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If it weren't for Madeleine Albright ...


Albright Criticizes Ex-Inspector 

Associated Press Writer 

Albright was asked about Ritter's resignation in an interview on CNN's
``Late Edition'' during her visit to Russia with President Clinton. 

Last week, avoiding a public spat with Ritter, she said only that he did a
great job in his seven years as an inspector. 

Ritter has been less charitable toward Albright, telling Newsweek
magazine, ``I heard somebody say Madeleine Albright blocked more
inspections in 1997 than Saddam Hussein did. It's a funny quip, but
unfortunately, it's true. Not only is it Iraq that is frustrating us, but
it is the people who are supposed to be supporting us that are obstructing
us,'' he was quoted as saying. 

On Tuesday, Albright commended Ritter for being a ``great American'' and
said she was not going to ``speak ill'' of him. At the same time, she
suggested that Ritter was out of his depth in his comments. 

``He doesn't have a clue about what our overall policy has been; that we
are the foremost supporter of UNSCOM (the U.N. inspection agency); that we
have inspired really more inspections than anybody else,'' she said. 

As a result of U.S. actions, she said U.N. inspectors got into the Iraqi
Ministry of Defense and other places that had been off limits. 

``If it weren't for the United States, and I must say me personally, I
doubt very much that the sanctions regime would be in place as strongly as
it is,'' Albright said. 

Ritter, she said, is ``not the one putting together a U.S. policy which
has managed to keep the strongest sanctions regime in the history of the
world on Saddam Hussein.'' 

Ritter said the United States and Britain had systematically undermined
efforts by U.N. inspectors to get to the bottom of Iraq's arsenal of mass
weapons, which Iraq is barred from having under U.N. Security Council

He has said this lack of resolve will enable Baghdad to keep these

Administration officials have responded to Ritter by saying U.S. policies
are designed to ensure destruction of these weapons. They also suggested
the administration has been guided in its policies by the need to avoid
irreparable splits in the Security Council over Iraq. To the extent that
the United States has pulled its punches on Iraq from time to time, they
indicated, it was because they needed to bring other council members

Albright also was asked by CNN about a series of stories suggesting she
has lost some luster after an auspicious start as secretary of state. 

``I'm smart enough to know that when you're flying high, there are times
that people criticize you,'' she said. ``If I weren't being criticized, I
don't think I would be doing my job.'' 

She added: ``I figure I'm doing what I have to do and that's life. I know
I love what I do ... And I expect the critics along with the praise.'' 
Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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