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It is my great pleasure today to welcome back to Book Passage a woman of great courage, ability, good sense, and good humor, Madeleine Albright as Secretary of State was the face of America at a time when that face was welcome around the world and respected. In fact, it would be an unalloyed, In fact, it would be an unalloyed joy to have her here today would it not be for the reminder she brings us of how far things have sunk from those days five years ago and how far we have to go to regain that footing as a nation. Madeleine Albright is someone who is unafraid to take on hard issues or to speak her mind. In The Mighty and the Almighty she writes with uncommon frankness and good sense about America's international role, religion, ethics, and the current divided and anxious state of the world. Those last two sentences reflect my thoughts, but those aren't my words, they are the words of President Bill Clinton in his introduction to this remarkable book. President Clinton goes on to say that this book, he wrote this book against the advice of friends who worried that these topics could not be discussed without stepping on toes, but the only way to avoid stepping on toes, he continued, is to stand still, and Madeleine Albright is the embodiment of forward movement. This is a remarkable book. This is a perfect antidote for that subtle, seductive poison that assures us that God is always on our side. Or in the words of Madeleine Albright, we have the right to ask, but never to insist or to blithely assume that God Bless America. It would be my great pleasure to introduce you to Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Thank you very much, thank you, thanks a lot, thank you. Thank you. Thank you very much. I guess I can figure out what the political views of this group is Thank you very much, I'm really pleased to be back here and have a chance to talk to all of you and I can't thank you enough for coming out here on such a gorgeous Sunday. I know you've had a little rain here, and it's unusual unusual to have beautiful weather, so thank you very very much for coming. This book is a little bit different than my first one, or my first readable book, I had written some academic stuff, the first one was about me, so I obviously knew more about the subject than anybody else knows, but this one, I think there are an awful lot of people that know a great deal more than I do. I am not pretending to be a theologian, nor have I turned in to a religious mystic. I am a problem solver, and it is from that perspective that I decided that I wanted to write this book. It was very evident to me, even as we were moving through our time in office and when I was Secretary of State is the increasing interest throughout the world in religion and the role that it was playing, I had a visit for instance, from children from a Christian school about the problems in Sudan in '99, '98-'99, and that was primarily over the North/South issue, and obviously when we were talking about the Middle East then, the peace process, you know, if Jerusalem were just a real estate issue, we would have solved it a long time ago, but when both of the parties believe that that piece of land was given to them by God, there are the people at the negotiating table. So it is a, the rise of religion was absolutely clear, and then if you go back and look at the numbers on every continent there are increased numbers of people joining all the different religions and a lot of them are contending about them, and ever has it been thus, but the difference is rather than them hitting each other with clubs and chains and mail, they are basically now, we have access to weapons of mass destruction, and so I think that in just in terms of problem solving it's very important to look at the role of religion in world affairs and how American foreign policy is affected by the way that our administration is looking at the issue now. This book is about a lot of different things, and so it's a little hard to do a sound byte on it, which is something I've tried to do during the last week, and try to get something comprehensible out very quickly, and I'm not going to try that here, I'm going to say there are four ideas that I think are basic, and obviously other things that go around it, but let me just mention the four, and read you just a very short passage just to set the context for our discussion. My first thought that I've always believed in is that the United States has to have, nobody's heard anything. They were so quiet, and nice... The, my first basic concept is that the United States must have a moral foreign policy. I know there are all these arguments always between realists and idealists, and I've never liked those labels particularly, and If I do have to label myself, I always say I'm an idealistic realist or a realistic idealist, but I truly do believe that we have to have a moral foreign policy. That's very different from a moralistic foreign policy in which we basically are telling everybody else what to do according to the way that we want it. A moral foreign policy is one based on the ideals that America was founded on and the difference between right and wrong. The second point that I raise comes basically from the fact that I now live in Washington as I have since 1968, and I've always loved it, and I've sometimes been on the winning side, and sometimes the losing side, and I've worked on Capitol Hill for Senator Muskie, and I've worked for President Carter and President Clinton, but I have never seen Washington as nasty as it is now, it is totally toxic. Very little can be done, and it's very difficult to talk nor have a reasonable discussion with anybody who has a different view from your own. And so the thing that I've been looking at is the possibility of finding issues primarily on the field that I'm interested in which is international affairs, the humanitarian aspect of them, where right and left can actually cooperate. And it is possible, and this may surprise many people, but I have found somebody that will work with me on that, and that's Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, a very conservative Christian. And we actually put on a conference at Georgetown University on four issues, for starters, that we could agree on, and one was stopping genocide, and last Sunday's big rally in Washington on Darfur was an example of that. There were Christians, Muslims, and Jews there, there were right and left, black and white, all kinds of different ethnic groups, and it's something that we could agree on. The second