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News Briefs II

Albright Describes U.S. as Model For Democracy, Free Markets

Los Angeles Times

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, with the academic pomp of a Harvard graduation as her backdrop, offered the clearest vision of the post Cold War world yet articulated by the Clinton administration, sketching a global order open to every nation that embraces democracy and free markets.

"No nation in the world need be left out of the system we are constructing," Albright said, speaking from the same stage on the steps of the Memorial Church that George C. Marshall used as secretary of state to launch the reconstruction of Europe 50 years ago to the day.

In essence, Albright described a new world order of nations made in the image of the United States. Her audience of Harvard alumni, including a contingent from the class of 1947 that heard Marshall's address, applauded the unabashedly patriotic tone.

"Since George Marshall's time, the United States has played the leading role within the international system, not as the sole arbiter of right and wrong, for that is a responsibility widely shared, but as pathfinder - the nation able to show the way when others cannot," Albright said.

Although there is nothing new in a secretary of state endorsing the work of the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague, the prominence Albright gave the issue could set the stage for a showdown between the secretary of state and the Pentagon, which is reluctant to commit U.S. troops to track down indicted war criminals.

Coalition Sanctions Against Iraq Are Eroding, Analysts Say

Los Angeles Times

In defiance of U.S. policy and pressure, a growing number of America's partners in the coalition against Iraq are sending diplomats back to Baghdad, striking commercial deals and increasing direct contacts with dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, according to U.S. analysts and Iraqi opposition officials.

The accumulated impact amounts to the most serious erosion of economic and diplomatic sanctions since the international campaign led by the United States was launched to isolate Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the sources contended.

The moves to restore and improve ties with Baghdad by European and Arab allies of the United States have accelerated to an unprecedented pace in recent months, and come as U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright has toughened Washington's stance against Hussein's regime.

"There's no doubt about the growing sanctions' erosion , and it's going to get worse," said Phebe Marr, an Iraq expert at the National Defense University in Washington. "We're going to need to do a better job of public diplomacy to hold the line."

To many analysts, the current trend's long-term danger is that it signals a shift in the framework of debate over Iraq's future.

Immediately after the Persian Gulf War in 1991, attention was focused on when Hussein would be ousted. As he disproved predictions of an early demise, the issue became how long he would struggle to hold on.