The Washington Times - August 3, 2008, 02:57PM

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her only female predecessor, Madeleine K. Albright, were “sisters” again this weekend.

Mrs. Albright first called Miss Rice “my sister” at the unveiling of Mrs. Albright’s official portrait at the State Department in April. Many were surprised by the warmth they showed for each other, given Mrs. Albright’s scathing criticism of the Bush administration’s foreign policy.

The policy differences between the two, however, gave way to memories of their “mutual father” that day. Mrs. Albright’s father, Josef Korbel, a former Czechoslovak diplomat, was Miss Rice’s professor at the University in Denver.

Those sentiments were on display again Saturday in Aspen, where Miss Rice played the piano at the Aspen Music Festival. Before that, she made some remarks, and was introduced by Mrs. Albright, who secretary of state in the Clinton administration.

“The truth is that when Secretary Rice assumed her current position, she said that the time for diplomacy is now,” Mrs. Albright said. “And she has been true to her word. In Iraq and the Middle East, in North Korea and Europe, we see a renewed emphasis on dialogue and on the energetic pursuit of agreements designed to safeguard our national security.”

Just the day before, however, Mrs. Albright didn’t miss a chance to criticize the war in Iraq again.
“I think Iraq is going to go down in history as the greatest disaster in American foreign policy,” she was quoted as saying by the Aspen Daily News. “That is quite a statement, and it means that I say it’s worse than Vietnam. Not in terms of the number of Americans who’ve died or Vietnamese versus Iraqis, but in terms of those unintended consequences.”


- Nicholas Kralev, diplomatic correspondent, The Washington Times