Watch: Madeleine Albright Saying Iraqi Kids' Deaths 'Worth It' Resurfaces

The announcement of Madeleine Albright's death at the age of 84 on Wednesday resulted in an outpouring of tributes and fond remembrances, but some sharp criticism also arose on social media in regards to comments she made in 1996 about the deaths of Iraqi children.

Albright, the first female secretary of state in United States history, made the remarks during a 60 Minutes interview. Correspondent Lesley Stahl discussed with the then-United Nations ambassador how Iraq had been suffering from the sanctions placed on the country following 1991's Gulf War.

"We have heard that half a million [Iraqi] children have died. I mean, that is more children than died in Hiroshima," Stahl said. "And, you know, is the price worth it?"

"I think that is a very hard choice," Albright answered, "but the price, we think, the price is worth it."

Clips of the segment were shared around on social media following the news of Albright's passing.

Dima Khatib, managing director of the Al Jazeera news service AJ+, said, "Please before you shower us with stuff about how great Madeleine Albright was, go dig what she thought of half a million Iraqi children killed by US sanctions on Iraq. Once you have heard her say: 'it was worth it' then come back and rewrite about her 'greatness!'"

"Madeline Albright, another butcher of the Middle East has joined John McCain in hell, purgatory, or whatever afterlife place of punishment you believe in," the Libertarian Party of Minnesota wrote. "Don't forget the 500k Iraqi dead she deemed worth it to die."

Journalist Jon Schwarz also added to the criticism of the decades-old comments. He said, "Some people remember Madeleine Albright said in 1996 it was 'worth it' for sanctions to kill 500,000 Iraqi children. No one remembers the sanctions were legally supposed to be lifted when Iraq had no WMD, which, of course, it didn't."


"Still makes my blood boil," Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab British Understanding (Caabu), tweeted about Albright's answer.

"I would like Madeleine Albright to be remembered by her callous comment about the mass murder of Iraqi children by the United States sanctions regime," Vijay Prashad, historian and executive director of Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, wrote.

Elsewhere, writer Rania Khalek posted a clip of the 60 Minutes segment and said she's "[w]atching on loop," while another journalist, Ajit Singh, claimed Albright "intentionally helped enact sanctions against Iraq which killed over half a million children in the 1990s. It is shameful that she and her fellow war criminals were never brought to justice."

Madeleine albright
Clips from a 1996 interview with former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright have resurfaced after her passing. In the interview, she reluctantly said the "price is worth it" when asked about the deaths of Iraqi children. In this photo, Albright is seen testifying during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, on May 9, 2017 in Washington, DC. Getty