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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/14/12

Reflecting on Mother's Day and War

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Coleen Rowley
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This article cross-posted from Consortium News
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as "DarthCondi" in a poster by Robbie Conal (robbieconal.com)

Recall that Mother's Day was originated by Julia Ward Howe not to fill restaurants or boost the stock of Hallmark cards but as an anti-militarism effort, to further the cause of peace.

In her 1870 Proclamation, Howe, after witnessing the suffering and horrors of the Civil War, laid the foundation for the theory that women as the more "tender" sex and better teachers of charity, mercy and patience, would naturally, if they gained power, put an end to the senselessness of wars.

However 142 years later, we see that the five most powerful women thus far in U.S. history, at a time when the United States has climbed to "military superpower" status in the world, are: Madeleine Albright, Condi Rice, Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power. All are mothers (except Condi Rice) -- and all are proving Howe's theory completely wrong with their pronounced attitudes, actions and instigation of wars during the last two decades.

The war-hawkishness (and some would add ruthless cruelty) of the first three female Secretaries of State and the two on Obama's short list to become next Secretary of State (but who are already powerful, as advisors on Obama's National Security Council, his UN Ambassador and chair of his new "humanitarian war" program) would probably make the founder of "Mothers Day for Peace" turn over in her grave.

In fact, defining aspects of these five most powerful women's career stances and orientation towards military power jump out of their Wikipedia bios to vie with Henry Kissinger's cold calculated Machiavellianism.(If you already know their backgrounds, you can skip the following brief highlights.)

Madeleine Albright: Although Albright would probably prefer to be remembered for her grandiose plan and statements about bringing democracy to other countries, her real legacy will probably lie in her unguarded 1996 response as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations made on "60 Minutes" when she defended UN sanctions against Iraq after Lesley Stahl asked her, "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?"

Albright replied, "we think the price is worth it." Albright later criticized Stahl's segment as "amount[ing] to Iraqi propaganda"; complained it was a loaded question; wrote "I had fallen into a trap and said something I did not mean"; and regretted coming "across as cold-blooded and cruel." But the "60 Minutes" interview won an Emmy.

Albright later took office in 1997 as the first female U.S. Secretary of State and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government where she supported the U.S.-NATO bombing campaign in the Balkans. According to Albright's memoirs, she once argued with Colin Powell for the use of military force by asking, "What's the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can't use it?"

Condoleezza Rice: A much better summary of Condi's life and career can be gained -- thanks to the first-hand accounts of people who knew her and through her many well-known, solid biographers in this fascinating (87 minute) documentary, "American Faust: From Condi to Neo Condi" by Sebastian Doggart.

What will people remember most about Condi Rice? If it's not the visual of the impeccably coiffed and tailored business suit sinisterly threatening a "mushroom cloud" which she used to help George Bush "catapult the propaganda" for war on Iraq, it may be the key role she played in ordering torture even before John Yoo attempted to fully "legalize" it.

There is probably some psychological significance in the fact that Condi Rice, the woman who gave up marriage and children to climb the ladder, reportedly used the words: "It's your baby, go do it" to convey approval to CIA Director George Tenet in July 2002 from the Bush White House Principals (the group that formulated and authorized torture tactics) to go ahead and conduct water-boarding on certain captured suspects. Condi's "baby" thus became torture.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Among her consistently pro-war stances, Sen. Hillary Clinton voted to give George Bush the power to launch war on Iraq when she knew that country posed no threat to the U.S. and had no tie to 9/11 or WMD.

As Obama's Secretary of State, Clinton jumped into the formidable task of using the "Arab Spring" to back some U.S.-friendly dictators while supporting protesters against other regimes the U.S. did not like.

She joined Samantha Power and Susan Rice and pulled off an amazing power play. The "three harpies" (as one commentator named them) overcame internal opposition to U.S. military intervention in Libya from three higher positioned men: Defense Secretary Robert Gates, security advisor Thomas Donilon, and counterterrorism advisor John Brennan, and ended up playing key roles in support of the U.S.-NATO massive bombing of Libya in 2011. Hillary Clinton used U.S. allies as "convening power" to strengthen the Libyan rebels as they eventually overturned the Gaddafi regime.

After Gaddafi was brutally tortured, killed and his body put on display, Hillary laughed in triumph, "We came, we saw, he died."

Susan Rice: As Wikipedia states...

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Retired FBI Agent and former Minneapolis Division Legal Counsel.
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