one that we could agree on was how to stop trafficking in people. The third was how to help refugees, and the fourth was religious tolerance, and so, to the extent that it's possible, especially as we get into the presidential season, Sam Brownback and I will look for other issues, because I do think that there is a meeting of the minds on how to do humanitarian work that I think can bring right and left together. The third point that I raise in the book as a theme is I know there's been a lot of discussion about the clash of civilizations, and I never bought into that but what I do think is going on that we need to engage in is the battle of ideas. There, the 21st century, we thought, would begin a little bit differently than it has and but the issues out there that are being raised are very serious, And while, clearly, Osama bin Lade and his ilk, and al-Qaeda and all the people that are part of the suicide missions and have evil thoughts are undermining what we believe in, but I raise a point which is a little bit controversial is that basically they are talking about ideas that have to be answered. President Lincoln said if a madman yells in the street and nobody answers that that voice prevails, and they are raising issues with those who support them that are questions about the relationship with God, relationships among people, questions of justice all from their perspective, but they raise the issues, and if they were totally irrelevant then nobody would be paying attention, so I think we have to stop thinking about what we're against and do a little bit more thinking about what we're for in terms of this battle of ideas. And the fourth point that I raise is that ultimately it all comes down for respect for the individual. We have a tendency to put ourselves in each other into groups, and I use my own life as an example of how being in a group is an artificial issue. I was raised a Catholic, married an Episcopalian, and found out I was Jewish. But then which certainly gives me a right to write this book, and then I left with my parents, Czechoslovakia in 1948 when the Communists took over, and we came to the United States and asked for Political Asylum. But for decisions made by my parents, I either would have been going to a synagogue instead of a church, or I might have ended up teaching history at Charles University at Prague instead of becoming an American. So the groups to a great extent are often matters of choice, or by virtue of certain actions that take place, so it comes down to the fact that it's respect to the individual that really matters and there are a lot of people who I've thought about the more I've said, "Well, it's a Western idea," and then it was evident from doing a lot of research it's not just a western idea. All of the Abrahamic religions ultimately see the value of the individual and a number of the other philosophies have the individual as essential, some version of the Golden Rule. So I think that that is one way that we can try to look at the problems of today. Now I know, and you know, and we've all seen it or studies it that religion has been used to divide people. And what I'm advocating is that we look for the common threads to unite people. Now again, as I say, I'm not a preacher, I'm a problem solver, so what I'm suggesting is that our diplomats actually be trained to understand the religion and the religious bases of where they're going beyond cultural language that the Secretary of State have religious advisors. As Secretary of State I had arms control advisors, and economic advisors and environmental advisors, and I did have one ambassador, Bob Sipel who was my religious advisor, but I think it would be useful to have more religious advisors and integrate their work into the ongoing work of diplomacy. And then I also suggest that religious leaders be a part of diplomatic efforts not necessarily at the moment of the negotiating table, but before in terms of trying to break down what the issues are, and maybe as validators, but clearly as a part of what we're trying to do in escaping what I think is or getting out of what I think is a world which is in more turmoil than I have ever seen. Now, in my previous book, I did not spend my time reading at sessions like this, but I thought that it would be worth just reading a little bit and especially to give you a context of the last line that was used when I was introduced. Let me just, with your forbearance, let me just read this. Page 32, you'll go along with me, the bouncing ball, "Ours is a country of abundant resources, abundant accomplishments, and unique capabilities. We have a responsible lead, but as we fulfill that obligation, we should bear in mind the distinction pointed out by John Adams: 'Liberty, at least in the sense of free will as God's gift, not ours, is also morally neutral. It may be used for any purpose, whether good or ill. Democracy, by contrast, is a human creation, it's purpose is to see that liberty is directed into channels that respect the rights of all.' As the world's most powerful democracy, America should help other who desire help to establish and strengthen free institutions, but in so doing we should remember that promoting democracy is a policy, not a mission, and policies must be tested on the hard ground of diplomacy, practical politics, and respect for international norms. Our cause will not be helped if we're so sure of our rightness that we forget our propensity as humans to make mistakes. Though America may be exceptional, we cannot demand that exceptions be made for us. We are not above the law, nor do we have a divine calling calling to spread democracy any more than we have a national mission to spread Christianity. We have, in short, the right to ask, but never to insist or blithely assume, that God Bless America." I also... So with that, I'm very happy to have a chance to answer your questions, and I have found I loved doing book events when I was going around with my memoirs, and I love already what I've been doing this last week, because as I said this book, for me, more than the previous one had been a genuine learning experience, which I think is actually the best experience for an author, but what has also happened in the course of my discussions as I go around, answering your questions is a learning experience because I think that it evokes very interesting comments from people and just the kind of questions that are asked really make me stretch my mind and think about what it is that I have written, so I really look forward to the dialogue with you. So I don't know how you want to do this.... (Q&A)