By Anthony Man, Sun Sentinel –
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on Friday panned Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s response to the week’s events in the Arab world as “lame,” “stunning” and “disturbing — very, very disturbing.”
Albright, a Democrat, echoed widespread condemnation of Romney’s initial reaction to the death of four Americans at a U.S. Consulate in Libya, which was to criticize President Barack Obama.
“This is a very serious international issue (and) it is outrageous to politicize. I think outrageous. Usually people pull together when American lives have been lost,” she said in an interview with Sun Sentinel editors and reporters.
Albright said it’s the latest in a line of Romney foreign affairs missteps, including his summer trip abroad when he insulted Great Britain over its preparations for the Olympics and his comment that America’s greatest enemy is Russia, which she said shows someone whose thinking is stuck in the last century.
Albright, 75, was the nation’s top diplomat during former President Bill Clinton’s second term after serving as his first-term ambassador to the United Nations. She now teaches at Georgetown University.
She said much of what’s happening in the Arab world this week has many causes — not just the controversial video that denounces Islam: Change is happening slowly in many of the affected countries, which have large populations of unemployed young men. Messages circulating in the Arab world encouraged discontent around the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Social media quickly spreads turmoil.
Albright cautioned against condemning all Muslims just because some elements have been “hijacked by a small group of fanatics” like 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden.
“There are certain elements of the Muslim religion that are anti-everything and certain elements that are open and interested in how they cooperate or work with other religions,” she said.