Get your fuzziest slippers ready, because Hell just froze over.
The University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies has long been on of America’s most respected political study establishments. The man who founded it has been one of America’s top political minds for decades, is Madeleine Albright’s father, and has for some time led a think tank of some of the most brilliant political scientists and diplomats in America. Former alumni have included Condoleeza Rice, author Paula Broadwell, Guy Padgett and a laundry list of ambassadors, statesmen and diplomats.
Every year, the Korbel school hands out its “Improving the Human Condition Award,” which is exactly what it sounds like. And this year, that award’s slated to go to…GEORGE W. BUSH?!?!
To say that people are outraged is an understatement; this is something along the lines of giving a Pulitzer to “journalist” and superpimp James O’Keefe for his groundbreaking ACORN “expose.” Korbel School’s rationale? They’re awarding Bush for his “service as president as well as efforts to fight HIV, cervical cancer and malaria in Africa.” Of course, that might be slightly ignoring his war crimes, torture, human rights violations, domestic surveillance, status as a national embarrassment, and precedent for gangland-style executions in Florida. You can see Christine Hart’s petition on the matter here.
So, what might compel this respected establishment to honor Dubya with such a distinguished award?
First, it’s being presented at a fundraiser. Which is a tip-off in and of itself. Second, it might have something to do with the fact that Bush’s former US ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill was appointed Dean of Korbel in 2010.
Make no mistake; Hill is a celebrated diplomat famous for his work in the Peace Corps, the part he played in negotiating peace in Bosnia, and the odd degree of celebrity he’s reached in China as the U.S. envoy for nuclear talks with North Korea. But Hill’s rubbed some pretty dirty elbows over the years, notably these in 2008:
Yes, those are the notes from a speaking engagement that then-ambassador Hill attended at none other than the HERITAGE FOUNDATION. Yes, the Heritage foundation, where Christopher R. Hill is still listed somewhat cryptically as “a non-staff member.” That means “a guy who’s involved, but sort-of not really.”
We could speculate all day about the kind of people an Ambassador to Iraq might have encountered during his tenure; keeping the peace means shaking a lot of hands, and doubtless a few are dipped in oil, plated in gold or missing fingers. Being an ambassador means knowing all the right people, and having the guys who can get things done programmed into your cell phone. And…remind us again…who was “getting things done” in Iraq in 2008?
Well, either way…congrats on the long-awaited recognition of your “humanitarian” efforts in Africa, Dubya. Have a party, and revel in the praise. It might be a good bit yet before you can find another human being on Earth that can find evidence of your efforts in anything but his stock portfolio.