dayton with a deer-in-the-headlights stare, and stammers. "This is a Secretary of State?" I thought. "Paralyzed by a few hooting protesters with multiple piercings?"

Now she's doing the hooting. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, I guess.

UPDATE: It was my mistake -- the protesters were in Columbus at Ohio State, not Dayton. Thanks to reader Robert Schwartz for the correction.