"You're a war criminal," she says. "Get out."
Video has emerged showing Madeleine Albright in a verbal altercation with a group of pro-Serbian activists in Prague. The former U.S. Secretary of State got involved in a heated exchange with the activists who remonstrated with her over her role in the American-led 1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia and her reported interest in a Kosovar communications firm. At a book-signing event, promoting her memoir "Prague Winter," in the Czech capital's Luxor bookstore on October 23, members of the civic group, "Friends of Serbs in Kosovo" entered into a verbal confrontation with Albright and her representatives.
The two videos, which were uploaded to YouTube by the group were published by the Czech publication Parlamentni Listy on its website on October 25. The videos show the verbal jousting that ensued after one of the group's members, Czech film director Vaclav Dvorak who made the documentary "Stolen Kosovo," walked up to Albright and asked her to sign a DVD copy of his film.
In one video, Dvorak is accompanied by a cameraman as he comes up to Albright's desk and tells her: "I brought you a film I recorded in Kosovo and I also wanted to remind you of your other deeds," at which point he places posters on her desk with a picture of Albright and the logo of Kosovo's IPKO state telecommunications firm. Parlamentni Listy reports that one of the posters had photographs of Serbs killed during the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999.
The following video, however, only shows a poster featuring the IPKO logo:
Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937 and speaks Czech, tells Dvorak and his group that she will not be signing the posters, at which point a woman from the crowd asks her if she is ashamed to sign them. Following a mild scuffle between security staff and the group (at the 01:22 mark in the video above), Albright gets up from her chair and screams "Get out!"
The second video which appears to be shot from a different angle, shows the same scene with additional footage. After being called a war criminal by someone in the crowd, Albright answers back, "You're a war criminal." She can be heard a few more times screaming, "Get out." At the 01:02 mark, however, she gets up from her chair one final time and yells, "Disgusting Serbs! Get Out!" before being escorted away from the scene by her handlers.
Anton Dvorak told "Parlamentni Listy " that he had not expected such a feisty response from the septuagenarian former diplomat. "... I was surprised by her reaction," he said. "We politely came to give her the film we recorded in Kosovo, regardless of the fact that it concerns "stolen Kosovo" -- which was gifted to the narco mafia with the help of NATO bombings and aggression -- and the IPKO company that enabled Albright to line her pockets."
In September, Bloomberg reported that the bidding for Kosovo's state-owned post and telecoms company "...has attracted interest from European and Turkish phone operators, as well as from an investment company headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who was a major backer of Kosovo in its war against Serbia."
Jaroslav Foldyna , a member of the Czech Social Democratic Party who was present at the event, claims that the protest was not planned. Rather "it was a spontaneous protest by people interested in politics who do not agree with what Albright did in the Balkans."
Richard Klichnik, the organizer of the signing event for the Argo publishing house, denied claims that Albright became upset and initiated the verbal attack on the pro-Serbian group. "It was about pro-Serbian activists who had posters and flyers connected to the conflict in the Balkans," Klichnik said. "It was clear that they came to provoke."
This is not Albright's first incident in her birthplace. On a visit to the Law Faculty at Masaryk University in Brno in March 2000, Albright was attacked with eggs by two Czech anarchists. She served as U.S Secretary of State from 1997 until 2001, presiding over the controversial 1999 NATO air bombing of the former Yugoslavia, aimed at driving Serb troops from Kosovo.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to email@example.com.